We've had a pretty tame summer so far, but we all know what July and August can have in store for us. Those 100 degree plus days are coming whether we want them to or not.

Gotta give a hat tip to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for these tips on beating the heat while exploring the great State Parks we have. But they'll come in handy while we're just going about our every day lives, too.

 

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    1

    Hydration

    The most important thing to do is to stay hydrated. That's pretty simple when we're inside an air conditioned building, but when we're outside pushing a mower, tending to flower beds, washing the car or just about anything else it means we need to keep cold liquids within reach.

    Camelback hydration systems provide both a large capacity for liquids and some insulation from the heat, and they came about because of the Hotter'N Hell Hundred bicycle ride. You can also freeze a half bottle of water, then top it off with cold water before leaving the house so that the total amount stays cold longer.

    It's recommended that you drink at least 16 ounces of water every hour when you're working in the heat.

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    2

    Blocking The Sun

    Sure, you may look funny wearing your fishing hat while you do yard work, but it does a great job of keeping the direct rays of the sun off your scalp, ears, even your face and neck.

    Sunscreen is good if you're going to be out for a while, too. It is the literal ounce of prevention that can keep your fun day in the sun from becoming a skin peeling nightmare for the next week.

    It's always best to apply sunblock before you leave the house so it can be absorbed into the skin. Most also recommend reapplying every couple hours or after swimming or perspiring a lot.

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    3

    Dress Appropriately

    The TPWD was specifically talking about what to wear while out on the trails, but the advice holds true for every day activity, too. Loose-fitting, breathable clothing are best in the summer heat.

    The new high tech fabrics that fishing and camping clothes are made of are great for days in the sun. They block the sun's rays and let the breeze flow through.

    Hats, sunglasses, and wet bandanas can also go a long way toward keeping us cool.

    Remember those pullover masks we wore during the height of the pandemic? Many of them work as evaporative coolers in the summer if you wet them and place them around your neck.

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    4

    Eat Something Salty

    Yay! We all love to munch down on something salty, now we have a reason to!

    Salty foods help us maintain our energy level and replace the sodium we lose through perspiration.

    Granola bars, tuna, and good old trail mix are great ways to keep your body healthy in the heat.

    Chips and salsa are a great late day snack when you get back inside, too.

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    5

    Have A Buddy Or Two Around

    When exploring the trails deep in the state parks it's always good to have someone with you.

    When you're going to be outside all day it's good to have someone to check in with. Or, if you know someone who's going to be outside all day check in with them from time to time. Just to make sure everyone's OK.

    It's also a great opportunity to check on elderly family members or people you know who may not have air conditioning. Spotting any signs of heat stress early can help avoid a lot of problems later.

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    6

    Make A Plan

    It's sometimes fun to do things on the spur of the moment, but if it involves being outdoors for extended periods when the temperature can climb to 100 or more it's best to have a plan.

    On the trails you'd take a map. In your daily life, you'd plan rest opportunities and places to eat or drink in an air conditioned environment throughout the course of your day.

    If you're going to be out on your own, it's also a good idea to let someone else know where you expect to be. Remember the buddy thing we just talked about?