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  1. #41

    Default Ice, Where Is It?

    First time out on the road camping in many, many years. My road trip covered Maryland to Santa Barbara and back, via I-70 to Missouri and then southern/central Kansas, southern Colorado to NW Colorado, south to Flagstaff and west to the greater LA area (staying with friends) and north of Santa Barbara (camping for 3 days). Return was mostly via I-40 from northern LA to Oklahoma City and then NE to Missouri and I-70 most of the way back to Baltimore.

    Block ice just is NOT out there like it used to be. Not in the MidWest and Plains states and not in the SW and California. Not once did I find block ice... in grocery stores, department stores (e.g., large WalMarts), gas stations, anywhere. Not in various campground stores.

    Dry ice is not as common as just 10 years ago when it used to be widespread in the Plains and Western states. When I did find dry ice, coupling about 4 lbs with a 10 lb bag of cubed ice would usually do the job for about 3 to 4 days.

    Left home with a mix of 4 frozen half-gallon/full gallon bottles of water for cooler cooling and drinking water. Also another four gallons of water for cooking/coffee/drinking, as some areas simply have awful tasting water (and I use these for post-surf rinses as well). These frozen containers of ice took care of me for the first 3 to 4 days on the road.

    Wonder if fishing/hunting stores will have block ice? Or it that mostly a thing of the past.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Keeping food fresh.

    Quote Originally Posted by landmariner View Post

    Left home with a mix of 4 frozen half-gallon/full gallon bottles of water for cooler cooling and drinking water. Also another four gallons of water for cooking/coffee/drinking, as some areas simply have awful tasting water (and I use these for post-surf rinses as well). These frozen containers of ice took care of me for the first 3 to 4 days on the road.

    Wonder if fishing/hunting stores will have block ice? Or it that mostly a thing of the past.
    We did a similar thing. When camping with our five children, we had a large cooler, froze all our meat and a dozen quart cartons of milk. By only opening the cooler once or twice a day it kept us going for a week - in summer. On longer holidays we used dry ice in the cooler, which kept everything for a fortnight's trip.

    Lifey

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,717

    Default

    The last time we found block ice it was in a convenience store near a state park. That was about 4 or 5 years ago. For the most part I haven't seen it anywhere in a long time either.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,649

    Default

    This past summer, I checked several stores in our area, and found NO block ice. During our last long trip (2014), every time we bought ice, I looked for block ice, but there was never any availability. We had changed that part of our travel style, because of the lack of block ice. My husband and I commented more than once, we were glad that we were no longer tent-camping, as we had relied on block ice in the 80s and early 90s when we camped.


    Donna

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,104

    Default

    You won't find block ice in stores any more, you have to go to an ice distributor. Go to yp.com and search for block ice near your location.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,722

    Default

    I still find block ice in stores from time to time. There were several places I was able to buy it while traveling in Canada over the summer, but I'll still see it in the US too once in a while.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,649

    Default

    I just tried yp.com for my area. The sites I was led to, brought me to wholesale (gotta buy 100 lbs or more at once, no thanks), a store for clothing (obviously, a wrong website address), an ice sculptor (nice, but definitely not what I was looking for). Not one place was selling block ice by the ordinary 10 or 20 lb block to a retail customer, nor did they have places listed that sold their product.

    Sigh.....


    Donna

  8. #48

    Default

    Looks like the thread was revitalized by a spammer, ha!

    I've been going on annual road trips every year since 2015, every other year being some form of a coast-to-coast from Maryland to Central Coastal California and back. "Refrigeration" is a big deal as at least half of the trip is usually van camping. The other two trips were a New England/Canada (Quebec province) to Ohio and back to Maryland swing and the other a Rocky Mountain trip of sorts.

    After the "ice trials" of the 2015, not being able to find dry or block ice, I did more intensive research and was able to find a handy on-line too by Penguin, which has a presence is a large number of states:
    https://penguindryice.com/where-to-buy-dry-ice/

    New England and Canada (Quebec Province) does not have much of a Penguin presence but I was able to find some dry ice companies, just not reliably, despite doing my research in advance of the trip. Doing some research is helpful as you might find some at a destination 25 miles along the route but then not again for 800 miles (aka days and days if camping/boarding along the way). Fortunately, block ice was more prevalent in the region.

    One also learns that certain grocery chains are more likely to carry dry ice, although there might be variation across state lines: Meijer, Hy-Vee and Smart & Final. Safeway often had dry ice supplies as well.

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