When I tried to think of what piece of gear I used consistently over the past year, I thought of many choices.
Or maybe the shed we put up that gave Joan her sewing room and lets her repair gear and modify it for our needs?
But then I think of something I used all year round. And about fifteen years now. Something I’ve taken on quick camping trips, or stashed in the car for after an overnight trip, occaisionally took to BBQs at my friends’ homes, and made more than a few people happy after some arduous gallivants.
Yes, it does not keep the beer and food ice cold for days at a time during your expeditions to find the Northwest Passage. But it does not cost a few hundred collars, either.
But it keeps the beer cold enough for a day or two. And it fits just right in a vehicle for taking it to many different places and quick get-a-ways.
And I don’t always want to take my better, and larger, but still affordable, cooler I use for longer trips.
I forget where I bought this cooler or exactly when.
I mean, it’s just a cooler. It holds beer, fruit, other cold drinks, maybe some burgers and potato salad for after your hike when you want to grill up by the trailhead.
Sure, maybe you need a similar-sized cooler that costs a couple of hundred dollars for your day trips.
But you probably don’t.
Why get this cooler? Much like my wind pants, there is nothing special about this $17 cooler that I bought so long ago. It is just the right size, price, and effectiveness for what I need it for on my trips. Get a similar one. Beat it up, decorate it with all the stickers you get over the years, and it will keep your beer cold enough for any post celebratory hiking activity after a day or two. I promise.
Don’t want water sloshing around in your cooler because the ice melts a bit? Well, you can buy the $200 cooler. Or use all those water bottles and bladders that people give away as schwag, freeze them, and repurpose them as ice blocks. Cold water still keeps things cold, and you have a cold drink!