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Pack the perfect cooler bag for your summer outings

Braai season is here, which means that it’s time to dust off your trusty cooler bag for outdoor adventures! But before you get too excited and throw everything in your cooler, make sure you’ve followed these steps to get all your cooler bag essentials prepped and ready for the summer season!

By Taryn Wilson


1. Get the right cooler for you. If you love to carry around a lot of drinks, food and tools, you ’ll want to invest in a sturdy and solid cooler box as opposed to a soft material bag.
2. Make sure that you clean your cooler box/bag thoroughly and that it is dry and ready to use the day before you intend to pack it. If it doesn’t dry properly, it will start to smell musty.
3. Keep your cooler cold for longer by ‘pre-chilling’ it with ice bags inside.


1. Head out before the time to buy all the foods you want to take with, and package them yourself to fit in the cooler box.
2. If you’re going to a braai, you know what meat you’ll want to include. Don’t forget to include some drinks, a salad or side dish, and some snacks.
3. Always pack plenty of water.
4. Don’t overstock on food (unless you love braai leftovers the next day)
5. Keep certain tools ready-packed in your cooler. You’ll always want to have a knife, spoon, dishcloth and some braai tongs on hand.


1. If you choose to bring ice, this will help to keep your cooler box cold, and you’ll be able to use the ice for your drinks throughout the day. However, reusable frozen blocks and packs are much more convenient and cause less mess than ice blocks. If you don’t have, frozen dish sponges make the most amazing and convenient ice blocks!
2. Once you have everything together, pack some ice/ice packs in the bottom. Then start adding the food, with softer ingredients on top. Pack more ice on top and down the sides.
3. Keep your cooler box tightly closed when you aren’t getting something out or putting something back in.
4. Leave packing the cooler box until right before you leave – this will allow your items to stay colder for longer, especially for long drives.


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