I've decided to try something new on our Family Trips... and that's to Ditch the Cooler. The reason is simply space or lack there of. Loading up the Jeep with a family of four can be difficult and I've tried real hard to keep things to a minimum. A week before the last trip out, as I was loading the Jeep and struggling for space... I thought, Fuck it... Backpackers don't need ICE... and they survive... so I yanked the cooler out of the Jeep. Now don't get me wrong, I like cold beer and homestyle meals.... but the truth is, we can live without that luxury for a few days... or a week. So I made a list of foods that don't need to be cooled and went for it. It was honestly an added sense of freedom not having to worry about ICE (or powering a fridge)... and the space gained in the Jeep made organizing our shit so much easier. I even cracked a couple non-cooled Guinness's and they tasted GREAT after a full day of hiking and exploring.
Granted this last trip was more of an experiment... because we stayed in a motel... but 90% of our meals were had out of the Jeep, or on a hike. And I really think this would be fairly easy if we camped the whole weekend.
So if anyone has tried this... maybe we can share ideas on foods & meals you bring when ditching the cooler.
Here is a list I started... and brought most of them on our trip:
Mountain House Dried Meals
Canned Foods / Meats
Spam - Low Sodium
Ramen / Cup of Noodles
Epic Bison Bars / Beef Jerky
Pro Bars / Protien Bars / Meal Bars
Peanut Butter Packets
Raw Honey Packets
Wheat Thins (non brittle crackers)
90% Dark Chocolate
Instant Coffee packets
Mio / Mio Sport / Liquid IV
5 Gal Water - Life Saver Jerry Can
Salt & Pepper