Worst-Case Wednesday: How To Keep Beverages Cool In The Desert

Posted by Hannah Frank

Every Wednesday, we offer advice and strategies to survive all of the most dire and urgent circumstances, as well as some of the more common scenarios we all deal with.

This week we've got an excerpt from The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Great Outdoors. Mad Max and Imperator Furiosa may live in a waterless desert, but that's no excuse for letting their beer get tepid! If only they had known these tricks for keeping beverages cool, maybe they could have just tipped back a few cold ones with Immortan Joe and talked out their issues. Well, probably not. At least you can beat that summer heat if you ever find yourself in the Sahara with a six-pack!

Step 1: Dig a hole.

The hole should be deep enough that the tops of the beverages will be at least 11/2 to 2 feet, and as far down as 4 to 5 feet below the surface. At about 2 feet below ground, the temperatures will be about 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the surface. At about 5 feet, the temperature of the earth is consistently 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Step 2: Wrap beverages in cloth.

Insulate beverages by wrapping them in a blanket, tarp, or extra clothing to help maintain their chill.


Step 3: Collect two flat boards.

Ideally, each board should be a foot longer and wider than the beverages. Allowing some air around the drinks adds a layer of cooling insulation. 


Step 4: Secure the beverages between the boards.

Use duct tape or rope to fasten the beverages between the boards.


Step 5: Tie a rope around the boards.

The rope should be at least 4 feet longer than the hole is deep. Tie one end of the rope securely around the boards. Tie a flag or a colorful piece of cloth to the other end of the rope. 


Step 6: Lower the beverages into the hole.


Step 7: Fill in the hole.

Keep the flag-end of the rope out of the hole so you will be able to find the spot where you buried the beverages when you're ready for a drink.


Step 8: Tie the flag to a stick.

Raise the flag off the ground on a post or stick so it will not be buried beneath a layer of sand if the desert winds kick up. Make a mental note of other landmarks in the area, such as large rocks, cacti, or other vegetation. 


BE AWARE: In the extreme desert heat, conserve your energy by performing physical labor at night. If you must work in the daylight, do so in the early morning and later afternoon, when the shadows are longest and you can take best advantage of the shade they afford. 

Hannah Frank

Hannah Frank

Hannah Frank is a creative writer, television aficionado, and cool ranch Doritos fan. She wishes she could live forever and is currently seeking advice on how to do so which does not include exercise, kale, or vampires.