What are you doing to beat the heat?

dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

I noticed on the map that all of the United States were in orange and red this week. That means hotter than normal temperatures. What kinds of things do you do to beat the heat. I found a list of things that a person could do for a make shift air conditioner. Use a fan-freeze water bottles with 3 Tablespoons of salt in them and place the bottles in front of the fan. It feels like an air conditioner. Yesterday I only had one bottle like that.

I also put cold water into a 16 oz water bottle (fill it 1/3 to 1/4 of the way with water. Lay it on its side in the freezer and then after it is frozen take it out and pour cold water into the bottle. One such bottle last me for 3 hours this morning. It is not as HOT as yesterday.

I also wet a kitchen towel then freeze it and place it around my neck in the afternoon when it gets really hot.

What other things can you add to this?



  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin

    When it was hot last week & I needed to do garden work, I took my wet, cold shirt out of the washing machine instead of hanging it up & wore that. It was awesome until it dried. 🤔

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dipat2005 It's been pretty hot here. I came inside this afternoon covered in sweat after working in my garden beds for a couple hours. Once I came inside and change clothes and had a glass of water I cooled off.

    I've seen several times now people showing comparisons -that in past years the country maps (many countries doing it) were green on the weather segments and now this year even though the temperatures are the same, lower, or a little higher the maps are red and orange. Guess it's supposed to make people worried.

    The air conditioner in my daughter's car went out and we haven't been able to get it fixed yet. I told her to put cups of ice in front of the air vents. She asked how? Then she said maybe I'll duct tape them on! LOL!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Hot weather is just starting for us. Some great suggestions that I haven't heard before. I try to get out to the garden early in the day while it is still relatively cool to do my gardening.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    I have to do a lot of my watering and putting the poultry to bed at 10:30 or 11:00 at night, and I STILL come in damp and clammy! Nights around here used to cool down nicely no matter how hot the days, but the days are now so consistently hot that even the nighttime temps remain high. I'm going to start using the frozen towel around my neck day and night to help get me through when I need to be working outside for any length of time.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    Use a button up shirt that has three-quarter length sleeves or long sleeves, get it soaking wet in a five gallon pail of water. Put the shirt on and be cool for awhile. I do believe this idea was stated by @Marjory Wildcraft in a blog or video of hers.

    Rinse your wrists with cold water for a quick cool down.

    When drinking water, sip cold water.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I work outside early in the am and later in the day. The afternoon heat and sun is when I find something to do indoors

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    We get over 110* often in the summer. Some of my tricks I have been using for years. Hydrate at night planning to go outside the next morning, Do your outside work as early as possible. Drink lots of water while working, better if it is room temperature vs cold as that can make you throw up. My mom made me several neck coolers. I forgot what she filled them with but I know it starts as small crystal flakes, but will soak up water and swell up. It stays cool for a long time and can easily be dipped into cold water or tossed back into the fridge. Golf sleeves or gardening sleeves to protect your arms from the sun. They stay cool & keep me from burning. Misty water cools you down amazingly well, so does popsicles or frozen fruit after going inside.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    oh yes to all the 'soak the shirt in water' comments. Plus a hat with a wide brim.

    Ditto on trying to get everything done early before it gets hot.

    The local Puerto Ricans talk about making a simple drink using a bit of minced prickly pear pads in water and sipping on that to help keep hydration levels up and the body cooler. I'm trying that now and it does seem to help.

    Contrary to what you might think I met a guy who worked construction on roads - blistering hot conditions. He told me drinking hot tea was way better than cold drinks. The men on his crew who drank cold, iced drinks, never had the stamina of the guys who sipped hot tea. Yup, he said it wasn't easy to make yourself drink hot tea when you are hot... but it worked. I haven't had the guts yet.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    I wouldn't have the guts either @Marjory Wildcraft . I used to live in the high desert where the temperature was often more than 110 degrees during the day. Thankfully we had a swamp cooler and ceiling fans. I used to take a cold shower, wrap myself in a bed sheet and stand under the ceiling fan.

    I do my garden work in the early morning, when the doors are open and the fans are going. The early morning hours when it gets down to 55 degrees are the best. I usually have to get up at 5 am for that.

    Sometimes my friends have asked me to go pick something in the 80 to 90 degree heat and I would put a kitchen towel under cold water, wring it out and place it around my neck. It really helped.

    Thanks for mentioning putting a shirt in water and wringing it out. Makes sense to me.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    From an emergency perspective, for someone who is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, cold water is not the best to take for hydration. Cool or tepid water is a better choice than very cold or iced water. Try to drink more frequently, rather than a lot all at once.

    @Marjory Wildcraft I think that a "cooling" hot beverage like peppermint or lemon balm tea would be a good choice if you were going to try the hot beverage thing.

    The amount of fluid required (for adults) depends on how much you are exerting yourself. For people who are working very hard in the hot sun (like construction, paving, haying, etc.), the recommended amount is 1 cup every 15 minutes, or 1 litre (1 US quart) every hour. I have seen one recommendation of 1.5 litres every hour for firefighters (2 cups every 20 minutes).

    There is another discussion about electrolytes which is an important component of hydration, with recipes for cooling electrolyte beverages.

    Let's not forget about the TGN Hydration Handbook. https://tgn-pdf-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/Hydration+Handbook.pdf

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin

    To add to @torey's information above, remember that Hibiscus tea is a great option to help cool the body.

    We like to have lemonade with Hibiscus tea added & ready for hotter days. We prefer room temp. to cold drinks on hot days. It is better for your body that an ice cold beverage.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Gin and tonic with lots of ice.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am so very thankful that I was able to retire in December, otherwise I'd be walking to work and home. Mornings wouldn't be too bad, but even at 6 pm it's been hot.

    I have been using the AC more than I want to, but it I have been struggling with my health this year, and I think it's important to take that into consideration. By watering the tomatoes and herbs on the patio early and then keeping the windows covered and the doors closed, and using fans when it's not humid, I'm doing pretty well. Yes to cool cloths on neck, wearing as few clothes as I can get by with, and drinking lots of room temperature water. I got a strawberry hibiscus tea, which is nice in the heat. (Bigelow, at Walmart.)

    Since my blood sugar was tested as high, I've given up the ice cream :-(. Instead, I cut up frozen strawberries and pour on some half and half for a cold treat. Blueberries work great, too.

    Instant Pot and air fryer for cooking. Cool showers when I get too heated.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    thanks for that reminder about hibiscus tea. it grows here! and I love it. I'll try drinking it hot tomorrow...

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    New blog post from the School for Aromatic Studies. "Cooling Summertime Teas".

    Four herbs to use; three have already been mentioned. The fourth is peach leaf. I've never used it before, partly cause it doesn't grow near me and partly because I've never seen it sold in any of the herbal dispensaries that I use. But a suggestion for those of you who live in peach country.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Take showers more often, and change clothes frequently after doing sweaty activity. It has certainly helped me. One shower a day is not enough under these conditions.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thank you for all of the teas and the link. They are most helpful.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    We work a little in the evenings. The heat has really bothered me this year so I don't go outside for very long during the day, just long enough to get vitamin D. I have my air conditioner set to 79 and sometimes 78 degrees, and my bill still seems high.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought some cooling towels from Amazon that help you stay cool. They are a polyester blend that holds a lot of water; you can snap them to get the cooling going again. They work better than other cooling items I have purchased in the past, such as the cooling neckties.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I personally have been sticking to the morning and evenings to do anything garden related.

    I wonder if aloe gel directly from the plant would help cool off as it has a cooling effect, especially for sunburns.

  • Sheila
    Sheila Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    Early morning and late evening working, wet clothes around the neck, wet shirts as well. Hammock for the afternoon and if I have to work in the garden when it is the hot I have found that a mister attached to the hose helps both me and the plants with the heat and it even works with our low pressure well! The cats have taken to laying at the edge of it when I am out and working except for our one water lover who likes to play in the middle of it!

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    Hey @shllnzl do you have a link for which amazon product that is? Curious...

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    Oh thank for that - it was a good article. Mint, hibiscus, lemon balm, and peach leaves. makes sense... I used to drink a lot of hibiscus mint tea and loved it during the summer without realizing why.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Marjory,

    Here is the description of what I am using.

    Cooling Towel 4 Packs(40" x 12"),Ice Towels for Neck,MENOLY Microfiber Cool Towel Workout Towels,Soft Breathable Chilly Towel for Sports, Gym, Yoga, Camping, Running, Fitness & More Activities

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    Wow 15,000 reviews! I can't wait until my book has that many 😀

    That micro fiber technology is very interesting.

    Since moving to Puerto Rico I switched from training in Shotokan to JuJitsu. BJJ is wwaaayyyy harder on me. Probably also because of the heat. And I'm always looking for ways to stay cool Thanks!

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    wow1 So many different ways to beat the heat! Thanks for all the knowledge I am gaining. I love the cooling towel idea. As I was looking at the cooling towels on Amazon I remembered I am allergic to microfiber stuff . Drat! I have been using my kitchen towels (cotton) and using cool water from the tap, wringing them out some and freezing them. I can tell you that they work well!

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thank you for such an extensive list. These sound really good.

  • thelinda
    thelinda Posts: 21 ✭✭

    A few thoughts...ALWAYS think short-term and long-term when faced with a problem/situation. For long-term, recognize that when you fight nature, nature usually wins. The solution is to acclimate yourself. Yes, it is not easy and it takes time. If the grid does go down and you are dependent on electricity, what will you do? Having been in hot humid areas when a hurricane passes and no electric for 10 days or so, you quickly realize how miserable you feel. No water, no way to cool at night so you can sleep. Sure you may have a generator until the fuel runs out and there is no way to get more fuel. Then you are back to miserable.

    In the short-term, incorporate as many of the above suggestions as possible. Here is a way to make your own "cooling ties" https://watersorb.myshopify.com/pages/cool-ties

    How to Make Cool Ties

    Each pound of Medium size polymer contains about 115 teaspoons of crystals, which will make at least 50 bandanas at 2 teaspoons per tie.

    There are several ways to make Cool Ties. Cotton fabric will work best, as it has superior wicking properties. Let your imagination be your guide. One method is to take an ordinary bandana and make a Cool Tie by simply folding over the wide edge about an inch or an inch and a half and stitching the “hem” down to create a tube. Create a Cool Tie with the following instructions: 

    • Scissors
    • Tape measure
    • Serger/sewing maching
    • 4" strip of fabric 45" long (actual length will depend on personal preference)
    • One Tablespoon of medium Watersorb polymer granules. Watersorb Store


    1. Cut one strip of fabric 4" wide from a fabric that is at least 45" wide. If you want to have a bow to tie use a 60" wide fabric.

    2. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise (the piece should be 4" by 22 1/2"). Mark the fold. This is the center back of the neck band. Open up the fabric and measure and mark 7" s the center back of the neck band. Open up the fabric and measure and mark 7" on each side of the center back.

    3. Fold the fabric right sides together the width of the strip (the piece should now be 2" by 45".) Using a 5/8" seam, stitch between the marks. (There should be 14" stitched--7" on either side of center back.)

    4. The tail ends may be rounded or slanted to give a more finished look. Finish the edges and ends of the rest of the band by serging or turning and stitching. Press. 

    5.  Turn tube right side out and press. At one end of the tube, stitch to close, then double stitch for strength. At this point you should have one end of the tube open.

    6. Carefully pour the polymer granules into the tube (1-3 teaspoons). Stitch the tube closed. Reinforce with another row of stitching.

    7. To use the cool neck band, soak in water for a 15-20 minutes (hot water speeds the hydration process). As the polymer granules soak up the water "mush" them around so the polymer spreads out equally along the tube. Tie around your neck for a "Cool Tie."


    • The polymer granules are used in gardening soil for water retention. Use 1-3 tsp of Watersorb Medium sized polymer. Each pound of polymer has about 115 tsp.
    • The cool tie can be refrigerated so it is more refreshing on a hot day.
    • If too many polymer granules are used in the tube, the polymer will ooze through the fabric tube. Generally, two teaspoons is all that is needed.
    • Store in a ziplock back in the refrigerator, or hang dry. The polymer will rehydrate again using instructions in Step 7.
    • It can be soaked in cold water and used over and over.

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