74K0010-yeti-tundra-hard-sided-35-cooler-white-u-02.jpg

Yeti cooler on the dock

I received a great marketing bag recently that was full of things one would need at the lake. It led me to think about everything people really need and use on a boat and the gear to which we are all loyal - swimsuit brands, fishing poles, speakers and coolers, to name a few. But, unfortunately, the only thing mentioned in more country songs than trucks, dogs and drinking is Yeti coolers. In fact, I found an entire article devoted to just Yeti and country songs.

Our Lake Martin area is full of outdoor enthusiasts who boat, hunt and are generally hard on things. They are gearheads who are passionate about their brands, and you will not see many boats without a Yeti. And, of course, a well-loved Yeti is almost always covered in stickers.

My first Yeti was a Christmas gift. The company had not been around very long, and the cooler only came in white. It came with a hat and sticker, if I remember correctly. I did not use it much because that thing was heavy when loaded down with ice, and I could barely carry it. That particular model was designed to sit on boats and in the back of trucks. I took it on a girls' trip and (after several libations) decided to leave it on the beach because I was sick and tired of carrying it around. Luckily a friend pitched in, and we took turns hoisting it back to the condo.

I have a lot of memories that revolve around coolers. That being said, I have been to a lot of parties. My favorite college cooler was a soft tote from Five Star Plantation that I lifted off my dad. I have a boathouse full of them. People leave them at my house or gift them to us. 

We come home all the time with old cheapies that the family packs full of leftovers for us, and there always seems to be a squeaky old styrofoam cooler hanging around that I picked up at a gas station in summertime out of desperation. 

Coolers generally stand for a good time and a plan to go along with it. John and I had an ancient blue Playmate that perfectly fit our sailboat’s basket and was stolen at a concert. That was one of the few times in my life I have seen John really mad. 

Back to Yeti. Yeti has been around since 2006, when two brothers decided they needed a cooler that wouldn’t break. Their website lists out brand ambassadors spanning from rodeo cowboys to female professional anglers. Cool people doing cool stuff. 

The coolers come in bright colors now with names like King Crab Orange, and constantly has new collections emerging. Yeti knows exactly what it is doing.

The Nascar collection completely sells out. But, it keeps us coming back for more because you have to have the new color, and if you had the heavy hard cooler, well, the problem solved-here is the lighter soft cooler. Also, they have cool names like Roadie 24 and Tundra Hard.

The brand is more than coolers now, and one of the more practical items is the Ice Bucket. I can say we use it for everything. The beer koozies really keep the beer ice cold. There are travel duffel bags, pet items, camp chairs and clothing. The list goes on, and now there are freestanding retail stores in select cities.

Once a brand like Yeti is established, they could make ice cream if they wanted, and people would buy it ... in a stainless steel cone, of course. 

The 10 Items You Need in Your Boat for a Good Time

1. Yeti Cooler (loaded down)

2. Beach Towels

3. Cups

4. Bottle opener

5. Portable Speaker

6. Camp Chair

7. Floats

8. Fishing Pole

9. Change of Clothes

10. Waterproof Bag

~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine. Follow her on Instagram @LaceyHowell and her Facebook page.