Tips for Staying Cool Under the Summer Heat
It’s May, and every Floridian knows what that means: the brutal summer months are upon us. While other parts of the country rejoice in the hot weather, we mentally prepare ourselves to endure 90+ degree days of unrelenting sun and humidity that turns the air into soup. With that in mind, Camp Folks wants to remind you to stay cool and enjoy the outdoors with these refreshing tips!
1. Wear a damp bandana around your head or neck
Soaking an ordinary bandana in water and wrapping it around your neck does wonders to help stay cool while hiking on a hot trail. Applying a cool, moist cloth to your carotid artery helps cool down your overall body temperature in minutes, as the blood circulates throughout your body.
2. Avoid cotton
Cotton fabrics, such as most t-shirts, will absorb moisture and leave you a sweaty, overheated mess. Look for shirts and clothing made out of synthetic materials, such as rayon, spandex, and polyester. These fabrics will allow for more breathability, and won’t stick to your skin as much, making your hike or outdoor activity that much more enjoyable.
3. Stay Hydrated
During the summer months, it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Water is essential to survival and good health, and if you’re outdoors, being active in the heat, you’re going to be losing lots of it through sweat. Consider investing in a large reusable water bottle, preferably with measurements indicating how much water is in the bottle. Adults should drink two liters, or half a gallon, per day, more if undertaking strenuous activity. Make sure you plan ahead and pack plenty for your trip, and don’t forget that Camp Folks sells durable canteens and water filters!
4. Avoid the hottest times of the day
Typically, once things start heating up in the afternoon, it only gets hotter until the sun goes then. Even then, Florida temperatures can stay up in the 80’s well into the evening. If you want to do outdoor activities, try to plan them for before 10:00 AM or after 6:00 PM.
5. Learn how to identify and prevent heat stroke/heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot, either due to external temperature or overexertion. Heatstroke is when the internal temperature of the body reaches 104°F, and is much more dangerous than heat exhaustion, as it can cause damage to your organs and brain. Both include symptoms of dizziness, nausea, headache, and rapid heartbeat, but heatstroke also can include symptoms like cramps and muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, a flushed or red appearance to the skin, and even seizures. If you think someone is having heatstroke, get them medical assistance right away, and move them to a shaded or indoor area if possible. To prevent these illnesses, wear lightweight clothing, drink water and fluids regularly, even if you aren’t thirsty, and protect yourself from the sun by using hats and sunscreen.
6. Create your own DIY Air Conditioner
This one is a little bit desperate, but if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to A/C, you can try making your own emergency A/C unit out of a Styrofoam cooler, a small fan, and some dryer vents. Fill it up with some ice packs or frozen water bottles and milk jugs, turn on the fan, and you’ll have ice-cold air blowing for hours.
7. Cool down with a Camp Folks excursion
We know how hot it is, so this Summer at Camp Folks, we’re focusing on offering you the coolest water-based activities. Join us every Friday for tube trips down Spring Creek (AKA “Bear Paw”), as well as a day paddle down the Wacissa River on May 22. Or, if hiking and camping is more your thing, join us for a weekend trip to Econfina Creek on May 14, which includes a swim in the crystal-clear, spring-fed waters of Rattlesnake Lake. Stay tuned for more excursions and events throughout the month of May and the rest of summer!