Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: In a Feb. 2017 blog, our 5 tips were how to travel in style in hot weather. In this post, we will skip style for the tough adventure tour in the tropics. How you can stay cool glamping in the Okavango Delta in 120 degree day time heat? How can you climb up hill after hill to see a “fort too far” in India? Upriver in the Amazon, how can you love a trek in the rain forest at midday? I have lived each of those. At times, the best ideas was a low-tech one. Here are my lessons learned:
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip One: Leave your jeans at home!
I know this is surprising. But what I found in India in Sept. was that jeans and other “summer” long pants clung to my knees. In my climb to see top sights, I felt like my knees were encased in concrete. The best deal? Buy a local pair of pants. Both in India and SE Asia, there were lightweight cotton pants with great designs. It is true that you will look like a tourist sporting brightly colored elephant slacks as no one locally seems to wear them. You can plan to donate them to a charity or wear them at home for work outs or sleep wear!
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Two: Take a hat with a wide brim.
There are a few things to think about.
- Will your new chapeau stay on in a boat ride? You can copy a look from the classic film “African Queen”, and tie it on with a scarf. (You may want to skip selfies at that point.)
- Even hats sold to block UV rays may have air vents that allow the sun in. I found this in the Amazon when I had a mild glow at the end of the day.
- Is your neck uncovered and at risk for a huge sunburn if you trek for hours?
- In canoes, mokoros or kayaks even with head gear, your face will get the sun’s rays reflected from the water.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Three: Fend off greedy insects.
I have been to malarial zones 4 or 5 times. I take the pills as prescribed. They are the best help but not 100%. What are the top ways to combat such insects? (They may also bring Dengue Fever and Zika.) Other than just staying at home, do this:
- Check out where the local risk is the worst. If you are in a city not on a trek in remote areas, what should you do? Know that some mosquitoes generally feed at set times of day while in other areas, it may be all day long. If your research shows dusk and dawn, wear bug spray all day but also cover up then. In the Okavango Delta, we even wore socks, long pants and long sleeves for dinner outside. If you dine by a lagoon, you may be “feasted” on while you feast!
- Wear treated clothing. I looked at sprays for my clothes. Since it needed to have clothes left outside for hours, I bought pre-treated Bugs Away shirts.
- If you buy insect repellent and sunblock, mixed or separate, test them out at home. See how they work jointly.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Four: Take a battery powered fan.
These are on http://www.Amazon.com and other online sites. I first saw them in China. Small ones can be held in the palm of your hand. Large ones can have a spray or mist too. This may be the top thing to pack for the heat. Be sure to take lots of batteries. I was shocked to see how fast they ate up the power!
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Five: Have a “Plan B”.
I have found on my solo trips that the “frequent” cab, bus or train may be hard to find. The best such shock?! In India in the hot “rainy season”, I trekked with a hardy band of 5 up, up and up again to hilltop forts. The marathon found us atop four forts in one day. The trusty guide book assured us that small tuk-tuks would be there for the taking to go uphill. As we struggled around never ending curves upward, we reached the point to meet those long sought after tuk-tuk’s. We found there were none in sight. Our rescue came with some added risk in the form of a passerby speeding by on a motorcycle. Clutching his back for dear life, we swerved at top speed on the steep hilltop edge while I murmured “Slow”, “Slow, and “Slow” all the way. As luck would have it, I arrived at the top to see, yes, the tuk-tuk. It had somehow rescued the rest of our weary band while I swerved wildly to the top on the motorcycle. (Do watch out for the exhaust pipe. I have known riders who got a real burn on their leg from it.)
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Six: Pack a small umbrella.
I break my own rule here. I always say pack light to save time and money with carry-on. I found in the Amazon that slickers were needed in open boats. There is one problem. In humidity, they are really way too hot. You may not be able to hold on to an umbrella on a rocking boat. But on treks on terra firma, they can be a sun screen, too. In Asia, many women carried them in bright sun. I found the best ones also blocked UV rays.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Seven: Pack things you can wash.
In the thick of a rain forest, you may not have laundry service. In the opposite weather, one Jan. in Siberia, I hand washed clothes in the bathroom sink or tub. One issue: In humid places, it is hard to dry clothes even in bright sun.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Eight: Try this safari trick.
I went glamping in the Okavango Delta. It was one of the best trips of my life. It did get to about 120 degrees in the heat of the day. It dropped to a “cool” 80 or so at night. I was told to try a wet wash cloth tucked in the waist of my slacks. It was great. Give it a try.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Nine: Get a hands free tote for water bottles.
Some totes hold cameras, sun block and just about all you need but the water bottle. Whatever your age, sun stroke can happen so water is key. If you have the right tote, you will find an added benefit. You will have hands free for photos, too.
Adventure Travel How to Stay Cool in Hot Climates: Tip Ten: Don’t think “bare” is the way to go!
There are two reasons. In many cultures, it is not OK for men or women to wear bare clothing. This is true in houses of worship, SE Asian royal palaces and even in many cities. Light weight clothes can be cooler than sun on bare skin in many cases anyway. I like the shirts from India that are light weight, cover and in bright silks, can go from day to night.
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