Cooler for Winter Camping

The first time we went winter camping on our own, one of the guys brought along a cooler.  My brother and I looked at each other.  Why in the heck would you bring a cooler when it’s going to be below zero for 99% of the trip?  Wrong again!  The cooler made more sense than we thought.  Since we pull much of our gear in behind us on “pulks,” and since a plastic cooler is quite light weight, it made a handy and organized food pantry, and was a stable load strapped to the sled.  It also was the most popular camp stool at the fire and a handy preparation table at meal time.  Another thing I didn’t think of was this:  something that insulates the heat out will also insulate the heat in.  Fruit, vegetables, butter, and other items that you don’t want frozen can be kept thawed out in your cooler.  A small rock warmed in the fire and wrapped in cloth serves as the countertype to last summer’s hunk of ice.