Star parties are by far the best means of engaging in amateur astronomy. These gatherings are usually held in remote places, and hundreds of keen astronomers gather together – observing strict rules about avoiding light pollution – to enjoy the wonders of their heavens with their latest telescopes.
The one drawback about star parties is, however, that they are so far from civilization. While this is a necessity to avoid the drawbacks or urban lighting, it does mean you are cut off from some of the luxuries of life.
Many people try to improve the star party experience by taking along a cooler to keep food and drinks in. While this is an acceptable solution, for those willing to spend the money purchasing a portable refrigerator for their vehicle can be a better choice.
Refrigerator reviews are almost unanimous than an Engel refrigerator makes a great car fridge. These units are highly efficient – which is great if you are sharing your cars power source with a sophisticated observing array – whilst also very effective.
Some refrigerator reviewers also have great things to say about Arb fridges, but my personal preference will always be Engel. I have a medium sized Engel refrigerator freezer for my Toyota Landcruiser, and I’d be lost without it.
It fits easily into the back on a sliding tray that allows for easy access, and comes with a nice cover to keep it looking neat when not in use. If I don’t go overboard on my eating and drinking, it can easily carry enough supplies to last me through several nights of starwatching.
One thing to keep in mind if you do purchase a car refrigerator for your next Star Party – some of them have internal lighting! If the model you choose has one make sure you trade it out for a night vision friendly red light.
If you do not do this your star party colleagues may not invite you back next year!