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Missi

How to stay cool in extreme humidity?

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Missi

I know many of you guys have hiked tropical forests. Sometimes South Florida is like a tropical forest during the summer. I have a couple outdoor projects that I have to complete. Please share tips on how to stay cool in extreme humidity. I’ve tried loading up on water and electrolytes, breathable, cooling clothing (which gets soaked anyhow even if it’s the water repelling type then I can’t sweat because my skin is smothered). 

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Silas_Sancona
6 hours ago, Missi said:

I know many of you guys have hiked tropical forests. Sometimes South Florida is like a tropical forest during the summer. I have a couple outdoor projects that I have to complete. Please share tips on how to stay cool in extreme humidity. I’ve tried loading up on water and electrolytes, breathable, cooling clothing (which gets soaked anyhow even if it’s the water repelling type then I can’t sweat because my skin is smothered). 

Remember experiencing the same thing while in Bradenton.. and, like you said, didn't matter how much water, Propel, etc i drank, or the shirts i had to wear where i worked ( were supposed to help wick away sweat, were actually HORRIBLY hot and made sweating it out in the sun worse.. ) Only thing that worked for me was working in shaded areas on the hottest days, or, if at home, waiting until the sun was behind tree canopy to the west of the house if mowing our / our neighbors lawns and taking my time.. no rushing anything. 

That said, i'll happily trade mowing the lawn, in the afternoon, on a hot summer day there over dealing w/ the heat here.. Never once had any issues w/ the heat there. Here, in less than a year and i darn near ended up in the hospital.. and still experience lingering effects 2 years later.  

Heat there never kept me inside as much as it has here either..  Don't know how anyone in construction, delivery drivers, postal service, ..and kids, ( since they're already back in school atm here ) deal w/ the heat.. let alone anyone in the Nursery/ Landscape trades.. From what i have seen, it isn't like many who run such businesses care much for the well being of their employees, let alone when it is hot.. anyway.. Won't miss it at all once i move.  

As for you, take it easy and plan the more exacting parts of the projects you want to get done around those days its warm but cloudy.. thats something i tried to do as much as possible..  Don't want to hear of you, or anyone else, ending up suffering heat exhaustion or worse. 

 

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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greysrigging

Easy.... beer !.... tried and true method tropical Northern Territory since 1979 !
67839575_356345181971670_3185922009057984512_n.jpg.306396bc720d387ec09c7b4053cb3c3b.jpg

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greysrigging

So OK. seriously now... heat stress is extremely dangerous, and heat stroke is deadly.  Darwin has a particularly brutal hot and humid 'Wet Season'. I am a construction worker, and spent my whole working life outdoors in extreme heat. Northern Australia, the North West of Western Australia and North West Queensland is renowned for oppressive conditions. During the 'build up' in Darwin, just sitting on the front veranda eating breakfast, one is drenched in sweat, temps of 30c and DPs in the mid 20's really taxes the bodies ability to cool down. The dry heat of the Central Deserts for me are easier to handle rather than the extreme humidity of the coastal regions of the Pilbara, Kimberley, Top End and Gulf Country.
Very important to be acclimatised to the conditions outdoors in the Tropics. Many of our larger infastructure construction projects are in remote Tropical Australia and the workforces are sourced from the cooler Southern States... we have a huge focus on reducing heat related illness, ie: keeping fluid levels up, hydration, checking the color of your urine, using sunscreen, taking shade breaks, having cool rooms to retreat to etc....
In other words... don't overdo it in the heat !

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Missi

Thanks guys! We’re digging an 80’ trench, installing conduit, putting up an electric fence perimeter to protect the chickens and turkey from a mama bear and 4 cubs that have been hanging around for the past month. So far she’s only been able to pull back one layer of wire on my pen and bend in some roof wire, but she’s gotten into my neighbors’ pen 3 times and killed over 15 of their 30 birds. We can’t put this project off or it’s just a matter of time before they get to my birds.

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palmsOrl

Lately Orlando has felt like the middle of the Amazon, which I totally don't mind, since it is best for pretty much all the plants I grow.  I would be mostly staying inside from May-September anyways.  I actually don't mind it when it is warm and humid at night, but during the day when the sun hits me, that I find brutal.  I just try to drink tons of fluids and stay in the shade.

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HtownPalms

Like everyone else says stay hydrated and work in the shade. I also try to do as much as possible the last 2 hours of daylight or the first 2 hours of daylight. In the heat of summer I usually work in un-shaded areas under EZ UP tents with large fans blowing. Always keeping a large ice chest full of water to drink and wet towels to put over my head and neck when the heat starts getting to me. 

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Chester B

I would also say set a time limit like 1 hour of work (use the timer feature on your phone) and take a break inside in AC for 15 minutes with some ice cold beverages.  I know it's hard to stop once you start getting into it, but you won't last if you pass that critical threshold where your body is actually overheating and can no longer cool itself.

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Missi

Really great tips, guys! Keep them coming! Thanks!

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Merlyn2220

I spent 15 years running ultramarathons, Ironman races and other similar events.  The wicking fabrics really only help a lot if you are moving, otherwise they do tend to get waterlogged and just feel like a nice insulating layer.  My tactic for running 20+ miles in the middle of summer in Orlando was hydration and electrolytes.  I use Endurolytes Extreme every 30 minutes either running or biking.  The extra salt helps you digest water quicker, so you can keep from getting dehydrated.  I also check my weight on a daily basis to make sure I'm consistent.  Losing 3-4lb of sweat water is pretty easy, anything over 2% of your body weight is a serious danger zone.  At one point I measured my sweat rate by weighing myself before and after workouts and logging my water intake.  I could easily drop 2lb per hour even while drinking 20-30oz of water!

For landscaping in the summer I've found that working for ~1 hour and taking a 15 minute A/C break is effective.  I check my weight through the day and take longer breaks if I'm dropping weight due to excess sweat.  I drink a 50/50 mix of ginger ale and water, and take the occasional Thermotab salt tablet to help digest water quickly.  Drinking full strength sports drinks or sodas is generally a big no-no, as the high sugar content makes them slow to digest.  You end up with the bloated stomach feel and you aren't absorbing water fast enough compared to your sweat rate.  The biggest improvement for me in landscaping is to always wear a white cotton shirt and simply change it every time I come inside.  I wash off my arms, wipe the dirt off my legs and sit in the A/C under a ceiling fan. 

I've gotten through a lot of 10 hour Sundays in full sun doing that, and the only time of year that's *really* challenging is the middle of August.  When the heat index is 120F there's just not a lot you can do before you overheat.  I've gone out to run 10 milers in Texas in 110F heat and it was trivially easy, because at least sweating cools you down!

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Missi
12 hours ago, Merlyn2220 said:

I spent 15 years running ultramarathons, Ironman races and other similar events.  The wicking fabrics really only help a lot if you are moving, otherwise they do tend to get waterlogged and just feel like a nice insulating layer.  My tactic for running 20+ miles in the middle of summer in Orlando was hydration and electrolytes.  I use Endurolytes Extreme every 30 minutes either running or biking.  The extra salt helps you digest water quicker, so you can keep from getting dehydrated.  I also check my weight on a daily basis to make sure I'm consistent.  Losing 3-4lb of sweat water is pretty easy, anything over 2% of your body weight is a serious danger zone.  At one point I measured my sweat rate by weighing myself before and after workouts and logging my water intake.  I could easily drop 2lb per hour even while drinking 20-30oz of water!

For landscaping in the summer I've found that working for ~1 hour and taking a 15 minute A/C break is effective.  I check my weight through the day and take longer breaks if I'm dropping weight due to excess sweat.  I drink a 50/50 mix of ginger ale and water, and take the occasional Thermotab salt tablet to help digest water quickly.  Drinking full strength sports drinks or sodas is generally a big no-no, as the high sugar content makes them slow to digest.  You end up with the bloated stomach feel and you aren't absorbing water fast enough compared to your sweat rate.  The biggest improvement for me in landscaping is to always wear a white cotton shirt and simply change it every time I come inside.  I wash off my arms, wipe the dirt off my legs and sit in the A/C under a ceiling fan. 

I've gotten through a lot of 10 hour Sundays in full sun doing that, and the only time of year that's *really* challenging is the middle of August.  When the heat index is 120F there's just not a lot you can do before you overheat.  I've gone out to run 10 milers in Texas in 110F heat and it was trivially easy, because at least sweating cools you down!

Now THIS is the kind of info I'm looking for! Thanks so much for your detailed input!!

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bubba

You just have to embrace your sweat. I sweat when it is over 60 F. In South Florida, this condition creates it's own challenges.

The worst for me is when I am forced to wear a jacket to some place at night. Because I ran for 35 years and now recumbent bicycle (inside watching the Golf Channel), my system is trained for "full blown exercise sweat". When this is triggered at said party, I look like I jumped into a pool. People stare at me like I wrote a check that evening that the day can never cash.

I have accepted and embraced my sweat. I am told by my Doctor that it is healthy. So I am now a happy sweater who dreams of Pebble Beach...

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edbrown_III

I have one of these high velocity fans I put out in the shade and sit in front of it ---- plus keep a picture of ice water out there ----  its a b it easier than going in wringing wet with sweat and sitting down in a/c----  

 

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