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Cold drinks in the bush

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There is nothing better than an ice-cold beer or drink after a warm day in the veld - but is almost undrinkable if it is lukewarm. What do you do to get them cold quickly? Firstly, don’t even think to put them in the freezer, that takes too long to get cold.

  • If ice is available, put the bottles or tins in a container, preferably insulated and cover with the ice. Then throw a couple of handful of salt over the ice. Wait a minute or two and then throw water in to cover the top of the bottles or tins. If there is more ice at hand, put another layer of ice with salt on top. Wait for about ten minutes and see, ice cold drinks ready to quench an intense thirst.

  • If you are really so desperate for refreshments and you do not worry about cost, the next method will work faster and better.

  • Put the bottles or tins in a container and then spray a big carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher empty over the drinks. It is not only very impressive but your drinks will also be ice-cold in a minute.

  • The very best idea is to put your drinks in the fridge early. If there is no fridge the following ideas might help to get your drinks cool but unfortunately not ice cold.

  • Bury your drinks in wet sand or place it in a flowing stream or a deep water pool. Just remember where you buried it or make sure it cannot wash away.

  • Evaporation usually leads to cooling. Those old canvas water bags that were hanging in front of the vehicle to cool, is a very good example of the phenomenon. Here is a variation of the principle:

    Look for a tree where the wind is blowing. Now place your drinks in a jute bag. The opening of the bag must hang loosely. Wet the whole caboodle properly with water then hang it on the tree. Fill another container with water and hang it next to the bag – a big bucket or a 20 liter drum, cut open, will work well. Place the opening of the bag as deep as possible in the water container. The water will slowly, through capillary action, flow from the container to the bag full of drinks and thus keep it wet.

  • Dr Wallace Vosloo is an Engineer and Scientist by profession. His family has lived in Africa since 1696 and he has a deep love for the continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallace’s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.

    Evaporation, driven on by wind, will cause that the bag and its contents, will cool down. Just remember to keep the bag filled up with water so that the bag stays wet, and exercise patience because the process is rather slow.


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