How To Survive A Heatwave Comfortably

It was 103 degrees here on Sunday. Like the rest of the US, Denver is in the middle of a heat wave and it’s tough to stay comfortable. If you’re like me you don’t have AC so I decided to put together a little list of things you might be useful in keeping cool.

  • If you work in an airconditioned office stay at work late, sweltering days like this are perfect for getting a little extra work done.
  • Take a cold shower (with peppermint soap) before you go to bed.
  • If you are using a fan place a bowl of icecubes in front of it.
  • Also, draping a sheet soaked in cold water infront of a fan can help.
  • Cook what you can using the microwave versus the store or oven.
  • Even better, use a slow cooker or crockpot.
  • And even better than that, have a cold salad for dinner (iceberg lettuce, damn I’m funny).
  • Freeze grapes to eat.
  • Eat less. Smaller meals with less protein will reduce metabolic heat.
  • Suck on a salted ice cube.
  • Drink lots of ice water.
  • Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing.
  • Even better, wear nothing at all.
  • At least take off your shoes or hat while indoors.
  • Get a small towel, soak it in water (or even ice water), wring it out a little and put it around your neck.
  • Mist yourself with a spray bottle. Then lay in front of the fan.
  • Do laundry at night, and try to hang clothes out to dry in the sun instead of running the dryer.
  • Drink frozen margs and eat cerviche.(note: this is not really effective).
  • Keep the air flowing. Turn on the ceiling fan or box fan in the room.
    Don’t make yourself a fan out of paper and use it to wave air past
    your face and neck, the activity created by
    waving actually burns calories and raises your core temperature.
  • Sleep in a ‘spread eagle’ position.
  • Read Jack London’s “To Build A Fire“.
  • Make a homemade airconditioner (I’ve never actually tried this one but it looks cool [pun intended]).
  • Get a chillow (haven’t tried this one either but it seems like it’d work)
  • Go to a movie / library / bookstore / mountains.

What do you do to stay cool?

17 thoughts on “How To Survive A Heatwave Comfortably”

  1. actually, you should drink tepid water.

    drinking ice water makes your heart rate increase to move the cold water faster through your body to warm it up to your body temperature, making your actual body temperature increase.

    little diddy my daddy told me.

    so, why can i not get artifacting to freaking work in my bloglines? am i special or just stupid?

  2. Welcome back Anne. It’s been a while. Good point on the water thing, plus you can drink tepid water a lot faster. Also, bloglines works fine for me (yes, i subscribe to my own blog). Are you using the bookmarklet?

  3. You could also invite yourself over to a friends house that has a/c then go home late at night when it’s much cooler outside.

  4. I say bogus to the slow cooker, when I didn’t have heat its one of the things I did to heat the house while I was gone. Those suckers project a lot of heat.

    I use lots of cross ventilation fan action, with frequent showers. I’m lucky that my hosue was built before a/c was invented, so there are a lot of windows.

    I also drive around in my car, which does have a/c and not feel that guilty about it since I’m not using it at home.

    I go to the neighbors. I went on a day trip to a museum 2 hours away. I go to the movies. There is a dollar theater in town that plays every night at 7. After the movie gets out, its not as hot.

    I do the washcloth thing.

    I go to the river and stick my feet in.

    I do the dishes in front of the fan. Even though the waters hot it doesn’t seem as hot as the air.

    but really I’m baking.

  5. [different elizabeth]
    here’s a good idea in conjunction with the cold, wet towel/washcloth on your forehead:
    clean some mint leaves. then wet a fluffy cotten towel and wring it almost dry. lay the leaves down on the folded, damp towel and carefully roll it up. leave the towel in the refrigerator for two to three hours. when you need to cool down and be refreshed, take it out, shake off the leaves, and rub your face and hands with its cool, minty freshness!!! (you can also then use the mint leaves as refreshers in tea or mojitos)

  6. Ooooooh. There are some great ideas in here guys.

    SE, I just suggested the crock pot thing as an alternative to firing up the oven. Indeed it still gets hot. My house is old too (built in 1901) and has lots of windows which is great for the cross ventalization but terrible for the insulation, and the skylights don’t help with either.

    elizabeth, so fresh and so clean.

    I forgot to mention I have a swimming pool about two blocks from my house which is great but it closes too early on work days to be of any real use.

  7. I, myself, prefer just to walk around naked, drinking my chilled white wine and eating frozen grapes.

    Not really, but hey. It sounds more fun.

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  9. I recently bought a chillow. If you put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so (which they recommend on the packaging), it works brilliantly in terms of keeping you much cooler. It cools you without refrigeration too, but not as dramatically.

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  12. All great suggestions… tho, I don’t have a sports bra or skirt…

    I’m lucky. my house came with a swamp cooler, and though my water bill this month was $200, it was worth every single penny.

  13. I received my electric bill today, and considering we’ve been running three air conditioners almost every day for a month to cool the house…well, I may need to use some of your suggestions in lieu of AC. When mine broke during a heatwave back in 2002, I spent a lot of time in stores browsing and soaking up the cool.

    By the way, I feel like I’ve stumbled into 1971. I didn’t realize there were people living without AC and dishwashers. Though I bet your electric bill doesn’t make you want to cry.

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