When you've been hiking or backpacking for hours, nothing tastes better than an ice-cold glass of water. I found this out the hard way when I went kayak camping on Lake Powell in Arizona a few years ago. Despite placing dry-ice in my cooler, my water was warm before my adventure was over.
Last week I went kayak camping on Navajo Canyon and Antelope Island on Lake Powell, this time I was ready! I did my research and settled on the Yeti Hopper 18 Flip as my cooler of choice. It’s an oversized lunch box style cooler that easily straps to the back of my kayak using bungee cords. I loaded it with ice, a frozen Yeti Ice 2 pound block, chicken salad, and several Nalgene bottles of water. Yeti Ice is designed to extend the length of time your "real ice" stays frozen in your Yeti cooler, not to take the place of ice.
After a parching 4-hour battle with the sun and every type of powered watercraft imaginable, I reached back and yanked out a bottle of partially frozen “heaven”. Ahhhh! I sat in my kayak dumbfounded that something as simple as water could taste so good.
On the very hottest days make sure you are strategic on how often and for how long you keep your cooler open. I needed my ice to last for three days so when I opened my Hopper I knew exactly what I was getting and where it was located.
On day two of my adventure, I did some exploring further down Navajo Canyon before packing up camp and heading back to Lake Powell. Paddling a kayak brings on a hefty appetite especially in challenging waters. I located a sliver of beach and landed my kayak between a pile of sandstone rocks. There, in the heat of the day, I enjoyed my homemade chicken salad sandwich chased down with some ice-cold water. The items in my Hopper were all still amazingly cold.
Day three found me packing up camp early to beat the array of motorboats in the main channel of Lake Powell. My morning water break found some of the ice in my Yeti had begun to melt resulting in ice water but it still kept my Nalgene refreshingly cold. I continued paddling about 7 miles back to the boat launch where my car was parked. After a few trips filled with dry bags and assorted gear, my trip on Lake Powell had come to an end.