As a dad to two energetic kids, summer holds a special place in my heart. It’s the season when school’s out, the sun shines brighter, and the world outside just seems to beckon us for adventures. But with all the fun that summer brings, it also comes with its own set of challenges: the heat.
My kids are like little explorers, ready to take on any adventure, but they’re not always aware of when the heat is getting too much. That’s why it falls on us, the parents, to ensure their safety during these heated escapades.
So, here are some ‘cool’ tactics I’ve learned over the years to help keep my family safe from the summer heat:
Fans and Cooling Tools: A Breeze to Carry Along
Moving air does feel cooler than stagnant air. So, I always make sure to carry a portable fan or other cooling methods during our outdoor trips. They’re especially handy for my youngest who can’t articulate if he’s feeling too hot.
I’ve tried various options including handheld fans that also mist water, larger fans with rechargeable batteries, evaporative air conditioners that convert moisture into cool air, and cooling towels for individual use. All of these have been absolute lifesavers on numerous occasions.
Water Wonders: Diving into Coolness
Whenever possible, I plan our adventures around water bodies. A quick swim can do wonders to lower the body temperature. Plus, the air around large bodies of water tends to be cooler. Our favorite spots include local lakes, rivers, and even city pools or water parks when we’re in urban environments.
Technical Gear: Dressing Up for the Heat
It might sound odd, but wearing long sleeves and pants actually helps keep us cool by protecting the skin from the sun. Brands like Columbia, Patagonia, and Under Armor offer clothing lines specifically designed to keep you cool and they have children’s lines too. I also make sure we wear lighter colors, hats for shade, sunscreen for sun safety, and cooling cloth to lower our body temperature.
Alternative Camping: Comfort Over Tradition
Traditional camping in the scorching heat isn’t always the best option. So, I’ve started exploring alternative camping options. Local parks offer yurts and cabins with climate control and sometimes even air conditioning. For longer trips, I’ve found renting an Airbnb on the outskirts of a beautiful outdoor destination or trying out an RV to be great alternatives.
Creating Shade: Our Own Cool Haven
Before setting out on any adventure, I always plan ahead to create shade at our destination. Depending on the location and our budget, I’ve used tarps, vehicle awnings, and beach tents that are easy to set up and provide ample shade.
Summer heat shouldn’t limit our outdoor adventures. With these cooling methods, my family and I continue to enjoy our summer escapades safely. I hope these tips inspire you to beat the heat and keep adventuring with your family all summer long!