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I have a nearby river running through my yard. In a SHTF situation, would it be a good idea to have a large cooler of some sort to plop down in the river to keep drinks and foods cool? I'm interested in your ideas on such a thing. I just started thinking into today so anything you come up with, I would like to hear as I haven't had time to put too much thought into my idea just yet!


Thanks guys and gals!
 

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I hadn't thought of this before actually....maybe because I don't have a river/stream/creek nearby. Back when I was in college though, I lived in a town that a nice river ran through. For fun in the summers, we would float the river with a cooler full of beer. We had a tube with a deep bottom in it, that we would secure the ice chest in. We would of course put a bit of ice in the cooler but not much. The flowing river kept the beer pretty cold. So I would say that it is a good idea, in the event that the water source near you has a low temperature. In some places, the weather doesn't get that cold, so neither does the water. Also, if it is a shallow stream, your results won't be as great.
 

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Liberty or Death!!!!
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It would depend on the temperature of the river. Remember, food needs to be kept below 40 degrees to prevent food born bacteria. If the river is below that temp, then definitely put it to use with keeping your food in it. Remember to secure it good cause fishes etc. might want to help themselves to it.
 

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I don't think many rivers in the south get that cold, even during the winter. If they do, it is just barely. Maybe this would work better for someone in a colder atmosphere than me.
 

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Check the temperature of the water with a thermometer, also won't the cooler insulate the contents from the water's temperature decrease?
 

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When we go trout fishing have kept beer and sodas cold by tossing them in a mesh laundry bag, and let them float in the water.

Mountain streams tend to stay plenty cold (especially ones that are runoff of melting snow further up in elevation), but I cannot imagine that any other body of water would do a great job of cooling food for preservation.
 

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When I was a kid, I remember what was called "Spring Houses" These were small buildings with troughs running through them that were fed by a cold water spring. If you have a cold water spring on your property, build a small Spring House for your cooling needs.
 

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When I was a kid, I remember what was called "Spring Houses" These were small buildings with troughs running through them that were fed by a cold water spring. If you have a cold water spring on your property, build a small Spring House for your cooling needs.
That's pretty cool. Where did you grow up?
 

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Old hillbilly
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When I was a kid, I remember what was called "Spring Houses" These were small buildings with troughs running through them that were fed by a cold water spring. If you have a cold water spring on your property, build a small Spring House for your cooling needs.
Here in the Ozarks, there are still a few people that use a spring house. My uncle used to use a cave on his property to store milk before it was picked up by the dairy. If you go for a springhouse, remember the smaller and better insulated, the better. My grandparent's was about 4 feet square.
 

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Crazy snake chick
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If you can find a deep enough groundwater spring that seeps up, even in Florida it can get pretty cold. I've never tested the temperatures in them with a thermometer, but I've been to several that are so cold, if you swim in them for too long you'll start shivering and your extremeties will loose feeling, even in the height of a Florida summer! However, most of those tend to be very large springs, such as the ones at Silver Springs, and there's another that was made into a pool and is miserably cold, but I forget the name of it. I've even used shallow flowing creeks from a groundwater spring to keep a bottle of water refreshingly cold while I was out hiking.

Bottom line is that water maintains temperatures far longer than air or land...the deeper the water, the cooler it is. Still, for food storage, I'd want to test it with a thermometer inside a cooler, first. Unfortunately, the cooler will insulate very well against external temperature change. You might need to suspend the cooler underwater with the cooler open for a while, to get the plastic and insulation cold, then bring it up and put the food in it after emptying it, just to get the temperature down quicker.
 

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Semper Fi
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If you have the inclination and ambition you could dig a shallow brick lined cistern say 10-15 foot deep a few feet from the river even if you don't hit water the water from river should seep in. Old timers use to keep hay switchel (a molasses based drink) in wells to keep them cool. I fairly certain you should obtain a temperature of at least 56 degrees or less. 56 degrees is usually the average temperature of caves and the mean temperature of the earth. Having helped dig a friends water well next to a creek I can truthfully attest to the adage "Colder then a well diggers bottom" (bottom was substituted for original word):D
 
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