With the arrival of summer comes the opportunity to have some fun outdoors. However, when the mercury climbs, so does the danger level as excessive heat becomes unsafe and in some instances deadly. Whether you live in an apartment in a big city, a house in the country, or even camping in a tent, blistering temperatures can make life miserable and sometimes dangerous.
During heat waves you will see public service announcements giving you a short list of things you can do to combat the heat. The list is short because there are not many things you cannot do to combat the heat nor are there any well-kept secrets or tricks to keeping cool in the blazing heat. However, a reminder to stay hydrated and, if possible, work or exercise during the coolest part of the day doesn’t hurt. Keeping your blinds or curtains closed and keeping the use of the oven, dryer and dishwasher to a minimum will help minimize heat build up in your home. It is also recommended you wear a wide-brimmed hat, light, loose-fitting clothing and sunscreen. You can soak your feet in cool water to keep cool. Avoid alcohol and carbohydrates drinks and eat plenty of water rich foods such as watermelons, strawberries, peaches and oranges as they help with hydration. Remember to check on the elderly and disabled and those who do not have air conditioning. And do not forget, pets also feel the effects of the heat. Just like humans, they can succumb to heat related illnesses.
Thanks to the lack of air conditioning and in most cases electricity keeping your cool while camping can be a different kind of a challenge. Here are a few tips to consider if you plan on camping during the dog days of summer.
- Carry lots of drinking water.
- Bring along packets of electrolyte-rich drink mixes.
- Set your tent up in shady areas and try to avoid the afternoon sun. If your tent is easy to erect, wait until late afternoon to set it up and conserve energy instead of laboring in the heat.
- Bring extra bungee cords and tarps to erect sunshades for your tent and campsite.
- Spray the outside of your tent with bug spray. Then, open the windows to allow air to circulate.
- Pack light-colored, lightweight, natural fiber sheets to use, instead of fluffy sleeping bags.
- Bring a solar or battery-powered fan.
One word should be replaying again and again in your mind when dealing with the long dog days of summer and that word is commonsense. We would all like to think we are blessed with an abundance of it, but often, especially when we are stressed, commonsense becomes as rare as snowflakes in July.
What do you do to stay cool and hydrated in the dog days of summer? Share your tips in the comment section.