I want a cooler, to take camping, that I can throw in the lake, since I don’t have access to a steady supply of ice.
I realize I could MacGiver something, (I’m imagining a large plastic drum with a removable lid and a water tight seal, on a rope. I could always add a weight to keep it from bobbing about on the surface.), but I was wondering if such a thing exists already. What’s it called?
In that case, wouldn’t a really large camping thermos suffice? Get those itty travel-sized condiment packages, and use a really big soup thermos. They’re designed to be liquid-tight, and usually made of metal, so they shouldn’t float*, and most have handles on the side or top that could be fitted with a rope.
I’m a little confused. Is the water cold? Do you want to use the water as your source of cold, instead of ice? Then you don’t want a cooler or an insulated anything, or it will keep the cool out. You want a gallon ziploc with a rope tied around it.
Pelican cases come in a variety of sizes from small wallet sizes for cameras, phones, and first aid kits to laptop seized cases, to really large cases for larger equipment, electronics and servers. They are used in a lot of outdoor industrial applications like mining and drilling. The military uses a lot of them.
I’m thinking it’s called “a five gallon bucket with a lid”. You don’t need insulation if you’re keeping it in a cool environment. Note that for any reasonably sized container, you’re going to need a lot of weight. If I’m interpreting Archimede’s principle correctly, a five gallon container is going to displace around 40 pounds of water. So maybe five 1 gallon buckets with screw lids and some 10lb weights might be a better way to go.
I’d be worried that if you actually managed to sink a 5 gallon bucket, the weight/pressure of the water on the sidewalls would deform it enough to pop the lid. It might be worth a ‘dry’ run first.
How long are you planning to be out on the water for? If it’s only going to be a couple of hours I don’t see the problem with an Igloo cooler and loading it up before hand with ice. Also, you could use those blue icepacks, solid ice (fill half gallon milk jugs with water and freeze them) or dry ice, all of which would last much longer then ice cubes.
ETA, the other thing I’d be worried about is that the lake water isn’t going to be all that cold. I think even if you just filled a regular cooler with your food/drinks and topped it off with ice, it’s going to stay colder then not using any ice and relying on lake water to keep everything cold for you. I’ve never had a problem with an Igloo cooler filled with ice, out in the sun all day keeping things cold.
How cold is the water where you’re going? 60F / 15C water feels plenty cold on the hand (or 'nads!) , but storing mayo at that temp is a recipe for ptomaine, not for fun. Even though you’re a hardy Canadian, I strongly doubt you’re going boating in 45F / 7C water which is about the recommended temp for keeping refrigerated goods. A typical insulated cooler packed with plenty of ice or blue ice will keep pre-cooled food safer longer than immersion in 50F / 10C water will.
Now *if *you’re really talking about early planning for some ice fishing next winter, I withdraw my objections.
Assuming the water really is cold enough (<45F / 7C), you want the water to touch as much of your food (containers) as possible. And you want as little insulation as possible. A plain old net bag or a chicken-wire fish/bait basket is ideal. It doesnt’ trap air and it securely holds your stuff.
This will work for the things which are already in waterproof packages like a mayo jar. Eggs are in individual water-proof packages called egg shells, so there’s not much challenge there. A half-full tub of mayo will be a problem; the air wants out & the water wants in. One or two layers of ziplocks with as much air pressed out as possible will probably do the trick. Less air means better cooling and also less buoyancy. If the whole thing wants to float, add a brick or two; it won’t be that buoyant if you’ve wrapped things correctly. Hint: a full mayo jar sinks better than one 80% empty.