Dirtbag cooler

I arrived in Booneville KY today at 11:30AM after cycling a fairly easy 20 miles from Buckhorn. My legs have been telling me to ease up a little bit, and I’m listening. After a 95 mile day followed by a 50 mile day on some really hilly terrain, I’m sore, but still feel good. 

So, I got here today anticipating on using the public library computers and catching up on this blog and grad school applications. I have so many ideas of what to write but just lack the will to sit still at a library and get it done. I’m thinking today is perfect.

 But… the library closed at noon so I’m doing the next logical thing. Drinking beer. It’s also hot as hell out here so I need to keep these brews cold for the long haul. Ever been in my situation? Stuck outside, behind a church trying to keep a slow buzz to make the day go by a little quicker? Well, I have a solution derived from mild desperation. Biking makes you smart.

Lay out your sleeping pad and tarp like so. Place your beer and cold snacks on top. If you have an inflatable pad, put just a little air in and make sure you can still roll it up.

Roll that bad boy up like a burrito.

Tuck it in tight. Voila! You have yourself a dirt bag cooler. 

Want to know the basic science? 

Most closed cell foams and sleeping pads are insulating. Meaning they keep the cold in and the hot out, vice versa – basically they don’t allow heat to pass easily through. They also generally have a reflective coating on top (like mine) or inside (inflatables). You want this reflective coating facing the cool surface to keep it cool longer. But without the tarp to seal it all in, this insulating value would be nothing. Because air readily transfers heat, any air blowing across your brews would be bringing them to an undrinkable temperature in no time. Some workable air barriers are basic nylon tarps (like mine), silicone-nylon “sil-nylon” tarps or bags, or thick rubberized stuff sacks. Basically, If you surround your insulating material with an air barrier, you have a cooler. If you do it like me – you have a dirtbag cooler. 
Thanks for reading.

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