How to Use Dry Ice for Camping

Going on a camping trip is always an exciting experience. However, packing perishable foods, keeping them cool, and ensuring their freshness can be quite a challenge. While a conventional cooler is the most common option, it may not be enough to keep foods from spoiling. That’s where dry ice comes in.

In this post, we will discuss how to use dry ice for camping, including the benefits, safety measures, and practical tips.

What is Dry Ice?

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide that is incredibly cold, with a temperature of -109.3°F (-78.5°C). Unlike regular ice that melts and turns into water, dry ice sublimates – which means it turns directly from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid phase. Due to its very low temperature, dry ice can preserve food for longer and keep it at a safe temperature for consumption.

What Are the Advantages of Using Dry Ice for Camping?

One of the most significant benefits of using dry ice for camping is that it is extremely effective at keeping food fresh and chilled. Unlike regular ice that may only last a few hours, dry ice can keep your food frozen for up to three days. Moreover, dry ice is easy to pack, lightweight, and can keep the inside of your camping cooler dry, preventing the need for melting ice. Lastly, since dry ice sublimates, there is no mess or water accumulation in your cooler.

What Are the Safety Measures to Consider When Using Dry Ice for Camping?

While dry ice can be a great way to keep your food fresh, it is essential to take proper safety measures when handling it. First, never touch dry ice with your bare hands as it can cause severe burns. Use gloves or tongs to handle dry ice. Secondly, ensure that you keep your cooler sufficiently ventilated as dry ice releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates. Finally, never store dry ice in a sealed container as the pressure buildup could lead to an explosion. Always use an open-top cooler or container.

How to Use Dry Ice for Camping?

To use dry ice for camping, start by placing a layer of regular ice at the bottom of your cooler. Then add a layer of dry ice on top of the regular ice. Make sure to cover the dry ice with a towel or cardboard before placing your food on top of it. This will prevent the food from coming into direct contact with the dry ice, which can cause freezer burn. Remember to leave some space in your cooler for ventilation and replace the dry ice every 24 hours or as needed.

Where to Buy Dry Ice?

Dry ice can be purchased at some grocery stores, specialty ice suppliers, and some gas companies. Always ensure to purchase the dry ice in insulated containers or foam coolers, especially if you’re traveling a long distance or plan to store the dry ice for extended periods.


Using dry ice for camping is an excellent way to keep your food fresh and your cooler dry, without the need for constant refills, or messes. Remember always to handle dry ice with care, ensure ventilation, and replace every 24 hours.

With these tips, you should have a great camping trip, complete with fresh and delicious meals.

Dennis Noble

Dennis Noble

Hi, my name is Dennis and I am an avid outdoor enthusiast. I love exploring the great outdoors and have been passionate about camping since a young age. As a writer for a camping blog, I get to share my experiences and knowledge with others who are just as passionate – it gives me a great sense of joy! I'm always seeking new adventures and places to explore; whether it's visiting stunning national parks or simply getting out in nature for the day.

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