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Tips for dealing with the heat and high humidity

Author working hard on his off grid homestead
Author working hard on his off grid homestead
Merlyn Seeley

Most people on a hot humid summers day can tell you that they simply just walk indoors, turn down the Air conditioner (AC) and sit inside all day to stay out of the heat and humidity. Not everyone can say they are free to do this, sometimes it is just necessary to be outdoors and sometimes it is even necessary to be working in such conditions. How do you fight the humidity and beat the heat when the mercury soars to over 80 degrees with a heat index of close to the same temperature? No doubt there are many ways to beat the heat, but here are some tricks of the trade from one man that lives without AC and does so year round, off the electrical and water grid and does so under, the canopy of the trees.

One method is to keep your neck cold, as cool as possible, that is. To do this, wet a towel or bandanna and drape or tie it around your neck. When the cloth is dry or has just gotten too hot, re-wet it and continue to do so. The coolness from the cloth, in this location, will actually keep you much cooler than most other techniques.

Method number 2 is simple as well. Keep a wet shirt on your back. Just as the towel will keep you cooler when wet, a wet shirt clinging to your body will keep you around 5 degrees cooler and will even radiate cool air up around your face until it dries and needs to be wet again.

The old method of working in the early morning and then breaking for the afternoon heat wave followed by continuing your work in the late evening, before dark never let's you down. During hot humid days, the heat index can make it seem much hotter than it really is, so sitting in the shade and drinking plenty of water and juices will make sure you do not become a heat casualty. Here are some tried and true tips that can help you deal with a hot humid day even better:

  • Save strenuous work for early morning or evening when the humidity and heat has subsided some.
  • Wear light colored clothing
  • Wear less in humid temperatures
  • Drink plenty of water, but not too much water
  • Cover your head with a wet cloth
  • Wear damp clothing to cool down faster
  • And last, but not least, if you have access to wild water source, that is a river or spring of sorts, then by all means, make it a day hanging out around your cool location and taking a dip every so often when needed. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, not 100% water, but alternate with juices as well. Most people do not know that too much water can result in water intoxication.

Remember, water flushes the body and can flush all your salt out which can actually make you lose more water and nutrients which can make dehydration come on you faster. And as a last note, although it may be true that long pants, a head cover and long sleeve shirts will keep you cooler and safer in places such as the USA Arizona and other dry heat areas, it is NOT true about those locations that are inundated by humidity, so less is best!

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