Traveling with coolers

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Traveling with coolers

Postby esbynum » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:36 am

Has anyone bought a cooler at Wal-Mart in Anchorage lately? I was curious how expensive they were. I found them for $24.99 in the lower 48 and wondered if I should just get one and use it as one of my checked bags before coming up to do some shopping. Also this is for a 60qt igloo cooler. Is that the size most people buy?

And for those that have traveled with them, how do you secure them? Duck tape? Or is there a better way?

Or is the cheaper option just to travel with a Rubbermaid tote full of meat/frozen veggies?
Thanks
EB
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby jamieburgess » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:27 am

I bought my Igloo cube at the Wal-Mart in Anchorage - it was on sale for $30. It's a 50 quart cooler. The challenge is that if you're going to fly with the cooler, you have to keep it under the 50lb. weight limit. The cooler itself weighed around 15 lbs, and meat/dairy products are pretty heavy. I could not fill the cooler and keep it under the weight limit - I ended up bringing some of my cold-cut meats in my carry-on bag (necessitating an extra search courtesy of TSA going through Anchorage airport security).

I duct-taped the cooler shut and there were absolutely no problems at all. Having a wheeled cooler is very handy especially if you're also bringing other luggage - it's amazing how heavy 50 lbs is if you have to hand-carry it everywhere.
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby esbynum » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:45 pm

Or maybe a better option this time is a freezer bag. I can mail out some of my clothes and then put this in my checked baggage.

Image

This is available on Amazon for less than $13. Anyone know if the local Wal-Mart has something comparable? It holds 45 cans.
http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Zone-Blend ... 1253555011
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby Bushteachers » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:05 pm

I've used the igloo cube once. Most coolers are to heavy IMO. We now just use Rubbermaid totes. I can carry ten more pounds of meat or veggies. We also mail our cheese and butter.
Another option is getting a fish box in town. Those boxes are super light and very well insulated. We bought two this year for future trips to town. I did place frozen veggies in one this summer. Did fine, but so did the totes. Most bush airlines will keep stuff froz n so a tote is fine.
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby marymatt718 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:24 pm

Definitely look at the fish boxes. They are super cheap, really light, and nicely insulated. You can find them in the sports supply section at Walmart. I have used mine more than once, and will continue to use them until the Styrofoam liner falls apart. These are the cardboard boxes, lined with Styrofoam, that sport-fishing tourists use to take their catch home to the lower 48, so they will easily keep your stuff frozen until you get to your village. The size is acceptable on the airlines, since that's what they were created for, so there's one worry you can check off the list.

I do know teachers going to other villages, who are able to get to their village straight from Anchorage on one flight, who have used totes and had really good luck with them. My trip to my village, however, usually has a 4-5 hour layover in a bush service terminal for the last leg of my trip, and if there is a weather delay that makes that layover longer, I would be in trouble with a tote. If I could use the totes, I would, but, for my trip out, which has taken anywhere from 7 hours in good weather to 12 hours in not so good weather, I can't take the chance.
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby esbynum » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:33 pm

Thanks. Will definitely look for the fish boxes when in Anchorage.
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Re: Traveling with coolers

Postby Bushteachers » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:56 am

marymatt718 wrote:Definitely look at the fish boxes. They are super cheap, really light, and nicely insulated. You can find them in the sports supply section at Walmart. I have used mine more than once, and will continue to use them until the Styrofoam liner falls apart. These are the cardboard boxes, lined with Styrofoam, that sport-fishing tourists use to take their catch home to the lower 48, so they will easily keep your stuff frozen until you get to your village. The size is acceptable on the airlines, since that's what they were created for, so there's one worry you can check off the list.

I do know teachers going to other villages, who are able to get to their village straight from Anchorage on one flight, who have used totes and had really good luck with them. My trip to my village, however, usually has a 4-5 hour layover in a bush service terminal for the last leg of my trip, and if there is a weather delay that makes that layover longer, I would be in trouble with a tote. If I could use the totes, I would, but, for my trip out, which has taken anywhere from 7 hours in good weather to 12 hours in not so good weather, I can't take the chance.


Does Pen Air or Alaska not have coolers in Dillingham?
I know I was stranded once in Aniak for about five hours and Ravn kept my totes frozen.
Of course I now live in Dillingham, so I shouldn't have to worry about thawing meat now. I will say that I love those boxes. They weigh nothing.
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