Continuing with our common camping questions, here is another one that will give you an almost 50/50 split when you poll your friends. As the hours and days pass, your cooler filled with ice slowly but surely gets replaced with water. Is it better to drain this water out or keep it? From a pure physics perspective, it is better to leave the water in unless it is making the items in the cooler soggy or you have to carry it around a lot and you want it lighter.
Don’t drain cold water – Water from just-melted ice keeps contents cold almost as well as ice and preserves the remaining ice much better than air space. Drain the water only when necessary for convenient removal of cooler contents or before adding more ice.
During use, it is not necessary to drain the cold water from recently melted ice unless it is causing contents to become soggy. The chilled water, combined with ice, more readily surrounds canned and bottled items and will often help keep contents colder more effectively than the remaining ice alone.
Why You Should Not Drain Out the Water
- Water makes better contact with all your food items keeping everything bathed in coldness
- The more cold water you have the more energy the outside environment must exert to warm up your food.
- Once all the ice is melted the water continues to act a a heat sink