Eight Steps To Packing A Perfect Cooler.

Between pools, concerts, festivals, camping expeditions, tubing ventures, road trips or just regular ol' picnicking, there's tons to do over the summer in and around Texas. Meaning? Well, now that it's almost June, it's time to pull out the sunblock, dust off the cooler and start pack your favorite foods and beverages for some daytime fun. Packing a cooler can be a trickier task than it first appears, though. But our eight foolproof rules to remember when packing your coolers this summer should help.

1. Get the essentials. You can't go wrong with an ice chest, some ice, a bunch of canned beverages, some bottled water, fruit, nuts and some string cheese.

2. Chill everything first. Stuff that starts cold has a better chance of staying cold, and keeping your items cool in advance also helps preserve your ice. Remember: Your cooler should only maintain the cold temperatures of your items; it's not the cooler's job to get them there.

3. Put a thin layer of ice on the bottom. We all know that heat rises. Conversely, cold air travels down. A layer of ice placed on the bottom of the cooler will be the very last thing to melt.

4. Place canned drinks in first. They should be placed on the bottom of the cooler — directly on top of the ice layer. Cans will stay frosty cold down here.

5. Dump another layer of ice on top of the cans. This will insulate the cans and provide a cold bottom for the items put in next.

6. Line bottled waters around the sides. The sides of the cooler are the second-coldest spots, and since water doesn't need to be as ice cold as your canned beverages, this is a prefect spot.

7. Place nuts and any loose fruit in zipper baggies. Zip-lock baggies are much more reliable than the cardboard packaging most foods come in. They also help prevent sogginess.

8. Make a “dry bag.” This bag should contain napkins, a cutting knife for the fruit and any dry foods such as, cookies, chips and crackers.

And there you go! Remember to have fun. And to stay safe. And to wear sunscreen! Oh, and to bring koozies. Those are pretty essential, too.

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