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Whether you are hiking, boating, camping, or doing some other outdoor activity, you probably will want to have a cooler with drinks, and possibly food, with you. Coolers today come in a wide variety of sizes from small, soft, insulated material suitable for carrying a few drinks to large metal or plastic containers capable of holding large quantities of food and drink.

When selecting a larger cooler, here are some features you might want it to have:

  • Well-insulated sides and lid. Some models can keep items cool for 3 days or more before having to put in more ice
  • A secure lock to keep the lid firmly sealed and the cooler cold. It also prevents animals from prying open the cooler if you are out in the woods
  • Handles for easier carrying. Whether they are molded or 2-way handles, those flush with the surface are less likely to be snagged or broken off
  • A drain located on the side bottom makes it easier to get all the water out than one higher on the side where you have to tilt the cooler to empty it
  • Wheels on larger coolers for easy moving
  • Food trays that let you keep food elevated above the melting ice so you donít have to deal with soggy cartons or boxes floating in ice water
  • A lid that can be used as a tray and/or has cup holder spaces
  • If you are fishing, there are marine coolers with cutting boards and built-in rulers for measuring and cleaning fish

There are electric coolers made especially for outdoor use if you donít want to use ice all the time. Look for ones that work off of both AC and DC currents and can be plugged into a cigarette lighter.

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