I recently embarked on a fishing trip to the Murray River near Mildura. It’s been a section of river I’ve always wanted to visit and, given its remoteness, it necessitated a deluxe camping approach – food, water and fuel for seven days.
The food component revolved around a cooler for as long as we could keep one cold. The lads at Techni-Ice offered us a combo-deal from their new Celebration Series: a massive 110L model, a 45L model and a 10L day cooler.
This trio sells for $449 when bought as a combo and includes 18 re-usable icepacks. They can be bought separately but they’re most effective when used in conjunction with each other. Read on and you’ll get what I mean.
I’m a big fan of chilling a cooler before putting food into it. It ensures that when your cold food goes in there’s reduced ‘lost’ energy bringing the cooler down to temperature. That’s energy I’d rather keep in my ice, to keep my food colder for longer!
We filled the bottom of our cooler with block ice we made ourselves in 2L ice-cream containers. This block ice takes a lot longer to defrost than ‘party’ ice and helps to keep the Techni-Ice reusable icepack sheets that we packed around the internal walls of the coolers really, really cold.
The behemoth 110L cooler was just too big for our needs so we went with the current 40L model, the new sleeker 45L model from the Celebration Series (which is narrower and less ‘boxy’ than the current model) and the little 10L model, which is also from the Celebration Series and fits perfectly under the rear casting deck of our boat.
The 8 hour Saturday drive from Melbourne to Mildura and beyond to the camp had the 40L food cooler in the boat and exposed to the sun. It did have block ice and most of its contents frozen, but Mildura had hit 46ºC the month before so we were aware we might be asking a lot of our coolers if hot weather returned.
We kept both coolers beneath a large camp tarpaulin, and a second tarp that covered food bins and ground items. We did everything we could to keep direct sun off the coolers! While day temperatures exceeded 30ºC on only two days, the evenings were warm and didn’t drop much below 15ºC.
The 10L cooler, in which we packed cans of cola, lunch meat, tomatoes, bread, a 2.4L juice bottle of cordial and fruit, was a great addition to the boat. It carried plenty of stuff for three people’s lunch and kept everything cool, even without an icepack. It was also strong enough to sit on without any doubts about its construction.
These icepacks are such a flexible way to keep things cool, and cool things down quick smart. And because they’re relatively small, you can pull one or two out for day use when needed.
The new 45L Techni-Ice model doesn’t have a protruding lid, which is a big improvement on the current 40L model. It’s narrower too, and has recessed latches, making it much easier to accommodate in the boat. Your fishing line doesn’t catch on the latches and neither does your clothing.
It’s also got non-slip ‘feet’ so it doesn’t shift around when underway, enduring rough weather or driving rough roads.
Once the drinks were gone, we carried the new 45L model in our boat. We filled it once with live bait (yabbies and shrimp) and once as a live fish well. And there were no problems whatsoever.
It also served as a great bench seat for our third angler and, given its narrowness, ran unobtrusively down the side of the boat well out of the way.
The Techni-Ice coolers worked really well in combination. I can understand now why they sell them that way! One for food, one for drinks and one for the boat. That’s definitely a smart way to go because it helps to preserve your ice.
The features on the new sleeker Celebration Series are big improvements, which make these coolers even more fisher-friendly. And the three coolers fit into each other like wooden Russian dolls so, when empty, take up much less space in the garage loft.
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