Keep Your Cool This Summer

Keep Your Cool This Summer

Summer is a great time for families to spend quality time in their RVs or campers. School is out, daylight lasts longer and it’s the one season that is made for fun-filled days in the sun, sand and surf. But it is also hot, really hot.

There are some common sense tips to making the most of this season, no matter where your summer adventures take you. With a little pre-planning and the adoption of some new habits, life could be a summer breeze.

  • Plan your activities according to the heat index of the day. Time really is on your side from May through August, with longer daylight hours giving you flexibility in squeezing all those fun things to do during the time of the day that’s most comfortable.
  • For example, take that hike in the morning or evening when the sun’s intensity is less severe. Save more leisure activities for the mid-day when its hottest or plan on indoor, air conditioned sight-seeing – like a museum – when the daytime temperature is the hottest. This applies to campsite chores, too. Tackle these early in the day when the sun hasn’t had the chance to heat things up. Don’t be afraid to schedule in a mid-day nap to make up for these early morning chores.
  • Make use of shade wherever you can find it. Walking under a canopy of trees on a forest trail is much cooler than walking on pavement in the middle of a city, or along a boardwalk on the shore. When at all possible, look for those outdoor activities that provide a shady respite.

In that same vein, make use of awnings and canopies at your campsite. A covering can provide 5 – 10 degrees of cooling and get you through the hottest part of the day with ease. A beach umbrella, a wide-brimmed hat, a tent-like shelter, or a tarp erected between supports can be enough to keep the summer temps from draining your energy. How great would relaxing in a hammock stretched between two leafy trees with a good book and a glass of lemonade be?

  • Just as we should dress for the cold, we should also dress for the heat. There is a reason why fashion dictates white should be worn in summer. This color does not absorb the heat like darker clothes do.
  • Looser fitting clothing and fabrics that wick perspiration away from the body have been shown to help keep body temperatures at a safe level. Perspiration is the body’s way of cooling down. It is the evaporation of the sweat that causes the cooling effect.
  • Make use of products designed to help with the cooling. A cooling collar is an example of technology coming to the aid of those suffering in the heat. This is a tube that is filled with water-absorbing crystals or gel. When soaked in water, the gel absorbs the water which is evaporated over time. This collar is placed around the neck near numerous blood vessels, providing cooling relief and mimicking the body’s natural perspiration.
  • Seek out the water, both the drinking kind and the dunking kind. Keeping the body hydrated is even more important in the summer because the body loses hydration more rapidly due to perspiration.
  • But a swim in the pool, a wade in the creek or a dunk in the lake can also help cool things off and refresh the body. If there isn’t an opportunity to partake in a swim, getting wet via a bucket dump or a squirt gun fight can work as well. Just make sure you are courteous to the campground neighbors and hosts and not make a muddy mess for others to endure.
  • Make sure the air conditioning unit in your RV is well maintained. Ideally this should be done as you prepare for your summer adventures. Regular cleaning and maintenance should be routine. Change out those filters and inspect for potential problems. When you are anticipating spending the hottest part of the day in the RV, its important to make sure it will be the relief you are expecting.
  • The air flow within the RV can also be made more efficient by using a fan to move air around. Many houses use ceiling fans to help their air conditioning and heating systems adapt to the seasons. A portable fan can also be used outside to move air when there is no breeze.

Maintaining a safe body temperature in the summer time is as important as keeping warm in the winter. While human anatomy has mechanism to help keep the body temperature where it needs to be, people can help by understanding the problems summer heat can cause. Don’t let your summer memory be the time you were treated for heat exhaustion by the local EMTs. 

May 11th 2021 Lois Tomaszewski

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