Has anyone looked ahead to summer?

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I can go out in my shirtsleeves, if it's 15 degrees outside, but I die when it gets much above 85. Has anyone uncovered any good tips for keeping cool, other than drinking mass quantities of water?

-- Bokonon (bok0non@my-Deja.com), August 14, 1999


Lie still in the shade. Lie in the pond or River. Work 6 am --- 10 am; 6 pm - 9 pm. don't feel like you must do anything in the heat.

-- Sand Mueller (smueller@azalea.net), August 15, 1999.

I am more worried about the summer with no power than I am the winter. We have a wood stove for heat/cooking and food items can be kept outside in the winter, but summer in the south is awful. I want a generator for the summer so we can run fans.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), August 15, 1999.

get nocturnal,sleeping during the day will not only conserve water loss and help keep you cool,you'll also be awake when bad people are most likely to come knocking(or prowling.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), August 15, 1999.

Move north! Tho that is no guarentee, we've had a week over 90 with threatened brownouts and y2k not even here yet !

If you have a breeze, wet cheesecloth over the open windows will cool the air somewhat(but add to the humidity).

If you have any well shaded spot, put up a screen house or screen tent to spend your hottest hours in. This is even good for sleeping at night if you are in a safe area.

Frequently cool down your face and wrists,feet and neck with cool water. They have these packs you can buy to wear around your neck too. If you have the water,a kiddie pool can be used for frequent dunking. Keeping your hair wet, helps to cool your head.

If you have a lake,river, creek, you are extremely lucky , use it often .

Mobile homes and trailers absorb the heat more than regular homes. Now is the time to build a roof over or a screened room if you can afford it. If not then the screened type tent room (already mentioned) if you have shade. Regular homes , now is the time to add insulation especially to the roof (attic).

Best solution of all if money and your area permits is digging a big root cellar or any kind of partial cellar. Underground is 10-20 degrees cooler.

Alcoholic beverages heat you up but (rubbing)alcohol sponge baths cool you down.

-- sue (deco100@aol.com), August 15, 1999.

Good suggestions. Also: plant hybrid poplars and willows to provide "fast" (2-3 years) shade in your yard; plant grapes and trellis on south side of house to shade and cool walls and windows.

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), August 15, 1999.

Dark colors absorb more heat from the sun than light colors, so outdoor clothes and awnings should be white or light. Bikers traditionaly wear black, but on really hot days I don't and laugh at the guys who do.

When its really hot, put on a wet tshirt. When you first put it on. it feels cooler than no shirt.

I keep thinking there should be fans run by some kind of clockwork mechanism, but I haven't been able to find one.

Speaking of summer, don't forget to get some sunglasses. Dark sunglasses make me feel cooler even though its purely psychological.

-- biker (y2kbiker@worldnet.att.net), August 15, 1999.

cook outside. Build a straw bale or earth sheltered house. An old Roman trick was to put pipes in trenches going out from buildings. Air comes in the outside air intake, is cooled in the ground, enters the house by natural convection as cooler air. I think the house cool air intake needs to be higher then the outside warm air intake. Take a siesta in mid day.

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), August 15, 1999.

As far as cooking outside goes, be ready to build a simple "Summer Kitchen". This is a kitchen set up out side of the house.

Yes, by all means avoid working during the heat of the day.

And cheer up. You will get used to 98 degree days....right after the first few 105 degree days. I did.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.net), August 15, 1999.

Does anyone know where to order those things that have some type of cooling jell(or whatever) packed inside that you wet and then put the thingy around your neck to try to keep the blood going to your head cool???

-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry.now), August 15, 1999.

Jeanne - keep your eyes open and check in strange places. I buy those neck things for my husband who works in a metal building plant. The first ones I found in the grocery store. They have and area where they display odd stuff, like college sweatshirts, NFL stuff, summer stuff such as plastic cups and pitchers. I have seen them at Walmart too. They can be difficult to spot if you don't know what to look for. The package is only about 2"x8" and FLAT. Top portion generally cardboard with neckband folded flat in plastic. I usually spot them hanging on a corner or end of an aisle. Think I paid about $5 for mine. They work GREAT! I even bought them for my cheerleading squad and they loved them. Hope this helps.

-- lvz (lvzinser@hotmail.com), August 16, 1999.

We got a tip to keep cool from a friend of ours. She worked as an extra in a movie they were making here in the Orlando area. The part she was in was filmed outdoors in the heat amd the producers wanted to keep the cast comfortable.

Make a solution of half water and half "Seabreeze". Soak a bandanna in the solution, wring it out and tie it around your neck. It works!!! I use it all the time - especially when I'm doing yard work.


-- Bookworm (bookworm_2@hotmail.com), August 16, 1999.

EYES OPEN, you're right. I am a builder, and I always get used to hot weather in the way you describe. We builders,and others who have to work outside, don't EVER get air conditioning during the heat of the day. But I must admit, the humidity in East Texas almost did me in when I was 23, so I moved "out west" where the days are as hot, but dry heat, and it always gets cool at night, so we don't need air con.

For anyone who wants to dabble in solar power, fans and evaporative coolers will work very well on solar WITHOUT BATTERIES, SOLAR POWER'S WEAK LINK. As most folks probably already know, evaporative coolers don't provide much relief in humid climes, but they are great in the arid parts of the world, and use a tiny fraction of the power that an air con does. Hence, it's not all that expensive to use solar power. Lots of info available at lots of different URLS. Do a search.


-- Al K. Lloyd (al@ready.now), August 17, 1999.


i bought several of the neck-bands you are describing at a Y2K expo we went to a couple of months ago....they cost $6 apiece at the expo

here's the company info from their brochure:

Arizona Cooler Wray Enterprises P.O. Box 1215 Harrah, OK 73045 1-800-895-7874

here's how you can make them yourself (for a lot less money)

check out your local nurseries.....see if you can find a product called "Soil Moist" or another brand called "Terra Sorb"...........these are usually referred to as a planting gel or "water management polymer crystals" and they are used to help retain moisture in houseplants (i paid $1.99 for a 3 oz. pkg when i got mine)

soil moist has a website....but i don't have the url handy

i used material from an old sheet......and i've made some from heavier camo type material, and i suppose even denim would work tho i haven't tried it yet)

cut a strip of material 5" wide by 42" long.........fold in half lengthwise and sew a 1/2 inch seam down the length to form a tube and then turn the tube inside out

sew a tight seam 12 and a half inches from one end of the tubeacross the tube

pour 1 teaspoon of the polymer crystals (they look like rock salt) into the long end of the tube.....the sew a second seam acoss the tube 12 and a half inches from the other end to hold the crystals in the center part of the tube

i usually sew a seam at each outer end of the tube, also.....just to prevent unraveling

soak your "cooler" in water for 15 minutes......then squish the crystals about evenly in the middle part of the tube to distribute them....and soak for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.........then just "recharge" them whenever the gel starts drying out by soaking them for a few minutes

you can wash them with a small amount of dishwashing liquid rubbed into them and then rinsed out well

hope this helps.......and hope i haven't done a hopeless job of describing how i make them....HA!

if you've got any questions....email me


-- andrea (mebsmebs@hotmail.com), August 17, 1999.

Andrea, thanks for the instructions. These things are great even without Y2K. Realgoods.com has those crystals. They also have a small battery-operated fan, runs on 4 Ds, goes for 300 hours. I bought one two years ago, works great, especially for hot flashes; just ordered another one. Also, Cobra misters--Wal-Mart has them. If water isn't interrupted, these are great coolers. Cost about $10 or so, emit fine mist, cool surrounding air by about 10-15 degrees. Other versions available, some hang from eaves, some are personal, portable. See specialty catalogues.

Also, think waterbed--waterbeds are cool in the summer. In the winter you can keep warm by powering the heater with a solar panel/batteries/inverter set-up.

(Best solar battery charger and house-brand NiCads seem to be from ccrane.com. Got those too.)

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 17, 1999.

-Got hammocks?

-- Lee (lplapin@hotmail.com), August 18, 1999.

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