View Full Version : Coolers

01-01-2005, 11:25 AM
I don't use coolers a lot, but when I do I use a cooler I got years ago from an outfitter named Moor & Mountain. This is a rectangular bag, ziptop on three sides with an Ensolite box loosely fitted inside, not sealed or bound at the edges. The material is the type of linen used in waterbags.

In use, soak the outer bag, dump in some ice, with your fresh foods on top in ziplock bags, zip closed. As the ice melts, the melt water soaks the linen, then evaporates, cooling the interior and slowing the ice melt.

There are several advantages to this cooler. First, it is flexible, allowing it to be shoved in odd corners. You don't end up with a cooler full of water with your stuff floating around in it. Since the melt water is wicked into the fabric, at most you have a slightly damp patch under the cooler not a lot of melt water running around. The ice lasts longer. With a half-bag of ice, I've had a bit of ice still in the cooler after 4 days in an Adirondack summer.

In sunlight, the bag cools quicker, but the ice doesn't last as long. In the shade, but open to the breeze, it's not quite as cool, but the ice lasts longer. Note: even in the summer when the days can be in the 80s, the nights can get to the 50s here which slows melting a lot.

I haven't seen this for sale in a long time, but one would be quite simple to make. The trick is finding the linen fabric.

Now that I think about it, I'm going to poke around to see if I can locate some of the linen used. If I come across any I'll let you know.

Ed T
01-01-2005, 12:45 PM

Is Moor & Mountain still around? I bought some gear from them back in the late 70's.

Ed T

01-01-2005, 02:32 PM
There is a company called Moor & Mountain, but either it isn't the same or they changed product lines. As I recall, I looked it up once and they sell ski gear and such.

01-01-2005, 08:35 PM
Ed, Ralph--

Ski gear seems to jibe with my recollection of that outfit too. Ski mountaineering, or perhaps mid-western Nordic?

01-02-2005, 03:13 AM
I have nothing against ski mountaineering, but too bad they changed (if it is the same outfit). They had some really good gear. In addition to my little cooler I also still have and wear a hat I got from them, an Italian alpine crusher. Roll it up and stick it into my pocket. Gives me a proper brim but I can fold it down around my ears and fit it under a parka hood in the winter. I probably have a few other odds and ends from them, too.

I grew up in rural northern NJ so it was easy to get into NYC. Spent a lot of time in the Museum of Natural History as well as the original Abercrombie & Fitch (fabulous gun room), David T. Abercrombie (premier expedition outfitter), Camp & Trail Outfitters and others. Didn't have the money to buy much, but was welcome at all those places. The owners and staff never begrudged a moment of the time spent with interested boys. That area of the city was not "New York" at all, but a miniature transplanted piece of the wilderness.

01-03-2005, 08:42 PM
I remember when there was an Abercrommbie & Fitch in downtown Chicago. I loved to go up there and look around. The gunsmith supposedly knew Elmer Keith and told some pretty funny stories about Elmer's drinking habits. I have no idea if they were true, but they were sure enjoyable to hear. Now, like Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie and Fitch is nothing more than a glorified blue jean shop.

I still have two original Eddie Bauer expedition grade down bags in near perfect shape. They've been used all over the place, but have certainly stood up to the test of time.

01-04-2005, 04:33 AM
Elmer was a colorful character, to say the least. I remember one article he wrote on a Remington 600 rebored to one of the really big magnums - don't recall which one. There was a photo sequence of the little carbine being fired before the muzzle brake was added. Shooting offhand, the guy had the forend torn from his grip and was forced back about two steps, barely hanging onto the rifle with his strong hand. Keith commented that he didn't find the recoil excessive.

I guess Elmer considered no recoil excessive that left him standing.

I just recently sold a Bauer Kara Khorum down parka I've worn off and on for 35 years. Bauer used to make good stuff.

01-04-2005, 06:26 AM

You can use mil surplus wool blankets (like the old canteens) instead of linen.