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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on where/how to get ice to store in an ice house long-term after SHTF? I really want to have a way to store dairy products and to keep ice for drinks since I really love my iced tea and ice water. They only way I can think of would be if generators can power a freezer long enough to produce ice. Even that would require a lot of freezes and hauling due to the size of the ice house. (I am assuming no electricity and conserving fuel for the generators as much as possible.)

I know the old-fashioned way was to chop ice from the rivers when they froze over. However, the river has never frozen over in my lifetime, although, apparently, it froze every winter during the 1800's as there are a few ice houses remaining in my area and historical references of them being filled each winter. Perhaps the lack of ice in my lifetime is a result of the changing climate.

In any case, I would like to use the existing ice house. It is about 30-40 ft deep and approximately 12 ft. in diameter with water piped into a trough in the bottom. I believe it has been empty since the early 1900's.
 

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Around here the old timers kept their dairy products in the spring house. They would put the milk bottles and butter in a pail, then semi submerge the pail in the cold spring water. About 40 degrees. That will retard spoilage for a couple of days.
 

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Since your rivers don't freeze, the only way is to freeze it besides refrigeration is to put out pots or containers of water during the coldest months, wait until it freezes, and store that.

Old-time icehouses would insulate the ice with sawdust, so merely getting the ice is only half the battle; keeping it in ice form is the other half.

In all honesty, unless all your other preps are already in place, I wouldn't be fooling with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since your rivers don't freeze, the only way is to freeze it besides refrigeration is to put out pots or containers of water during the coldest months, wait until it freezes, and store that.

Old-time icehouses would insulate the ice with sawdust, so merely getting the ice is only half the battle; keeping it in ice form is the other half.

In all honesty, unless all your other preps are already in place, I wouldn't be fooling with this.
Yes, my long-term food and other preps are already in place in various locations and have been for a few years. I also have a farm. I am now working on preps that just might make life easier but are not an absolute necessity.
 

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Cold drinks are a luxury for much of the world. Here is a thought. Get a non-working large chest freezer. Put 4" of insulation on the inside. With the freezer outside in the winter, open the lid on nights with it is below freezing. Close it in the morning. Store milk jugs of water in bottom of freezer to help maintain temps during the day. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Around here the old timers kept their dairy products in the spring house. They would put the milk bottles and butter in a pail, then semi submerge the pail in the cold spring water. About 40 degrees. That will retard spoilage for a couple of days.
The water which flows into the trough is cold and would keep food for a few days, I am sure. I also have another spring elsewhere on my property which is very cold and I could put a box in the spring to keep food cold there.

If I were to drink the water on the spot it would be cold enough. However, If I had to carry it to my house, on a hot day, it would be lukewarm by the time I got it there.
 

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Google "Crosley Icy Ball" kinda dangerous though, involves heating ammonia in a sealed container. Not a very good explanation, sorry.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cold drinks are a luxury for much of the world. Here is a thought. Get a non-working large chest freezer. Put 4" of insulation on the inside. With the freezer outside in the winter, open the lid on nights with it is below freezing. Close it in the morning. Store milk jugs of water in bottom of freezer to help maintain temps during the day. Just a thought.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am thinking that in the winter I could just sit drinks and food outside on my porch in a cooler. Spring and summer are the problems. Temperatures go into the 90's and low 100's.

I really am set in my ways when it comes to having ice for my drinks, although I know it is a luxury I could live without. I won't finish a glass of water or tea once the ice melts. If I am drinking tea from a bottle, I put it back into the refrigerator once it is no longer ice cold. I waste a lot of drinks when I am outside in hot weather because of this.
 

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I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on where/how to get ice to store in an ice house long-term after SHTF? I really want to have a way to store dairy products and to keep ice for drinks since I really love my iced tea and ice water. They only way I can think of would be if generators can power a freezer long enough to produce ice. Even that would require a lot of freezes and hauling due to the size of the ice house. (I am assuming no electricity and conserving fuel for the generators as much as possible.)

I know the old-fashioned way was to chop ice from the rivers when they froze over. However, the river has never frozen over in my lifetime, although, apparently, it froze every winter during the 1800's as there are a few ice houses remaining in my area and historical references of them being filled each winter. Perhaps the lack of ice in my lifetime is a result of the changing climate.

In any case, I would like to use the existing ice house. It is about 30-40 ft deep and approximately 12 ft. in diameter with water piped into a trough in the bottom. I believe it has been empty since the early 1900's.
Rather than chop ice, why not just fill 5 gallon buckets with water and leave them outside in the cold. Then stack the buckets in the ice house. Then as the ice melts you don't have to worry about water collecting on the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rather than chop ice, why not just fill 5 gallon buckets with water and leave them outside in the cold. Then stack the buckets in the ice house. Then as the ice melts you don't have to worry about water collecting on the floor.
Thanks. That might work. I might try that this winter.
The floor does have a drain/leech field? so the water does not stand in it.
 

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Ice House

In the winter put out ice trays and when they freeze pop them out into a cooler and keep the cooler in the coolest place available to keep ice from melting fast. If it is very cold then put out buckets but it will take them longer to freeze. The ice trays are thinner and would freeze quickly.

They have counter top ice makers that you could put on your generator for a short time to make a cyce of ice then turn it off.

They also have those blue ice packs that go in coolers. I have about 25 of them and could put them out in cold weather then use to keep things cool in a cooler.
 

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In my part of the country winters get about -8 so no problem freezing large amounts of water, i have 12" foam panels for my ice house, will keep ice all summer. JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In the winter put out ice trays and when they freeze pop them out into a cooler and keep the cooler in the coolest place available to keep ice from melting fast. If it is very cold then put out buckets but it will take them longer to freeze. The ice trays are thinner and would freeze quickly.

They have counter top ice makers that you could put on your generator for a short time to make a cyce of ice then turn it off.

They also have those blue ice packs that go in coolers. I have about 25 of them and could put them out in cold weather then use to keep things cool in a cooler.
I have a 50lb ice maker. I am just tryiing to find a way to make a large quantity of ice to store to keep things cold in the summer. I have an ice house and I would like to use it as it was intended.
 

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I have a number of travel trailers with propane refrigerators, if you have ever looked at one the flame they use is the size of a small lighter flame.

It really takes very little heat to run a fridge like that and no electricity.


For us we have several mines out back of our place, I would prolly line one with straw and fill it with ice each winter and build a small insulated door.
I could easily fit 800 to 1,000 cubic feet of ice in the front area of one of these mines dunno how long that would last but a while I would guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a number of travel trailers with propane refrigerators, if you have ever looked at one the flame they use is the size of a small lighter flame.

It really takes very little heat to run a fridge like that and no electricity.


For us we have several mines out back of our place, I would prolly line one with straw and fill it with ice each winter and build a small insulated door.
I could easily fit 800 to 1,000 cubic feet of ice in the front area of one of these mines dunno how long that would last but a while I would guess.
The propane refrigerator seems like a good idea for small amounts of food and drink as long as one did not run out of fuel.
You are lucky in that you live in a cold climate that would have ice.
It is my undertanding that the type of ice house I have used to keep ice from December until late August of the following year before the ice completely melted, with layers of straw between the blocks.
 

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My grandfather as a teen used to cut ice from the river and store it as you indicated under straw and sawdust, and he'd deliver it to his clients over the summer. As refrigeration became popular, he quit that business and the river stopped freezing anyway.

But it still got cold enough to freeze things above ground and he wanted to use ice in his hen houses. So he built wooden boxes with breakaway sides and put them in the shade, filling them and freezing them, then pulling off the sides and storing the ice in his ice barn.

It's heavy though even a small person can easily move a 500# block of ice with the right tools and knowledge. I recall seeing his ice bars before, but they are rather hard to describe.
 

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What papadoc did is much like my family's ice process. Building an ice house takes some effort but is very useful for lots of things that don't require SHTF. Ours looked more like a giant pile of dirt covered in grass and growing things with a door in it. It was quite comfy inside in terms of space and would have made a great tornado shelter.

If it gets cold enough to freeze standing water where you are, then you can make your own ice blocks of large enough size to make it very worth it. According to my family, we had ice all year long even in blazing summer from the ice house. Lots of work though.
 

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Yes, my long-term food and other preps are already in place in various locations and have been for a few years. I also have a farm. I am now working on preps that just might make life easier but are not an absolute necessity.
Get a little freeer that works off a battery trickle charged from solar power and give the ice house idea a rest until your climate changes a little.
 
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