Surviving summer heat (if summer heat ever comes)

A dog tries to beat the heat by laying on an ice bed.
A dog tries to beat the heat by laying on an ice bed.
Whether you’re staying on campus over the summer or going somewhere else hot for a few months, here are some tips for getting through the heat (especially useful if you don’t have air conditioning).  Most of these have assumed that you have access to a fridge.
  • Make your own popsicles using fruit juice and a mold.  Simple plastic molds and sticks don’t cost much, or you can always finagle your own. You can use any juice.  Real-fruit juices are thicker than concentrated fruit juice and will have a different consistency when frozen. You can even try out yogurt or pudding for a borderline ice cream bar. Milk is not recommended. 
  • If you have a box fan, face it out the window instead of in during the day so that it blows the hot air out of the room.  You can turn it back around in the evening to pull the cooler air in. You can also put an open container full of ice in front of the fan as it blows into the room to cool down the air being blown.  Even hanging your wet towel in front of the window after you shower can cool down the air somewhat.
  • If the hallway feels hotter than your room, keep your door shut.
  • Keep snacks in the fridge.  Granola bars, candy, etc., can get soft or melt in the heat.  You can throw everything in the fridge on really hot days to preserve it.  I learned to keep my toothpaste in the fridge after it melted.
A raccoon cools off in a bird bath.
A raccoon cools off in a bird bath.
  • Areas where you can feel your pulse are very sensitive to temperature, so pressing something cold against your wrist, neck, or behind your knees will make you feel it fast.
  • For a cold compress that doesn’t sweat, fill a sock with rice and put it in the freezer.  The rice is actually pretty good at retaining the cold and won’t sweat like an ice pack would.
  • Put your pillowcase and/or sheet in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to bed.
  • If you are comfortable doing so, try sleeping with a wet washcloth or towel on your chest.
  • Personal fans are easy to find and not too expensive, so having one to train on you while you sleep can make a big difference (fan death is not real).