Getting yourself a large freezer gel pack can make your life a lot easier when it comes to traveling with foods and treating injuries. The biggest difference between gel ice packs and normal ice packs is that when frozen the gel packs are still soft almost like a thick gel while still being just as cold as normal ice. This makes them incredibly useful in many situations where a hard block of ice is not. You should also check out refrigerated shipping boxes, large freezer bags and dry ice shipping boxes.
How Freezer Gel Packs Work
The gel in these handy freezable gel packs is made from a mixture of a non-freezing alcohol and water with food dye often added in for coloring to warn people off drinking them. While the water molecules freeze, the alcohol ones do not and when they are mixed it causes the frozen fluid to form a soft gel rather than a hard block of ice. Some packs are softer than others and this is determined by the alcohol to water ratio in the pack.
Uses for Freezer Gel Packs
The advantages of a soft gel pack quickly become apparent when you use it for one of it’s intended purposes. The main uses are for cooling injuries and for keeping food and beverages cool. Because the gel is soft it can easily be wrapped around a sprained ankle and they can also be slid between food items to keep them cool without bruising delicate items. A single gel pack can even be used for both purposes; just put one in with your food to keep it cool and if someone injures themselves you will always have one handy. This multi-purpose design makes them extremely popular for travelling or for sporting events. The best injuries to use a gel pack are ones that require icing but also need gentle care like bruises, muscle damage and sprained ankles or wrists. Simply wrapping the pack in a piece of cloth and wrapping it around the injury can greatly reduce the damage and speed up recovery.
The Best Places to Buy Freezer Gel Packs
You can buy different types of gel freezer packs from different places. Some may have slight design differences including the size and hardness of the frozen gel and this is because they may be optimized for different purposes. The best ones for injuries are available at sporting supplies stores since this is their main purpose for these customers. Ones for lunches are typically found in super markets and home wares sellers. Finally, combined packs are usually found at travel supplies stores because travellers need them to be suitable for both treating injuries and for keeping foods cool. If you want to save a bit of money you can also look online for different types of pack and it is possible to get some really cheap ones through sites like eBay.
Making You Own Gel Freezer Packs
If you know exactly what you want and want to try making it yourself then it is not actually that hard to make your own gel packs. Start off by gathering everything you will need beforehand as you will need to work reasonably quickly. To begin with you will need a strong and waterproof plastic bag that you can safely seal (permanently is better). Go with the thickest plastic material as you can find as you do not want it to bust. A perfect material is the bags used for vacuum sealing, especially the ones that are melted shut. Once you have this you will only need some water, rubbing alcohol and a bright food dye. Mix the alcohol in a ratio of three parts water to one parts alcohol. This will make the firmest gel so you can experiment with adding more alcohol for a softer gel. Once you have the desired mixture add in the dye and give it a good stir. Now you want to add the mixture to the bag quickly as the alcohol will evaporate quite quickly leaving you with an overly hard gel. Try to only fill the bag to half way or three quarters, as the gel will expand a bit when it gets cold. Before sealing try to push as much air out so that the gel can expand freely without bursting the bag. Seal it up and you have your own cheap and easy large freezer gel packs.