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How to Pack a Cooler with George Gozdz

The right way to pack a cooler for a day on the water.

How to Pack a Cooler with George Gozdz

While packing a cooler isn’t complicated, there are some things you can do to make the most of the space to keep the items you have under the lid colder longer. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to keep more things cool and for longer than you would if you took a more informal approach.

In this video, Mercury Pro Team member Capt. George Gozdz, host of Unfathomed and full-time fishing guide, demonstrates how he goes about packing his YETI® cooler for a day on the water.

Here are Gozdz’s recommendations:

  • Get the balance right: Observing a 2/3-to-1/3 ice to contents ratio in your cooler will help to ensure that all your things stay cool for the maximum amount of time.

  • Crushed versus cubed: While you certainly can use either variety, the increased surface area of crushed ice helps liquids to cool faster than crushed.

  • Start at the bottom: By placing ice packs on the bottom, you’ll have the perfect platform for keeping things cool from the bottom up.

  • Air is your enemy: Air compromises the cooling efficiency of your cooler. When you fully pack your cooler, you help cool everything inside that much more.

  • Mitigate the effects of melting: No one wants to eat a soggy sandwich, so to help prevent that tragedy, keep your food in sealable containers.

  • Avoid direct sunlight: Keeping your cooler out of direct sunlight and in the shade will help keep your things cooler longer.

  • When ice is at a premium: If ice is in short supply, you can supplement it by including frozen beverage bottles. The added benefit of this approach is that when it comes time to hydrate, you’ll have an ice-cold beverage at the ready.

Now all you need to do is make sure you’ve filled your cooler with enough good food and drinks for your day on the water.

For more great boating and fishing advice from Gozdz, visit or check out the Unfathomed YouTube page. You can also follow Gozdz on Facebook and Instagram.

YETI is a registered trademark of YETI Coolers, LLC. All other trademarks belong to Brunswick Corporation.

How to Pack a Cooler with George Gozdz
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