Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Heatwave Cooling Off

Now that the Heatwave is essentially over, EC wants to pass on some heat coping skills and lessons learned to help us outdoor freaks that spend too much time outside.

Here are some easy tips on Staying cool:
  • Take a mid-day siesta. A simple countermeasure to extreme heat is not play in it... take a break. Avoid exertion during the hottest time of the day. Putting your feet up and resting in the backyard shade is very effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Use a wet towel or hankerchief around your neck. This will cool your core down more effectively than you might think. There are even commercial versions you can purchase for you and your dog, but a hand towel is cheaper.
    • Open a window. When your fan and air-condition is not working due to a power failure... open a window. But, do it right. Most of us have forgotten how to open our sash windows to maximize airflow (if you have this style... we do). If you understand the fluid mechanics of natural ventilation and have a sash window in the right place and right height then go for it. It is best to have your sash window open equally top and bottom. The cooler (relatively) air flows into the room through the lower opening and flushes the warm air out through the top. If you can, leave sash in this position overnight for best results. The cool external air also cools the walls, floor and ceiling that have absorbed the days heat.
      • Change your diet. Avoid heavy protein foods like meat and dairy products that tend to increase metabolism and raise body heat and fluid loss. Of course, drink plenty of fluids... like WATER! Eat more cold food like salads and fruit that contain water.
        • Avoid the Sun. Avoid direct sunlight if possible. Use sunscreen as a sunburn will limit your body's capability to cope with the heat. Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing that is loose and porous, and a wide-brim hat.
          • Know the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms include: headaches, nausea, an intense thirst, sleepiness, hot red and dry skin, a sudden rise in temperature, confusion, aggression, and convulsions and a loss of consciousness. Treatment: immediate cooling of the body in anyway that is feasible.

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