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member (31)member
05/24/2006 08:11AM  
Im curious to hear from those (if any) foolish enough to carry in a cooler and beer. Whats the best way to keep cold, or at least cool. Dry ice? Block ice? Im thinking block ice. Perhaps submerged in several feel of water?

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05/24/2006 08:43AM  
I don't bring beer but have seen others that do.

First-you need to bring your in beer into the park in plastic bottles not aluminum cans or glass-those are illegal. Ely and other liquor stores carry some beer in plastic. The selection is not very large however so if you like a certain beer it may or may not be available in plastic.

Most people I have seen use a cooler and block ice and keep the cooler in the shade.

Those that do not bring coolers submerge the beer in a mesh bag with a rope to pull it in and rocks to hold it down deep in the water. Depending on time of year it does a pretty good job to cool the beer, Won't be ice cold but you are roughing it after all.
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
05/24/2006 04:39PM  
We are going to give it a shot this year. I think we will go with the submerge it trick in plastic bottles and a mesh bag. It'll be interesting and a little more heavy on portages going in, but I think we can all attest to a campfire with a beer after a long day of fishing and paddling.

If anyone has tried dry or block ice I'd love to hear how it went.
distinguished member(7230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/24/2006 11:15PM  
We've done the mesh bag trick before. Your beer isn't frosty by any means, but lukewarm beer is better than no beer any day.
member (40)member
05/25/2006 02:09PM  
Our group of 8 brings two coolers with block ice. One cooler for fish, and the other for bait. We also bring two dozen brats in for our first meal. I bring beer up in plastic bottles and sink them in 35 - 40ft of water and fish near by for an hour or two. They are pretty cold shortly after. Not enough room in the coolers for those big bulky 16oz bottles - but well worth bringing them.
Guest Paddler
05/25/2006 09:39PM  
Coors has the 18pack party pack with 16 oz. plastic bottles and a plastic bag liner in the box. Just add ice and cold beer is on hand. Last year we took one to the Q and hand cold beer and ribeye steaks the first nite. We packed it into a Duluth pack and still had ice at the last beer. We had to settle for tang and vodka the rest of the trip.
member (31)member
06/02/2006 09:41AM  

I couple of times I taken a homemade cooler with beer up with me. Basically a cardboard box. Cut and tape it to size. Wrap it in aluminum foil and stick a frozen water bottle (square quart kind) in it. It fits about 8 beers and keeps them cool (not cold) for about four days. It takes up half my Duluth pack and is very heavy. But I do enjoy the beer and the ice cold water near the end of the trip.
member (31)member
06/05/2006 09:49AM  
OK, just got back and we did the block ice thing in a newer, 5 day, 90 degree cooler. Worked great and we had ice for almost 5 days, with enough cool water on the 6th day to pack out a few marble eyes!
06/05/2006 06:30PM  

I brought homebrew in once. In general, it isn't worth the weight to me, but a friend and I decided to bottle homebrew into 2 liter pop bottles. It was a strong Belgian Ale. We sunk it down in the mesh bag with rocks and it kept it as cold as one as a good ale should be drank at.
distinguished member(7230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/06/2006 09:52AM  
I'm also a homebrewer. I'd be interested in how you bottled in 2 liter pop bottles. How did you get a good sterile seal? It would be great to have a nice porter with my evening meals.
06/12/2006 01:31PM  
A trick I like to use is to pack my beer in a cooler shared with a frozen gallon milk jug of "Jose" and a 64 ounce container of frozen italian beef with gravy ( or stew, soup, etc). As the beer disappears on day three, the margaritas are thawed and the beef is about ready for the fire.--Lith from Chicago
member (24)member
01/20/2007 03:56PM  
Hey, nice trick mdauzva from Chicago. I'm in Chicago too. Usually our group just brings in vodka and koolaid mix and some Jim Beam. But we've brought in frozen beer for the first night after paddeling 12 miles. I've always thought brining in beer was too much of a hassle, but I like your idea of the frozen Margarita as ice to keep the beer cool. We're having a party of 6 this year and maybe we'll have enough mules to hup the cooler over the portages.

distinguished member(750)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2007 07:43PM  
Wonder if bringing beer with you in the BWCA will make that cold beer you get as soon as you get back not taste as good? I think wanting that cold brew when I am finally out will keep me from carrying one in.
distinguished member (458)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/21/2007 07:19PM  
Three years ago we ran into a group of young guys on the Horse River. As we passed them on the portage before Basswood, we were in shock to see that they had a empty keg of beer. One of us asked "you brought a keg?" They replied "no... we brought two kegs!!"
marc bates
distinguished member(1029)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/21/2007 07:24PM  
My father-in law brought in a case of Genuine Draft in plastic bottles. I thought he was nuts. We sank them in a potato sack and I must admit a beer was pretty tasty. But I would never waste my time carrying it. But I was happy to help him drink them after he hauled them!
01/22/2007 10:08AM  
I'm with you Marc. I would never carry beer into the BWCA. However, if offered one, I wouldn't refuse.

01/22/2007 12:12PM  

I wondered the same thing, so I began an experiment four or five years ago. I placed a few beers in my pack, carried them into the Boundary Waters and then, a couple of days later, I drank them. The results of this extensive experiment indicate that 1) beer always tastes good; 2) the cold beer you have when you get back still tastes good too.

There you have it. Solid proof! LOL! Seriously, try it. A cold beer or two, mid trip, with some shorelunch is a real treat!

distinguished member (458)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/22/2007 07:25PM  
My earlier post on the kegs got me thinking. Are kegs legal? The rules state "cans and glass bottles are not allowed". Is a keg a can?
Webster definition: a small cask or barrel having a capacity of 30 gallons or less. Just a thought to ponder.
01/22/2007 08:31PM  
A keg is a barrel, not a can. Its waaaaay too big to be a can.
01/23/2007 09:11AM  
motdur, I understand your concern. I've asked SNF personnel that very question. They kinda roll their eyes and say, "Yes, kegs are legal". I don't know if they wish they weren't or just can't believe anyone would consider it.

I have to think it is either a very rare occurrence or people are extremely good about packing them out. At least I have never seen one abandoned in the BW. Anyone ever seen one abandoned? I suppose if it happens a few times, they will banned. Still, I guess if someone can carry in a full one, it's not that big of a deal to carry out an empty one.

Mark Lawyer
distinguished member (421)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/27/2007 10:02PM  
maybe it's the fact that it's refillable / reuseable that makes it legal?
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2007 05:26AM  
No beer for us. Just some GOOD scotch in a flask. OK...a couple flasks. maybe even some Doctor McGuillicudys (sp?). And a little smoke.
02/24/2007 02:18PM  
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

~Benjamin Franklin
distinguished member(1792)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/24/2007 02:23PM  
I've seen people with kegs in the Boundary Waters, I almost hit one with my motorboat in the early spring. The party had it anchored out from their campsite at night.
Seems a little excessive.
02/24/2007 05:23PM  
In case anyone is still thinking dry ice.... stop it now. This would be a disaster at every level - the beer in the bottles would freeze solid - the plastic bottles would likely crack and the 'melting' dry ice will attract every mosquito within 200 meters.

Other than that...
distinguished member(1792)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2007 10:19PM  
Be men.

Drink whiskey, warm and neat.
distinguished member (312)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/23/2007 04:32PM  
Okay, I'm a single malt scotch drinker backcountry (but I will pay a premium for a Leinie's anywhere else!) but here is a beer story for you (and maybe it was one or more of you gents in the story!).

I think is was 2003 and the wife, I and the dog were going into Knife Lake to base camp. As we were portaging north, we crossed paths with 4 "older" gentlemen. They were attempting to line their canoes down the stream instead of portaging. Things got a little hairy for them and they spilled at least one of the canoes. They dragged the packs to shore and continued with the canoe down the stream. They were fairly close at that point to the end of the portage so I went back to help haul the wet packs. I grabbed one of the Duluth packs, started to lift and almost fell on my *ss! The entire pack was full of full beer cans, must have had 2 to 3 cases in it! It looked like they might have another Duluth pack full of beer too. It was painfully obvious why they avoided the portages.

That was the last we saw of them, hope they made it out okay (along with their trash!). Just realized I didn't answer your question. The old guys said they would be submerging the beer to cool it, but I think they paid too high a price for it!
distinguished member(1792)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/24/2007 03:00PM  
You would think a couple handles of booze would do the trick, and be 1/10th of the weight.
member (6)member
03/29/2007 03:05PM  
"Im curious to hear from those (if any) foolish enough to carry in a cooler and beer."

hmmm.... Looking for advise from the foolish. Now that's foolish. ;-)
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/29/2007 04:46PM  
It is hard to beat a whiskey at the end of the day (or throughout the day which happens to me in most cases).
distinguished member (224)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/04/2014 09:48AM  
We generally pack some beer in plastic bottles in for the trip with a cooler or cooler pack (depending on the route), or without a cooler and submerged in the lake to “chill” on longer routes. We enjoy a beer or two in the evenings from time to time. 15 years or so ago Ely had a good selection of beer in plastic bottle.

We have gone hard liquor too repackage in bar supplies juice pourers with detachable pour spots and matching lids. FYI: I have personal favorite called the Boundary Waters Raspberry Long Island Iced Tea.
1 ounce each:
Tanqueray Gin
Ciroc Vodka
10 Cane Rum -or- Chaucer’s Mead (depending on the desired taste (Mead is sweeter and not as alcoholic)
Pour into Red Solo Cup (I feel you up) over ice (if you take in a small cooler)
Then fill cup to 3/4+ with 7-Up
Top off with Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur on top
Obviously this is more for a base camp style trip of moderate to easy means.

A new idea we might try is beer concentrate from Pat’s Backcountry Beverages (see: I’ll have to convince the wife first, and if it works for us… I’ll let you know.
member (28)member
06/05/2014 07:18PM  
Someone left a can of beer on the table at a Kawnipi campsite one year (when the table was still there) and it was a huge highlight. Warm or not 4 guys shared that beer with joy:)

Wouldn't carry it in myself though. A little whiskey and tequila does just fine.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14414)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
06/05/2014 07:34PM  
Wow a 7 year thread, back to life. Has to be some kind of record.
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
07/20/2014 10:25AM  
My cousin and I brought up a 12 pack of plastic bottles once. We tied them off on paracord and sunk them in the lake for a couple hours. It worked well enough. Even cheap beer (Bud) tastes way better in the BW eating some fresh caught walleye watching a sunset. However carrying around the waste bottles made us rethink this.

Now we stop by Fitgers or Boathouse on the way up and grab a couple growlers ( They both have BWCA legal plastic ones) Much better beer and once the growlers are empty we use them as water bottles.

Boxed wine also works well as they now have some decent stuff that comes in them.

But we ALWAYS bring a flask of some good Irish whiskey and a couple of Cigars for our Mid-trip relaxation.

07/20/2014 11:17AM  
a friend i grew up with (now a transplanted texan) i took him and his buddy into the BW early 90's ,they wanted to bring in 3 partyballs(6gals each) we were going to the SAK. i guess they visualized paved paths between the lakes HA ! i finally talked them into bringing just 1, after the trip they said they wouldnt have even brought that. live and learn. me mainly vodka and tang. a cold beer after a trip is very refreshing :)
distinguished member (222)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/29/2014 09:24AM  
Shock, im suprised that more people dont do party balls...especially instead of regular kegs. seems like a 3.8 gallon party ball would make alot more sense. You can also get party balls of mixed drinks...margaritas etc. Maybe sink one will drinking other...switching them out as they warm. 40-12 oz beers per 3.8 party ball (30 lbs). 55 per 5.2 gallon party ball. (41 lbs)

The issue i see with kegs is warm beer in kegs simply doesnt work very well. while a party ball can be sunk to cool it, a regular keg would be tought to do this with. I would think you would end up with a 16 gallon keg of foam as when you tried to tap it.

We have always used dry ice, but not for booze. we bring in a well insolated soft side cooler with slabs (2) of dry ice wrapped in newspaper and then a towel...keeps our red meat and other items frozen until we need them on day 4-5-6. All items in cooler are frozen before hand.
01/30/2017 06:04AM  
We usually bring a few 40's of Mickey's Malt Liquor in. Great for passing around, and beer battered fish (alcohol abuse?) is much tastier than standard shore lunch. The 40's make for great water storage after the fact too.
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