Your cooler can make or break any camping trip, or even that 12-story-high rooftop cookout. Can’t keep ice? Good luck fishing for dinner. Oh, did you say you liked that hard-earned Saturday afternoon beer served warm? No? Well, that’s how you’re getting it. Of course, ice retention is only half the battle. Whether you’re in the backwoods or at your urban hideout, quality food and drinks — such as craft peanuts and award-winning lagers – add to a much-welcomed reprieve. It’s the little things that count.
Keep it Local
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
This Vienna Lager is inspired by tradition and lagered to perfection with Dark Munich, Pilsner, and Vienna malts. It’s a four-time medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. It’s amber in color and rich in flavor but not bitterness: an easy drinker that’s perfect for hot summer days spent outside.
Keep it Craft
Route 11 Potato Chips
Back in 1992, before Slow Food was a thing, Route 11 set up shop in the Shenandoah Valley with a singular mission: to make real potato chips with real ingredients. Every bag is a combination of four variables — locally grown potatoes, expeller-pressed sunflower oil, unrefined salt, and a dash of seasoning.
Hubs Virginia Peanuts
Though there exist many kinds of peanuts — Georgia Runners, Valencias — there’s only one Virgina varietal, which, thanks to its large size and crunchy texture, has been dubbed the “Cadillac” of the peanut industry.
King’s Famous Barbecue Sauce
King’s Barbecue, based in Petersburg, Virginia, has been whipping up this ketchup- and apple-vinegar-based sauce for more than 70 years. Now available for purchase online, it pairs well with just about everything, including pork, beef, and even seafood.
Milton’s Local Bacon Sausages
Milton’s Local is the proud Virginian purveyor of locally sourced “clean meat” that’s free of antibiotics, hormones or steroids. That means you don’t have to feel guilty about having a couple bacon sausages, available in two flavors — “Bell Pepper and Onion” and “Chipotle and Cilantro.”
Rugged and Portable
Yeti Tundra 45 Hard Cooler
The 45 Tundra is one of Yeti’s best-selling coolers for a reason. It’s small enough for one person to carry, but still features all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a Yeti-branded ice box: a dry goods basket, non-slip feet, UV resistance and, most importantly, two inches of pressure-injected insulation for days of ice retention.