How to Stay Cool Outside in Extreme Heat
Depending on where you live, summer can be a great time of year. On the other hand, some people live in places that experience extreme heat. If you are lucky enough to have air conditioning, it will provide you with a respite from high summer temperatures and humidity when you need to spend extensive time outdoors. Conversely, if you don’t have air conditioning, summer can be downright unbearable. I, Matthew Davies, am going to share with you some tips and tricks to help you beat the heat.
The tips included in this article may be helpful to just about anyone that must endure a hot summer. However, it will be particularly useful to my blog followers who have come here for tips on enduring heat while living and off-grid lifestyle. The reason is that most of them will not have enough electricity to support energy-sucking air conditioning units.
Without further ado, I present to you six common sense hacks for working outside in the heat while building or maintaining your homestead.
- Set up a shade canopy.
Let’s face it. There is a lot to be done when you are just starting out building your off-grid home. In the beginning, your property may have a limited amount of shade and you will likely have to spend more time outdoors than you will indoors, building or maintaining your home and property. For this, I highly recommend either purchasing or creating a shaded structure where you can take frequent breaks from the sun and heat. Sure, you could take the time to find a tree, but as the day passes by, you may find that the shade it provides is only available a few hours during the day.
When you are picking the location to set up your shaded area, make sure to note the location of the sun on your property throughout the day. Situate the space in such a way that you will have your back to the sun. If you are erecting a pre-built canopy, spend the extra money on the “wall” attachment. This can be useful not just to provide shade from the sun, but to block out wind and rain as well. Building your canopy would be your best option, but you may not have the time or experience to tackle a task such as this. There is no shame in purchasing one. The main focus here is to make sure you have a place to keep cool.
- Install a misting system.
If you have ever been to a major tourist attraction, you will know what I’m referring to. Essentially, these systems cool you off by applying a small amount of water to your skin. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any way to build a misting system without purchasing some parts but it typically requires a minimal investment in terms of money and time. Stop by your local hardware store, and they will be able to direct you to the proper supplies you will need.
While this will not directly cool the air, it will provide you with moisture on your skin. This moisture will evaporate and thus make you feel cooler. A misting system can even be installed just outside that canopy you set up from tip number one.
- Get to know the shade schedule on your property.
Until you are unable to complete the above tasks, you might have to take this extra step to stay cool. While you are working, look for shaded areas in which to work for the majority of the day. If you have one area that is shaded only an hour throughout the day and another that is shaded for most of the day, you will want to choose the latter of the two. The more time that you can work, the faster you will be able to build a permanent place to stay cool.
If you don’t have access to shaded areas, the first two tips become even more critical. You do not want to suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Limiting your time in the sun will help assure that this will not happen.
- Wear the appropriate clothing.
This is something that I am quite passionate about; wearing the correct clothing will ensure that you will protect yourself from the sun and heat. Below, you will find a few suggestions to help select the appropriate clothing for hot weather is.
· You will want to wear something to cover your head and neck such as a hat with a flap that extends over your neck. So many people overlook how susceptible the neck is to causing heatstroke. The skin is quite thin on both your head and neck which allows the heat to penetrate much easier. Covering your head and neck goes a long way in keeping you cool.
· This may sound counterintuitive but it’s best on hot days to wear long sleeves and jeans. The point is to cover the majority of your body to protect it from the direct sun. Additionally, it will allow you to sweat more. Sweat will actually make you cooler.
- Try heat beating products.
One product that I have found that will keep people very cool in the summer is a cooling pad. All you have to do is wrap it around your neck. It provides a refreshing feeling on your skin. Additionally, I have found that if you place it in cold water before wrapping it around your neck, it will last even longer.
There are many different products on the market that are designed to keep you cool all summer long, including cooling towels that function as a hood, a neck wrap and more. Don’t be afraid to try some of them out. The point here is to keep yourself cool during the summer month, not win fashion awards.
- Avoid working outside all together, especially during the hottest times of the day.
Whenever possible, get an early start on your outdoor chores, before the sun is at its hottest. If that isn’t feasible, sometimes the best thing you can do is postpone your work. There is nothing more important than your health. If your work lands you in the hospital for over exertion, it could set you back longer than taking a break would have, especially if you end up having to stay a day or two. So, if you take a few hours of the day off to do some inside work instead, you will actually be saving yourself time.
I, Matthew Davies, hope that you will find these tips useful whether you live off the grid or your work requires lots of time outdoors. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the fun summer activities of your youth. Have water “fights,” using balloons, water guns, or even buckets. Run through the sprinklers (if you have them. And fell like a kid again.