What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby samhandwich22 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:27 pm

I am trying to decide if I need to bring a parasol or portable shade structure for when I am biking/walking around black rock city. These seem awkward to keep with and have to set up. Will a wide-brimmed hat be enough or should I carry some other portable shade structure with me?

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:33 pm

I say bring a parasol, they can be great shade... you'll have the option to carry it or not. Having said that, most of the time it's nice to be unencumbered, free to climb/ride on/crawl through or do whatever comes up without having to worry about carrying something like that.

So - bring it, you'll figure out how much you want to carry it.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:36 pm

The $10 ones at Big Lots have a case with a sling strap. 8)
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

I take a personal-sized parasol on neighborhood walks, but if I'm biking a long way I do not tote shade--I'm more likely to sunscreen up and wear a pashmina/wide scarf especially over my shoulders/upper chest, which gets the most sun.

If I'm far from camp and I want shade, I look for a bar or theme camp that's open.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby VultureChow » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:53 am

Long sleeve fishing or watersports shirt. Lightweight nylon so they dry fast. Vented in the back so good airflow. Left open over a tank top.

I wore them for the UV rating, as I am super pale, but they kept me nice and cool as well. Also, good wide brimmed hat.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Sham » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:08 am

I toss a light, collapsible umbrella in my backpack. Also, there is a neckerchief that has cooling beads (soak in water) to tie around your neck. Wide brim hat to protect your nose and ears and lots of sunscreen.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby unjonharley » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:25 am

Only mad gods and english men go out in the noon day sun..

On the playa the "noon day sun" last a bit longer..

Staying cool is more a matter of attitude on the desert " 8) What heat 8) " :?:

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Elorrum » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:29 am

I was gifted a neckerchief home made my first year. It's a simple cotton fabric tube filled with the water absorbing material that can be mixed into potted plant soil. I soak it in cool water in a baggy in my cooler.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Major Krash » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:09 am

Shambala wrote:Also, there is a neckerchief that has cooling beads (soak in water) to tie around your neck. Wide brim hat to protect your nose and ears and lots of sunscreen.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby graidawg » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:12 am

vodka! that makes you cool.



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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby AntiM » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:40 am

BASH... big ass shade hat. Look for fisherman hats or breezers which have a mesh crown for airflow.

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby unjonharley » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:57 am

I bought my son a straw farmers hat on the way to BM.. Over the week the wind took it apart.. At the end he was wearing the crown to keep his hair,,

I'm wounding if my bell shaped garden straw would hold up at all??

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby mulch » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:29 am

I'm sure I will find out that there is more to it than meets the eye but.....
Ok the temperature records suggest mostly 90s during the day and very low humidity, sure sometimes 100 or more. Is it possible that the perspective of oppressive heat is related to many burners coming from weather paradises with moderate temperatures most of the summer? I mean high 90s and dry air sounds pretty sweet relative to August in New Orleans with high 90s or 100 and 100% humidity. Sure the sun is bright there and the air is thin, so I would think sunburn more than comfort would be the bigger issue.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:33 pm

Move from shade to shade and do not linger long in direct sunlight. :coffee:

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Eric » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:51 pm

mulch wrote:I mean high 90s and dry air sounds pretty sweet relative to August in New Orleans with high 90s or 100 and 100% humidity. Sure the sun is bright there and the air is thin, so I would think sunburn more than comfort would be the bigger issue.


The playa is the anti-humidity: not only is it free of humidity, it's actively trying to suck the moisture from your body. It's not a "desert", it's the dried out bed of an ancient lake, and extremely alkaline (basically, you're spending the week living in on a desiccant, breathing desiccant dust, having desiccant in your beverages & covering your clothes... ). Couple the nature of the playa dust with the fact it's high altitude (ie: more UV rays get to you), very light surface (so the sun is reflected back to you from below), windy (so the moisture is wicked away from your body even faster than the dust can dry it up), very rarely cloud & there's absolutely no natural shade. That 90 can be extremely oppressive if you're not used to being there, and there's a reason so many people end up in the med tents with dehydration.

For daytime I wear light, mid-calf pants, tshirts, loads of sunblock, and usually a keffiyeh on my head (which keeps my neck covered, turns into a dust mask in about 10 seconds, and can get soaked in water to cool me down). I tried a large-brim sunhat, but it was too much of a pain in wind for me. As long as I'm laquered in sunblock I do fine.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Savannah » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:57 pm

mulch wrote:I'm sure I will find out that there is more to it than meets the eye but.....
Ok the temperature records suggest mostly 90s during the day and very low humidity, sure sometimes 100 or more. Is it possible that the perspective of oppressive heat is related to many burners coming from weather paradises with moderate temperatures most of the summer? I mean high 90s and dry air sounds pretty sweet relative to August in New Orleans with high 90s or 100 and 100% humidity. Sure the sun is bright there and the air is thin, so I would think sunburn more than comfort would be the bigger issue.


The reports of oppressiveness are due in part to the reports of folks from temperate zones, but it's also that when any of us go to Hawaii or Florida or wherever on a normal vacation, most interiors are air-conditioned, the shade is absolute, and living is easier in numerous different ways. (It also wont drop to 40F at night, or storm all day.) Not so on the playa, obviously. And you work far more in the sun than you would on a normal vacation: hours of setup, teardown, walking & biking everywhere.

But yeah--some folks find that the Black Rock Desert is a nice break from home, especially in terms of humidity. :)
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby portaplaya » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:40 pm

From a post I made on Quora:

Here is a weather site that shows the averages for August and September: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?nv3090

The daily average for the week of the event is about 88º high and 52º low, but of course that will vary quite a bit from day to day over event week, as well as year to year. A cloudy week can bring several nights of 60º nighttime temps and storms passing through during the day can bring highs down the 70º.

Here is the breakdown by day:

Mo Day | Max Hi | Hi Ave | Cold Hi || Warm Lo | Lo Ave | Max Lo
8 25 | 99 | 89 | 71 || 65 | 53 | 41
8 26 | 103 | 89 | 72 || 66 | 55 | 41
8 27 | 100 | 89 | 72 || 66 | 53 | 42
8 28 | 99 | 89 | 75 || 62 | 54 | 47
8 29 | 102 | 89 | 71 || 68 | 54 | 44
8 30 | 102 | 89 | 66 || 64 | 54 | 40
8 31 | 101 | 88 | 71 || 66 | 53 | 39
9 1 | 103 | 87 | 62 || 63 | 53 | 41
9 2 | 106 | 88 | 63 || 64 | 53 | 34
9 3 | 102 | 88 | 65 || 66 | 52 | 37
9 4 | 103 | 88 | 68 || 66 | 52 | 39
9 5 | 102 | 86 | 64 || 65 | 53 | 37
9 6 | 98 | 86 | 74 || 64 | 52 | 40
9 7 | 95 | 85 | 68 || 61 | 50 | 38

[Max Hi: Highest temp recorded Max Lo: Lowest temp recorded
Cold Hi: lowest daily high recorded Warm Lo: highest daily low recorded]

Note, in all of the weather records for Gerlach, it has never been freezing during the period of 8/25 - 9/7. Also, nearly all of the extreme highs were recorded during a heat wave in 1947, although it has hit 100º+ a few times during Burning Man.

But, if you have been spending all day under shade acclimating to 85º+ temperatures, 50º feels very cold. That's a big difference of 35º! It won't kill you, but without a warm coat if you add a breeze and you'll be seeking a burn barrel. Fortunately, the winds die in the hours after sunset, so typically a breeze is the most you get after 10pm. Unless it's Burn Night, of course.

The coldest time of day (air temperature) is just after dawn, but the sun will heat you faster than it does the air temperature. (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2011/01/w ... f-day.html). So if you get out of the shade, the moment of dawn is when you will feel as if you are finally warming up.

How do you prepare for this?
Rule one, stay in the shade once the temperatures near the peak. After lunch (12-2pm) you will want to stay out of direct sunlight or you are just stressing your body. Make your own, have a theme camp, or spend a lot of time at Center Camp--which I recommend for other reasons too.
Rule two, bring a coat for night. Often BM gets a cloudy night and the temperature is balmy (clouds hold heat in). But most nights you don't and your body needs a buffer from the 35º drop in temperature.
Rule three, remember that closed structures (tents, RV's, vans, etc.) absorb and store heat in direct sunlight. This turns a tent into an oven. Expect to wake by 10am (so go to sleep earlier!) or find a way to shade your dwelling that is strong enough to withstand the wind. Or use the A/C in your RV (if you must). Or sleep in the afternoon under your shade structure, perhaps in a hammock.

Sleep deprivation makes it harder to note the symptoms of dehydration. If you don't get any sleep, or sleep in a hot, hot tent. Expect to make a trip to the medical center for IV re-hydration unless you are religious about drinking water.


Sure, sun makes you hot when you stand it in. But this is probably the same sun as you experience on a day at the beach in San Francisco, with the daily highs only about 10 degrees hotter. Prepare for the summer heat, but don't imagine you are headed to Death Valley.

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby pretty_monster » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:46 pm

i covered a big umbrella with leaves to make a portable shade tree and i've always got a spritz bottle full of water with me. i also keep a couple of instant cold packs in my bag in case i *really* need to cool down fast.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby portaplaya » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:55 pm

lollergirl wrote:i covered a big umbrella with leaves to make a portable shade tree ...


Either this is a cunning attempt to troll this topic or you are unaware of the fact that plant material (living or dead) is not allowed through the Gate. As explained in the mandatory read, The Burning Man Survival Guide
http://survival.burningman.com/transpor ... eSLh0Ep98E

Or perhaps you meant something else by "leaves", something decorative, but not organic.

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Haha! If she was trolling, it was TOO cunning. I looked right at her post and assumed fabric "leaves". Because real leaves would be small, fragile, difficult media.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby portaplaya » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Quotation marks make all the difference!

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Canoe » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:03 pm

I find a hat essential.

Sprayer bottle, dollar store - potable water only.
Spray your skin, your shirt, inside your hat, etc.
As it evaporates it cools.

Spray bandana over mouth when it's really really hot. Super hot & dry is hard on the throat & lungs. Don't know if it's medically important, but it sure provides comfort. A dry bandana is better than none; what you exhale is partially absorbed by the bandana and partially conditions what you breath back in.

Very popular to leave out where others can use it to refresh!

Bring a half dozen. Leave one hanging off the pole for people to find, with two more in the cooler to pass around.

sprayer, sm.jpg


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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:51 pm

My Misty Mister goes with me during daytime excursions.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:10 pm

As mentioned by others above, sun burn is generally more of an issue with me than heat.

I always wear a neck cooler (can also be worn around the head).

My morning ritual is to completly cover myself in sunscreen before dressing including my scalp by spraying it through my hair.

I generally don't wear a hat, but do wear at least a tee shirt and skirt or shorts during the day for some sun protection.

I load my camelback with ice cubes and electrolite powder before filling so I always have cold water handy.

In camp I keep a spray bottle of water, although I rarely need to use it.

In general summers here average high 80's to mid 90's with high humidity so the Playa with virtually no humidity feels much more comfortable. We just had 10 days of mid 90's to over 100 degrees with very high humidity - compared to that over 100 degrees on the Playa is dopwnright comfy.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:38 pm

Drawingablank wrote:As mentioned by others above, sun burn is generally more of an issue with me than heat.

I always wear a neck cooler (can also be worn around the head).

My morning ritual is to completly cover myself in sunscreen before dressing including my scalp by spraying it through my hair.



Smart!

I have to spray the "part" between my bangs and the rest of my hair. If I don't, it burns! And then it aches when I brush my hair. :lol:
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby pretty_monster » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:31 pm

portaplaya wrote:
lollergirl wrote:i covered a big umbrella with leaves to make a portable shade tree ...


Either this is a cunning attempt to troll this topic or you are unaware of the fact that plant material (living or dead) is not allowed through the Gate. As explained in the mandatory read, The Burning Man Survival Guide
http://survival.burningman.com/transpor ... eSLh0Ep98E

Or perhaps you meant something else by "leaves", something decorative, but not organic.


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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Shoeshine » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:28 pm

I know this is thread necromancy--- but I just ran across it.

The British in India, the French in north Africa, and the Belgians in Congo, knew what they were doing with limited technology.

i.e. the pith helmet. They were typically made of cork or other absorbent material with a canvas cover. soak them in water for a bit and they create a glorious evaporative cooling envelope around your head and neck.

Now if you don't want to walk around looking like a member of the Raj, you can easily adapt this to whatever your style may be. Just get something that will hold water and slowly dry and get it around your head. There are a ton of sources for hydro gel and the like. I used a mix from the gardening section of my big box home improvement store in a quickly sewn pouch attached to a straw hat in a semicircle around the back of my head. On leaving camp mid-day a quick dunk in the cooler melt gives me about 45-60 min of awesome, and typically its not hard to get any friendly soul with a cooler to do a dunk for you while wandering about.

Just a thought
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Molotov » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:11 am

When I used to work in a steel mill (think running rivers of molten iron) we used to make a bundle of ice cubes in a red rag and put it up in the crown of our hard hats. The ice would keep your dome cool, and the little rivulets of chilled water down the back of the neck were refreshing. On the other hand, I imagine the ice would last less than an hour on the Playa, requiring frequent restocking. I am considering a sombrero (with an anti blow away cord) to supplement my bush hat-but not the straw kind-it won't hold up.

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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby TT120 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:05 am

Living in Sacramento, I'm pretty used to 110 degree summer days at about %60 to %80 humidity. The Playa seems like a walk in the park to me. I don't really have much problem keeping comfortable out there. The super dry conditions WILL dehydrate you though so you alays have to drink way more water than you thing you need.

Last year, I spent the whole summer getting a tan so by the time I got to the Playa, I didn't even need sunblock.
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Re: What do you use to keep cool when AWAY from camp?

Postby Sunbeam56 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:16 pm

Lolly - love the leaves. :)
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