How To Stay Cool Outside When You'd Rather Be Riding Someone's A/C Unit
Now that we've had our unofficial start to summer it's time to consider summer's greatest challenge: enjoying our days without passing out from heat exhaustion.
I know what you're thinking, I've never gotten heat exhaustion, why would it hit me now. To that I say, you never know, friend. You just. Never. Know.
1) Nighttime is the right time: For that matter, so is the early morning. If you really must be outside, leave the comfort of your air conditioner as early or late as possible. Mornings around 5 or 6 am tend to be the coolest. An 102 degree night will still be unpleasant, but at least the blasted sun won't be slapping the shit out of you at the same time. This is why I'll spend the next few months watering and weeding my garden at increasing late hours. Citygirl ain't no fool.
2) You + Water = BFF: Even if you're not working outside (Hello, road crews!) you still need to stay hydrated. Unless you keep cool by panting like a dog, ingestible liquids are your best friend. Fill up a huge travel mug or thermos with ice and water, put it in the freezer a few minutes before take off and sip throughout your travels. Tired of water? Add lemon,limes or cucumber. Slip inside someplace cool and have a soda, Slurpee or Frosty. Just don't let yourself dry out. That's when things get dangerous.
3) Your car is an oven; don't stand for it: I don't have A/C in my car anymore. The single most important thing I've learned to do (other than bringing a frosty beverage)? Roll the windows down the morning I'm going somewhere. This will help even if you are blissfully supplied with cool, cool forced air to your vehicle. Letting air flow through your car will keep it cooler. Just roll the windows up and turn on the air when you're ready to roll. If you just can't bear the idea of leaving your unattended car with the windows open, I just read a cool tip on Lifehacker for getting the hot air outquickly.
4) The world is an oven; baste accordingly: I'm not talking about sunscreen, although applying a cooling one about 30 minutes before you head into the sun could certainly help. I'm talking about your choice of clothing. Please, for your own good, wear the lightest possible clothes you can. Light in weight and light in color. I've got some white linen pants that save my life every summer. And, don't be afraid to carry your own shade with you. Men! Get a lightly colored umbrella. Women! You have many parasol choices. Both! Wear an open weave hat already.
5) Stay out of the sun; that is all: If you don't know by now, keep to the shade and shadows when walking around on a hellishly hot day. I go out of my way on a regular basis to stay away from direct sunlight. This includes staying in the house when it's too hot for my delicate sensibilities. Whatever works, people!
There, now you're fully prepared for the summer. I'm going to continue sitting inside my A/C filled house. How about you?