Always travel with beer koozies

Beer Koozies are small foam sleeves that hold 12oz aluminum cans, perfect for keeping your beer cold when drinking in the desert. (Or keep your hands warm when grabbing a drink in the snow!) But they're also great little protectors and organizers on the go.

Koozie” is strictly a brand. I don't even know what the unincorporated name of the can sleeve is. I'm not going to look it up and I'm not going to start saying “can sleeve” so it's a lowercase K koozie. Australians call them “stubby holders.”

Anyway, some good news to get you started: These things are great for drinking beer in the backcountry, as I said, but they're also great for protecting and organizing the many personal electronic accessories you might be carrying with you on your travels. It is also useful for

Look how perfectly my Canon G7X Mark III vlogging camera fits into one. A couple penguins drive a scout there. Isn't it cute? I made this for my first wedding anniversary party. Full disclosure: This is a combination of “borrowed” designs. (It wasn't on sale, and they only made a very limited number, so I guess it's okay.)

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photograph: Andrew P. Collins

Move on. What about the Garmin InReach SE+ Satellite Communicator? How does it stay safe while being hit in the cab of a truck? Coolie again!

Image from article titled

photograph: Andrew P. Collins

Do you have a bigger camera? Some lenses fit perfectly.

Image from article titled

photograph: Andrew P. Collins

It's just a piece of junk I had sitting on my computer that I could reach with one arm. Koozies are cheap when you need to buy them, but they're often used as promotional items or party favors, so you probably won't buy them.

We know that many light travelers have given up on some technology accessories for iPhone apps, but for those of us who still carry specialized gear, it's hard to overstate the value of koozies. You can never do too much.

It also gives a certain social weight to those who always have a beer holder within reach. Story time!

I grew up in New England but spent my formative years in Australia. OK, what I'm trying to say is that after college, I was lucky enough to pay off my debt, buy a one-way ticket, live out of a backpack forever, and put Kerouac on everyone's butt. is.

Fast forward through some great and terrible times (remember the night shift at the frozen fish locker) and finally I met Magnus.

Magnus was one of the main mentors in my life and remains a great friend, but at first he was a mystery to me. Magnus is as imposing and grizzled as anyone living in suburban America might imagine of someone named Magnus. The Magnus I came to know was fierce, unflappable, and amiable at the same time.

When he introduced me to his lovely English wife and three beautiful daughters, they lived together in a barn full of dirt bikes. There was a generator in the barn, a warehouse for the facility, and there was a hole in the wall from that time, but he killed someone. Snake with a shotgun, I was even more confused.

I could write many pages about the year I spent leading off-road tours across Australia with Magnus, but for now I'd like to skip to the 'Stubby Holder' section.

Obviously, I immediately began to modestly admire Magnus and understand his habits. One of the things he taught me was the importance of always keeping beer as cold as scientifically possible. (One more thing I need to go back to is how I got the nickname “Ice Boy.”)

That being said, I often end up wearing bandoleers of koozies and find that I can use them to pack fragile items when I'm not holding beer.

Years later, when I returned to off-roading, This time in Baja and the American Southwest., I ended up being mentored by another mentor, a man named Ron, with whom I am still friends. And we learn that he has the same respect for Coogee as Magnus does. So was pretty much everyone in the desert racing scene.

Pulling out your own koozie by the campfire is a great way to get a subtle nod from the elders of the scene. On the contrary, recruiting your comrades into more “civilized” company is a great way to show everyone what a bad pirate you are. My wife's highly educated friends always laugh when I drink at bars downtown. I'm not going to deny that. I love how incredible they are.

At this point, just about every coat I own has a koozie stuffed into the pocket. You should too!

This article was originally published on January 21, 2020.

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