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Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

    • Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

      Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

      We've all been there—tossing and turning in bed, struggling because our sweat has us practically glued to the sheets. It Is Awful. There are few things worse than trying to catch some shut-eye (or even just relax!) in an incredibly hot, sticky room. But brutal summer temps are unavoidable for most of us at some point in the year. So how do you cool down a tent without AC? It's possible, I swear! A few quick tips and trips, a bunch of which you've probably never heard, can mean the difference between a sleepless night in a borderline sauna and some blissful zzzs. So what are we going to cover? (Well, not ourselves, obviously.) Things like how to use the freezer to your advantage (it's not what you think), getting low (to the ground, that is), and getting extra creative with grains. Confused? Just read on. It will all make sense.
      Before we dive in, we realize the obvious solution for cool, calm, and sleeping is an air conditioner: These modern gizmos can keep a bedroom at the optimum sleep temperature (roughly between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), plus provide some nice white noise to boot. But even small window units use up tons of energy and jack up monthly electric bills. So what’s an environmentally responsible, budget-conscious sleeper to do? Living through a hot summer without AC seems impossible but, hey, our grandparents did it all the time! Turns out, they learned a few things in the process. Here are all those tried-and-true DIY strategies for how to stay cool in summer.

      Choose cotton.
      Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed or bed rolls & linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the tent. Sleep on top of the bags.
      Feel the freezer burn.
      Stick cotton sheets in a bag and tie it to a sapling and pop it in a stream for a few minutes before bed. I recommend placing them in a plastic bag. Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat and humidity.

      Get cold comfort.
      Here’s a four-seasons tip for keeping cool or hot. A Nagalene In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes. During summer, stick it in the cool stream to create a bed-friendly near-ice pack.

      Sleep like an Egyptian.
      If there seem to be a lot of Egyptian references in this list, it’s because those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The so-called “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. We recommend laying the damp sheets on top of a dry towel to avoid soaking the bag.

      Get loose.
      Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear. Going full nudie during a heat wave is (unsurprisingly) controversial. Some people believe it helps keep them cool, while others claim going au natural means sweat stays on the body instead of being wicked away by fabric. I am going to chalk this one up to personal preference.
      Go old-school in a hostel.
      Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice? me neither. This stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era, though. Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

      Create a cross-breeze.
      In this case, hanging out in the cross-hairs is a good idea. Position a fan across from a window, so the wind from outside and the fan combine in a cooling cross-breeze. Feeling fancy? Go buck-wild and set up multiple fans throughout the room to make the airflow even more boisterous. In a tent situation, line up the cover and tak it down around the vestibule, then leave it so that you can jump out in a down pour with one or two stakes in an emergency,

      Pamper your pulses.
      Need to cool down, stat? To chill out super-fast, apply ice or stream packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees.
      Get tech-y.
      We can’t vouch for its effectiveness, but you can take a blue ice soft pack that stays cool through water circulation in a mountain stream and apply to the neck overnight. —seems like a genius idea.

      Be a lone wolf.
      Sorry lovebugs, but sleeping alone is way better than spooning for staying cool. Cuddling with a partner increases body heat, making the bed a sticky, sweaty pit of despair instead of a cool, calm oasis.

      Release your inner Tarzan.
      Feeling ambitious (or just really, really hot)? Rig up a hammock or set up a simple cot. Both types of beds are suspended on all sides, which increases airflow.
      Fill up the tank.
      Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a stream temp of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)

      Cool off.
      A cold shower takes on a whole new meaning come summertime. Rinsing off under a stream of tepid H20 brings down the core body temperature and rinses off sweat (ick) so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.
      Get low.
      Hot air rises, so set up your bed, hammock, or cot as close to the ground as possible to beat the heat. In a one-story home, that means hauling the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and putting it on the floor. If you live in a multi-floor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor or in the basement instead of an upper story. In a hammock as close to the tree line as possible.

      Turn off the lights.
      This tip is pretty self-explanatory.

      Hang out.
      Cool down a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.

      Stay away from the stove.
      Summer is not the time to whip up a piping hot casserole, roast chicken or hot dogs. Instead, chow down on cool, room-temperature dishes (salads with bread are clutch) to avoid generating any more heat in the house. If hot food is in order, fire up the grill instead of turning on the oven. And swap big meals for smaller, lighter dinners that are easier to metabolize. The body produces more heat after you chow down on a huge steak than a platter of fruits, veggies, and legumes.

      Encourage cold feet.
      Those ten little piggy’s are pretty sensitive to temperature because there are lots of pulse points in the feet and ankles. Cool down the whole body by dunking (clean!) feet in cold water before hitting the hay. Better yet, keep a bucket of water near the bed and dip feet whenever you’re feeling hot throughout the night. Or if you are not sleeping in the bag keep your socks on and soak in cold water.

      Unplug at night.
      As in, literally disconnect electronics. This helps going to sleep.

      Camp at home.
      Got access to a safe outdoor space like a roof, courtyard, or backyard? Practice those camping skills (and stay cooler) by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco.

      Hog the bed.
      Sleeping alone has its perks, including plenty of space to stretch out. Snoozing in spread eagle position (i.e. with arms and legs not touching each other) is best for reducing body heat and letting air circulate around the body. Hit the hay in this sleep position to keep limbs from getting crazy sweaty.

      Go rustic.
      When temperatures soar, trade in that extra-comfy mattress for a minimalist straw or bamboo mat. These all-natural sleeping surfaces are less comfortable, but they don’t retain heat like a puffy, cloth-covered mattress.

      Get creative with grains.
      Rice and buckwheat aren’t just for eating! These cupboard staples can also keep you cool on hot nights. Stock up on buckwheat pillows, which don’t absorb heat like cotton and down. And for a cold compress on really hot nights, fill a sock with rice, tie it off, and stick it in the freezer for an hour or so. The compress will stay chilly for up to 30 minutes, definitely enough time to nod off.
      There was an Old Man with a owl,
      Who continued to bother and howl;
      He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
      Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.WOO
    • Drybones wrote:

      uncle meat wrote:

      CoachLou wrote:

      This is one of the main reasons for the Hooch. I can set it up tight or breezy.
      I do find a tent a bit stuffy (at least me coffin tent is), I imagine a hammock is the same, though haven't used one...that wasn't mesh and on a beach.
      In a hammock I'm snug as a bug in a rug.
      One of the benefits of being in a Hammock is the body heat radiates in all directions. Unless the Dewpoint is high.
      There was an Old Man with a owl,
      Who continued to bother and howl;
      He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
      Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.WOO

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • New

      Pay attention to fluids, filters, and timing belts and most cars will come close. I just sold a reliable car with 300k and my truck just hit 200k.

      Lest we forget.....

      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • New

      i had 250k on my ford explorer -- was gonna give it to my son when he reached driving age -- that was in great condition until the day i drove it to the grocery store and the bag boy came up to me while i was in the check out line to tell my "car was smokin". grabbed the store fire extingusher but the engine was on fire. put out the fire but it was too late. car totaled. i was planning to see just how many miles that thing was gonna last...
      2,000 miler