Shooting requires concentration, and it's easy to forget to stay hydrated while attempting to best our last shot group or shaving a few tenths off our draw time. Consuming the right amount of liquid is essential to our bodies' performance. Don't drink enough and it will decline. It's that simple.
When it's hot out, most of us prefer a cold beverage. Alternatively, when the temperature drops, nothing warms the body like a nice hot drink. The problem lies in keeping liquid the right temperature. Warm bottled water on a sweltering range day — no thanks. Same with a near freezing drink on a frigid day. So, what's the simple solution?
For the last six months, many of our staff have been using YETI Rambler Tumblers and Rambler Bottles at the range. If you're familiar with YETI's line of coolers, their drinkware doesn't disappoint and keeps hot liquid hot and cold liquid cold — all day — regardless of ambient temperature.
Each Tumbler and Rambler bottle is constructed of kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel surrounding double-walled vacuum insulation. This combination literally crushes its plastic insulated competition all while keeping beverages cold (or hot) for twice as long.
Each container and lid is BPA-free and has no metallic aftertaste.
Over the final cold months of winter, my routine was as follows: After brewing a pot of coffee or hitting a drive-thru on the way to the range in the morning, I fill a 30-ounce YETI Rambler Tumbler, which fits in most vehicle cup holders (I haven't come across any that it doesn't). Once at the range, I set up my guns, ammunition and targets. The Tumbler accompanies me on my walksdown to the 100-yard berm to paste targets and back. Between strings of fire, I continue to sip hot coffee, which helps take the bite out of the cold weather. Range days typically last six or more hours, and my coffee remains hot, even after my hand warmersstop producing heat. I'm impressed.
As the days warmed up, I switch over to iced coffee. At the end of my range session, my Rambler Tumbler is void of coffee, but virtually all the ice remains. This shows two things: My drink was still cold as I was consuming it and the flavor was maintained because it wasn't watered down with melted ice.
I've begun taking a 64-ounce Rambler Bottle and a 30-ounce Rambler Tumbler with me to up my consumption of ice-cold fluids. I fill the Tumbler Rambler with iced coffee for the morning and the Rambler Bottle with a sport drink, like Gatorade, and I'm good for the day. The Rambler bottle opening is wide enough to drink from it directly; no cups are needed, unless you want to share with a dehydrated shooting partner.
Aside from keeping your drinks the right temperature, one of the benefits of the dual vacuum insulation is that the YETI Tumbler Rambler and Rambler Bottles don't sweat. This keeps my hands dry, a benefit when shooting a pistol, where grip consistency is key. It also doesn't leave a puddle in my truck's cup holder. YETI's Rambler Tumbler has replaced all of my other drinking containers, even while at home and especially on the road. Good-bye Nalgene bottles, hello YETI.
Clean up is a snap. Twenty seconds of your time, a little dish detergent and some hot water — you're done. If you don't wash your own cups, it's no problem. YETI Tumbler Ramblers and Rambler Bottles are dishwasher safe.
Once your range session is over and it's time to man the grill, YETI also makes their Rambler Colster and Rambler Lowball to keep your evening beverages cold, whether they come in aluminum cans or glass bottles. A Load-and-Lock gasket locks in the bottle or can and seals in the cold.
YETI also makes soft-sided coolers called Hoppers, which are ideal if a bulky hard-sided cooler is overkill for your adventure. Hoppers are easy to pack, take up little space and are easy to transport thanks to a removable, adjustable shoulder strap and four carry handles.
Hoppers are currently available in three different sizes: 20, 30 and 40 liters capacity and are just as efficient as the companies traditional coolers, but in a more manageable package.
The 40L shown below packs an amazing amount of food and beverages that will keep you going all weekend long. I've strapped mine to the back of our Polaris, dragged it to the range and even to the beach and it still looks and performs as new. It also can pull double duty as waterproof storage bag, thanks to a leak-proof, sealed zipper.
When I first saw YETI Tumbler Ramblers, Rambler Bottles and their line of coolers at my local big box store, I was put off by the retail prices. After making the plunge, I can safely say it's refreshing to come across a product that lives up to its hype. Buy with confidence — you won't be disappointed.