My Dad Was An Ice Addict

Camping calls for a good portable cooler and ice. Lots of ice.


Gidday RVers! Just recently I’ve been thinking about a cold beer, in fact I’m thinking about one right now. I know where I get it from, my Dad, he loved an ice cold beer; in fact, he still does.

But nowadays they are much easier to come by, what with your home-size fridge in your solar-powered caravan, your plug-in electric eskies and your cars with refrigerated glove boxes. Ice-cold anythings are everywhere, but not back in the day.

When I was a kid and we went away on holidays, I remember all the fuss and time spent getting the ice, not the crushed bags of party ice available nowadays in every servo. No, my Dad was after a great, big block of the stuff, the size of a two-door Datsun 1600. And we would make a special trip to the Ballarat ice works to get it.

eskyThe bloke there would pick it up with a pair of giant metal pincers while my dad would be asking him helpful stuff like, “Cold enough for ya?” Or, “How’s your brass monkey going?” (As a kid I was very impressed; I thought that the guy actually had a brass monkey. Only years later did I discover that the gentleman’s work environment had rendered said monkey incomplete).

The icing-up ritual was very important to the trip, as beer and caught fish demanded a below-zero storage environment. Needless to say, not many fish were caught, so that left more room for beer. So as you can imagine, the ice box was a crucial piece of equipment, and over the years we had the very best. I know this because I still have them all.

So sit back, grab a frosty out of your new-fangled electric cool store, and peruse these little beauties…