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how to survive hot summers 

with temps surpassing 40º in the UK and my European friends woefully unprepared to deal with hotter and hotter summers, I thought I'd share how we do it back home.

- Change your wardrobe. Don't wear jeans or thick, tight clothing in summer. Light colours help, but it's less important than the fabric being loose and breathable. Imagine you get a gust of wind; can you feel the wind? Linen fabric and synthetic activewear are great for this.

- Cover all your skin when going out into the sun, either with loose breathable clothing, or sunscreen.

- "But I'm only going to the tram" – if you don't like dying of melanoma, sunscreen yourself before walking under the radiation of the nuclear deathstar in the sky.

- Wear a summer hat and/or sunglasses.

- Always be sipping. Doesn't matter if you feel thirsty or not, carry water bottles everywhere, fill them on taps, sip often. If you don't the symptom isn't necessarily thirst; it's feeling tired, sluggish, brainfog etc., eventually sunstroke.

- Learn how to make hydrating serum (1L water, 20g sugar, 5g salt). In case someone has sunstroke give them serum; it hits faster than pure water. (also good for other forms of dehydration.)

- Tea and coffe hydrate you, even accounting for diuretic effect. Alcohol dehydrates; if drinking alcohol, drink at least the same amount of water with it.

- Give up not sweating. Sweating is good. It's a very efficient evaporative cooling system (that's why you need breathable clothing, and sipping water).

- Cold meals, refrigerated fruit and ice drinks are great. Counter-intuitively, hot drinks cool you down too, by hyping up the sweat system. Same goes for hot-spicy food. (this literally cools you down, look it up.)

- Don't go outside when the sun is high. Don't eat in outside tables when the sun is high. Don't go to parks, pools or beaches when the sun is high. Wait until the deathstar isn't killing you.

- Lower your expectations of productivity. It's the apocalypse, fuck work. Procrastinate in the hot hours. Kill time. Nap. Implement the siesta as an institution.

- The buildings here are more prepared for cold weather than hot. You might want to invest in good fans, or even cold floors. High ceilings are fresher.

- The higher the air humidity %, the less effective is sweating at cooling you. Be extra careful on high-humidity high-temp days.

- summer nights can be surprisingly chilly. don't get caught unprepared in your super-breathable, breezy hot girl look during a temp drop with rain and wind outside 3am.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla
- realise this is climate change and become politically motivated to do something, anything, about it.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla Thank you!

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla
Also : use fan to renew the air of your rooms by placing them in front of opened doors/windows and not to cool you directly. It will only dehydrate you faster.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla great tips. As someone who often does hard exercise in hot and humid weather, there is a point where your body literally cannot absorb liquid fast enough, so you'll dehydrate even if you drink as much as you can.

It can be quite difficult to notice the signs if you you're not used to it (and, even if you're used to it) so be careful with intense workout in very hot and humid weather. If you feel like you have to throw up, cool yourself down and stop the workout right away.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla also a tip to keep your room cooler:
- stop the sun getting in!
This might seem obvious (use blinds/curtains if you can) however when the sun hits your blinds/curtains it still heats them up and releases heat into the room.
If you put a sheet/towel over the OUTSIDE of your window it will block the sun AND not heat your room up in the process.

how to survive hot summers 

@Banshee @elilla We need external shutters here!

(Edinburgh does pretty well for shutters in its Victorian houses and tenements, but they’re all internal)

how to survive hot summers 

@Banshee @elilla I saw a tip where you spray water on your windows and apply aluminium foil on them, the waters makes it stick and it can reflect the light/heat from the sun. I haven't tried it but I heard it works great!

how to survive hot summers 

@Banshee @elilla It's gonna be 100º-100ºF here in TX for the next month or two, so I got some cheap mylar camping blankets and duct taped them up on my exposed windows. (Which also have blackout curtains, which, like you say, get hot.) It seems to be helping, but the trade off is constant crinkling noise. :D

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla for inside: most hot days won't be humid. Hang a moist towel/cloth in your room, profit off the more humid air and the evaporative cooling. You'll be surprised how fast it's dry again.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla there is another thread with more useful tips from @welshpixie at mastodon.art/@welshpixie/10865

how to survive hot summers 

@lx242 @elilla @welshpixie

A lot of these advices (apart from the lowtech ones like putting your feet in a bowl of water) are encouraging a ginormous waste of energy, that will only aggravate climate change...

how to survive hot summers 

@lienrag @lx242 @welshpixie individual people's tech consumption habits don't cause or aggravate global warming. the system of incentives integral to capitalism, including nation-borders, animal farming, private+government control of shared resources, rentism, work culture, and ultimately the decision power being concentrated in a tiny minority of hands who are not affected by externalities, is what causes global warming.

unless these systems are fought directly and abolished urgently, global warming will keep worsening, no matter how many fans you nobly refrain from turning on.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla @lx242 @welshpixie

I agree that individual actions pale in comparison to industrial/capitalist causes, but they do aggravate global warming too - IIRC the remedy to global warming is 25% individual actions and 75% abolition of capitalism (to summarize).

Turning fans on or off is not a major impact, but producing ice in the fridge to cool the air begins to reach the levels where huge energy inefficiency has an impact, even at individual levels.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla

If it wasn't clear, I was referring to the advices that @lx242 linked to via the thread by @welshpixie

Yours are low-tech and efficient.

how to survive hot summers 

@lienrag
I fail to see much energy being used/wasted in those tips. And I think its okay to use energy to prevent getting sick or dying.
It's not wasted energy in my understanding. @elilla @welshpixie

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla enfin des bons conseils pour les vagues de chaleurs
- Lower your expectations of productivity. It's the apocalypse, fuck work.
- Procrastinate in the hot hours. Kill time. Nap.
- Implement the siesta as an institution.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla good ideas also are to cook something in the morning before it's too hot that you can chill. Some meals can be chilled in the fridge for a few hours. Always helps me out

how to survive hot summers 

@SpiritualTechie @elilla Last year in the heat we started using our electric pressure cooker a lot more, in slow cooker mode. The electric ones are insulated somewhat and better sealed than the cheap crockpot kind, so it released far less heat i to the surrounding house. It really helped.

Of course, if one can afford to mount a little shelter outside and run a cable, this also makes it trivial to cook entirely outdoors..

how to survive hot summers 

@seachaint @elilla I have debated this before. My apartment has a parking cover less than 50 feet from a window right next to a power outlet. I could easily put a table there for something

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla I used to always wear jeans, but a few months ago I found loose synthetic active pants at a thrift shop and it's all I wear these days, I need to find more loose clothing !

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla

Good points.

I live in a part of the US where the temperature (Fahrenheit) and humidity both hover in the mid ‘90s this time of year.

If you do have to be out in the heat of the day in full sun, a neck gaiter (buff) is a must. Wet it down to help keep your core cool as well as keep your neck from frying. You’d be amazed at how fast your neck and shoulders can get sunburned compared to everywhere else.

re: how to survive hot summers 

@elilla all of these remind me of things my brazilian mother has told and pestered me about lol

@cel yup I'm just posting mom's advice and getting likes for it. I have become the brazilian mom, wielder of havaianas

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla Yep, that's all good advice. I'd add: make tactical use of windows. We keep the upstairs windows open a crack all the time and the downstairs windows open only in the morning, when it's cooler outside than in.

Keep South-facing curtains closed.

If you can, sleep downstairs.

I'll also be setting up a computer today to enable me to work downstairs next week. The temperature upstairs is going to be completely intolerable.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla
Also when out - try to remain in the shade as much as possible

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla good fans are surprisingly difficult to find in the UK. You'd think with everything being made in the same factories overseas the fans everywhere would be good, but that's not the case. It's like the UK's buying from factories that still make 50s surplus.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla I'd also say that while it is tempting to let that rare gorgeous sunlight shine into the house: direct sunlight on the interior is the enemy. Open the curtains on the windows that are in shadow.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla thanku for tips :blobcatmeltlove:

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla Also, if you're unable to get shade when you're forced to be outside, you can make your own portable shade with a parasol or umbrella provided that it's not too windy.

Also important to monitor for early warning signs of overheating. If you're prone to any kind of weird mental health stuff (eg anxiety) and it suddenly turns up to 11 for no obvious reason? Get indoors and get cool. It hits everyone differently, but in biochemical terms, your body can't tell the difference between a high arousal state and overheating - so mental health stuff can be your earliest sign that you need to cool down ASAP.

(However, note also that with how overnight heat can affect sleep and the cumulative effects of heat stress, your mental health *will* take a hit, unfortunately. There's no getting out of that.)

re: how to survive hot summers 

@elilla Your advice on alcohol is actually very good indepedent of hot weather. Even under normal circumstances it reduces chances of a hangover and headache the next morning.

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla Take frequent showers and sit in front of a fan afterwards. Not advisable on public transport.

my terrible advice 

@elilla

- put ice cubes in your clothes. they will keep you cool for a little while, and when they melt they will continue to regulate body heat

- put ice cream in your food. it will not only keep you cool, but it will taste delicious. turn your ham sandwich into an ice cream and ham sandwich

- wear long clothes, expose as little skin as possible to prevent sunburns

- use liquid nitrogen to help cool yourself off

- consider cryogenic stasis

re: mdjxp's terrible advice 

@mjdxp I have to admit, I sometimes do the first thing with the ice cubes when it's really hot @elilla

how to survive hot summers 

@elilla You mention cold floors. We put in tile last Dec and I am fairly shocked at how much that is helping during the summer here in Texas.

@sng I'm not knowledgeable about architecture for weather, but I know that cold tiles high ceiling makes everything a lot more comfortable. sadly one can't easily elevate the roof or top floor neighbour, but tiles are doable. I'm sure there's more architectural techniques in countries from hot places (and also from places like Texas and Arizona before they started relying on air conditioning to import European-style houses into the desert).

@elilla The American southwest traditionally mostly used adobe construction. With really thick roofs. Sadly for most Europeans this only works in dry environments. Also we use evaporative cooling a lot. In the old days non-electric and these days mostly “swamp coolers”. The indigenous people in the area tended to build down or deep into caves and use structures similar to stepwells. A lot of the settler methods were, naturally, adapted from Spain. And you can still see a lot of that in the Iberian region in Europe. Sadly for most Northern Europeans these techniques tend to assume low humidity.

@elilla These are non expert observations from my life in that region. The areas the indigenous peoples tended to live in the summer were also, usually, at elevation. So the days would get really hot but the temp would drop dramatically over night. So while it might get into the high 90s to low 100s at peak heating it would drop into the 60s overnight. So a lot of their building methods were designed to trap that cooler air over night. When I was a kid I’d often go camp “up the mountain” in the summer. Go up a couple of thousand feet and things are a lot more bearable. Humanity in general losing the wisdom of going where it makes sense to be for the season was a fucking tragedy. Sorry about the units in this post. Don’t have the energy to look up conversions right now.

@elilla I grew up in Utah and spent a significant amount of time camping in northern Arizona, southern Colorado, and New Mexico.

@elilla I asked the archeologists studying the Anasazi about a billion questions and anytime I could find a Navajo person willing to tolerate me I’m sure I drove them crazy asking way too many questions.

@sng yeah I'm often bummed at how sedentary we have made our hoarding, private-property-heavy habitations, which then become little prisons we can't leave. so much would be better if moving around was materially quick and easy. it's all walls and borders, not just around countries but over our whole lifestyles.

I heard that some areas in Germany have oscillated from 40° to the negatives this week—high-altitude places where nothing trap the blazing heat, and the night air pools down into wind-shielded valleys. I'm sure there must be energy-efficient, low-tech ways to use one to make the other bearable...

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