Pelican Flyer • May 03, 2020
We all get satisfaction out of dumping a 10-pound bag of gas station ice atop the contents of a perfectly-packed cooler, but is there a better way to keep the cooler... cooler? Actually, yes, and it involves the same subzero stuff you used to mess around with in high school chemistry class. Dry ice is the underrated cooler companion that helps keep all your perishables cool and dry for longer. Here’s how to master it using your Pelican hard cooler.
Without getting too scientific, it’s important to know a little bit about dry ice before you go overflowing your hard coolers with the stuff. Dry ice is simply the solid, cooled and condensed form of carbon dioxide, and it’s really cold (around -109.3 degrees F, to be exact). Dry ice is so cold that it can actually cause frostbite, so make sure you always wear heavy-duty gloves when handling it.
Unlike regular ice, dry ice doesn’t melt but instead sublimates (turns from solid to gas) slowly. The sublimation process can be accelerated when dry ice is placed in water, and the result is a release of dense, fog-like clouds. This process is often used to create a hazy, foggy atmosphere at concerts, haunted houses and theaters.
Dry ice is quite versatile, in fact. Besides being used to create a fog-filled environment at rock concerts and to keep the contents of your cooler ice-cold, dry ice has been used to exterminate rodents from the New York City subway system and even to shrink floor tiles and wood planks for easier removal.
There are some distinct advantages of using dry ice in a cooler. Compared with regular nugget ice you’d get from the convenience store, dry ice is colder, drier and less bulky.
The Pelican 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler is dry ice friendly.
Did we mention that dry ice is really cold? That means that it needs to be handled with care using thick gloves and that, if packed improperly, it could cause damage to your cooler and its contents.
Remember to choose a dry ice compatible cooler—such as a Pelican Elite 50 Quart Cooler —before you go crazy with the dry ice. As long as you have the right vessel and know the proper protocol for handling this stuff, you can count on cooler, drier performance when you opt for dry over wet.
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