As you are packing for your next hike you got your water and gear ready and then you remember to bring an extra treat for the trail. However, once you are two hours into your hike, it is hot and you sit down for a break to grab your candy. The worst thing happens. Its completely melted. There’s nothing worst than looking forward to taking a bite out of your candy only to find out its melted, so how do you stop your candy from melting on your next hike?
You can prevent your candy from melting by packing it in either an insulated food container, an insulated water bottle, a insulated lunch bag, or a backpack cooler. These options will help keep your candy at a more constant temperature that isn’t impacted by the outside temperature.
I’ve been there before where you reach to grab your candy bar and its a soft gooey mess, it can be frustrating. I remember on a hot summer hike I packed a snickers bar hoping to eat it in the middle of my hike for a quick energy boost only to see my snickers bar was more like a melted caramel fudge. Over the years I’ve learned what helps stopping candy from melting and we will go over the pros and cons of four ways you can have solid candy to enjoy on your next hike.
4 Ways to Stop Your Candy From Melting On Your Hikes
Insulated Lunch Bag
Your first option to prevent your candy from melting is to bring an insulated lunch bag. To get this to work you should also bring frozen ice packs to help maintain a cool temperature. The insulated walls of the lunch bag combined with the cold temperatures from the ice packs will help maintain a cool environment so your candy doesn’t melt.
Pros and Cons of a Lunch Bag
Using a lunch bag and ice packs are easy and simple to use. The pros of using a lunch bag and ice packs is that it is relatively inexpensive. You can purchase the smaller sized lunch packs that pack well into your backpack. Another pro of using a lunch bag is the extra space. You can pack other things such as a sandwich, fruit and other candy to bring along for your trip.
There are some drawbacks to think about for using a lunch bag. The main drawback of using lunch bags is the extra weight you need to carry from the ice packs. Depending on the size of the ice packs they can add many pounds to your pack. Another downside is that once the ice starts melting there can be some condensation leaking through the zippers if there isn’t a good seal. Something else to keep in mind is that using a lunch bag compared to the other three options will likely provide the least amount of insulation. If you are going on a long trip by the end of the day your ice will likely be completely thawed, so this idea is only suggested for short day hikes.
Insulated Food Container
Your next option is the future upgrade to a lunch bag. Insulated food containers are a great choice as they will keep cold things cold and hot things hot for hours and hours. The design of insulated food containers helps maintain a relatively constant temperature for a long period of time. The walls of the insulated food containers help trap the inside temperature and prevent any loss of heat or coldness all while keeping the outside temperatures out.
Using an insulated food container to keep your candy cool is simple. To start off you should make the inside of the food container very cold by filling it up with ice and cold water. After its filled up let it sit for at least an hour so that the cold transfers to the walls of the container. After at least one hour dump the water and ice and dry the inside. From here if your candy fits while wrapped placed it in there, if not break up your candy into pieces and place it in a zip lock bag to put inside the food container. Your candy will be stored in a cool environment for the duration of your hike. When its time to eat your candy will not be melted.
Pros and Cons of a Insulated Food Container
There are many benefits of using an insulated food container. The first benefit is the relatively small size. Food containers are small and lightweight. Since the inner walls and design of the containers help keep it cool then you don’t need to bring any ice or ice packs, thus lowering the weight of your pack. Another benefit is that you know that your container will keep it cold for many hours depending on the temperature ratings. Insulated food containers will work well for longer days and longer trips.
There are a few downsides to think about using these types of containers. Carrying insulated food containers can be uncomfortable due to the shape and the material being metal. Most insulated food containers will not fit into the exterior side pockets of a pack so you will likely have to put it inside your backpack. The edges of the food container can poke against your back as you hike, so remember to wrap it in a jacket. Another downside of the food containers is the awkward shapes. You will likely have to break apart your candy in order to put it inside, so if you want a whole candy bar then this option probably won’t work for you.
Insulated Water Bottle
Your third option to keep your candy solid and cool is to use an insulated water bottle. The same idea applies as the insulated food containers except you’re rethinking what to put inside a bottle designed for water. First you want to cool down the inner walls so fill it up with ice and cold water and let it sit for at least an hour. After an hour dump the water and ice and dry the insides and place your candy inside. The design of food containers and insulated bottles is pretty much identical, the only thing that is different is the form factor and the marketing.
Pros and Cons of a Insulated Water Bottle
The pros of an insulated water bottle is its lightweight design. You won’t need to carry much extra weight to help prevent your candy from melting. Most insulated water bottles will keep things feeling cold for a few hours. Another benefit is you can store your bottle on the side pockets of your pack for quick and easy access. Since water bottles are tall you can fit an entire candy bar vertically inside the bottle so no need to break your candy apart.
The cons of using an insulated water bottle is the limited space you will have. You will likely only be able to fit one or two candy bars max. Another downside to using an insulated water bottle is if you only have one then you will have to decide between bringing a cold beverage or having non-melted candy, unless you buy another.
The fourth option to stop your candy from melting is to use a backpack cooler. A backpack cooler is designed to have the main storage compartment as a cooler so you can bring your candy, fruit, drinks and much more. Just place in some ice packs and your candy and you’re good to go. There are also other pockets so you can store your other things.
Pros and Cons of Using a Backpack Cooler
The pros of using a backpack cooler to prevent melted candy is that you have a large area to bring many other food and drinks on your next hike. You can keep all that you bring nice and cool and still have space to bring your hiking essentials. The backpack coolers are easy to use as you just need to bring some ice packs and pack your candy and other food items.
The cons of a backpack cooler is the extra cost. Backpack coolers can get pretty pricey depending on which brand you buy. Another downside of backpack coolers is needing to carry the extra weight of ice packs. The idea of carrying more food and drinks is great until you are making your way up a switchback on a hot day.
Being able to eat your candy in the middle of the trail and not having to worry about it melting is a wonderful gift. The days of eating melted candy are over. You now have four options to choose from with lunch bags, insulated food containers, insulated bottles, or a backpack cooler. Each option will help keep your candy cool and prevent it from melting.
You now also know the pros and cons of each option so you can choose what works best for you. As you go on more hikes and test out some of the options you will be able to bring other food and snacks to be able to enjoy out on the trail. Enjoy taking a bite of your candy on your next hike!