How to Keep Beer Cold While Camping

No matter what, chances are that you can’t resist extra cold beer on a hot summer day. There is nothing better than just relax and sip your favorite beer, chatting with good friends, and gathered around the campfire. A mood breaker comes in, and you’ve found out that the sun heated your beer. You’ve realized too late that you’ve forgotten to store your beer somewhere in the shade. So, the question is – how to keep beer cold while camping?

We always carry beer while going on a camping trip (usually we miss the calculation), and too many times our beer was too hot to enjoy. Since we’ve just got out of university, we don’t have money to invest in a portable fridge, but we were destined to use our imagination. 

Here are our favorite and quick tips to keep your beer cold, no matter where you’re camping. 

1) Find a stream of water 

River stream

You have to approach your camping preparation strategically and check your surroundings before deciding where to set a campsite. Go to GoogleMaps, and start exploring your surroundings. Find out a solid terrain near the river or lake, and you have a nice camping spot where your beers won’t get hot.

Once you’ve set up everything, just put your beers in a plastic bag and dig a stick in the ground near the water. Tie the bag with the beers and put the bag in the river. Ta-da! Congratulations, you’re going to have a nice cold beer. 

Don’t forget to check your beer here and there, especially if the stream has stronger currents. If you’re looking for fast-pitching tents, we can’t recommend more looking at backpacking budget tents. These allow you to experiment and try various camping spots during your trip.

2) Dig your beer in the ground

That may sound a bit odd, but the ground beneath the surface enjoys lower temperatures. Always be sure to go camping with, at least, a portable shovel and ax. Find a dark ground that is not exposed to sun all day long. If you can find an old log laying on the ground, that’s perfect! Just remove everything from the ground and dig a hole not deeper than 30 cm

Usually, on festivals, we saw many people digging their beers near the bushes since the bush provides the shade all day long. Just make sure to remember the place you’ve put your beers. 

3) Scotsman method (bring an extra t-shirt with you)

So far, this is the most effective method to keep your beer ice cold while camping, even during the hottest days. The method works best if it’s windy, but you can cool your beer without it too. 

First of all, you should have a spare t-shirt that you’re ready to destroy. Dip the t-shirt in cold water (bring some frozen water), and wrap it around your beers. Find a dark and wet spot, usually near the bush, and store your beers there. Come back after 30 minutes and you’ll enjoy your cool beer. 

Have in mind that you won’t have an ice-cold beer, but it’s better than nothing. 

PRO TIP: Bring cans instead of bottles. Can are smaller, more portable, and not fragile as bottles. The last thing you want is the glass bottle to break in your backpack.

4) Stick it in the snow

Stick your beer in snow

Yes, you’ve heard it right. Some people go camping during winter. It’s not our thing, but we have a friend who camped in Switzerland in December. 

It’s the most obvious way to cool your beer – just stick it in the snow and wait a bit. We recommend you getting the beer out of the snow after 30 minutes as it’s not a pleasure to drink a cold beverage in winter. Not for us at least. 

5) Bring a drink cooler or cooler bag

Portable cooler

If you’re planning to transport your camping gear in a car, then having a drink cooler is an awesome way to keep your beers cold. We love to pack our bicycles, and just crash somewhere, so for us, having a drink cooler is too much. A cooler bag is our choice to keep everything, beer, or food at cool temperatures even through multiple days. 

Stuff your cooler or bag with ice, put your beers in, and store everything in the shade. Enjoy a cool beer. If you don’t have ice, then you can just store your drinks in the cooler or bag, and move it in the shade. It will work too. 

When buying a drink cooler or icebox, don’t go for the cheapest option. The main reason is the seal quality which will make a whole difference in how long your drinks will be cold. 

Camping is awesome, as there is a possibility you won’t be alone and you can always share the costs while getting a new camping gear. 

6) Camp at higher altitude

Camping at high altitudes

The higher you go, the colder it gets. If you’re seriously into hiking, then climbing to any summit higher than 2,000m will do the work. Just enjoy the surrounding nature and open your eyes to spot a nice camping spot. Forget about your beers. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be surprised how cold are your beers. 

Just be sure to pick a few layers of clothes as the temperatures are way lower on higher ground. Your goal is to keep your body warm and your beer cold. The only thing you should be aware of while camping at higher altitudes is strong winds. We wrote the article explaining the key aspects of pitching a tent during high winds.

Preparation is the key!

Never go on a camping trip unprepared. Create your own camping checklist and go through all the things a few times. Plan your camping spot beforehand, and analyze your surroundings through Google Maps. If you’re really want to keep your beer cold, then invest in a portable drink cooler and you’re never going to drink that warm beer again. If you can’t get the idea of keeping the beer cold, make yourself a favor and charge your phone while camping so you’re always able to find the information.

Drink responsibly and don’t leave a trace behind you. The rule of camping is – leave your camping spot in the same condition as you’ve found it. Cans are lighter, so it will be easier for you to transport it back, especially if you’re hiking or on a bicycle. 

And remember – nothing is worse than a warm beer (especially on a hot summer day). 


We’d like to ask you how do you keep your beer cold while camping? Share your thoughts and experiences below. 

About Antonio

I’m Antonio, a passionate traveler, and outdoor lover who’s running this website. I started this site to share my passion for camping, traveling, and bikepacking.

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