1-Cooler, 1-Weekend Getaway

We’ve got five easy meals that are perfect for a weekend getaway—or even a weekend at home. It’s a foolproof plan for packing and cooking.

Cooler Packing 101
Photos: Charles Masters & Randy Mayor

Cooler Packing 101

We’ve got a plan that will give you an entire weekend of meals with one cooler. If you’re following our plan to the letter, download our Cooler Packing List that outlines specifically what you’ll need to pack.

For general cooler packing, here are a few tips. Pack raw meats, fish, and produce sealed in plastic bags on the bottom. Next layer in produce, dairy, eggs, and perishable condiments. Save space by packing just what you think you’ll need for the weekend. And remember to fill the cooler all the way up; the ice will melt faster if it’s full of room-temperature air.

If you store your cooler in a hot garage, bring it inside the night before so you can start with a cooled-off vessel. Use solid ice or reusable gel-filled ice packs on the bottom, pack food, then fill in the gaps with bags of cubed ice. Once it’s packed and ready, stow in the trunk, away from light, and put a blanket or sleeping bag around it for extra insulation.

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