Dry heat vs humidity...

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Brightly
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Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Brightly » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:24 pm

So it's going to be 85 degrees on Christmas here in Sunny Florida which got me to thinking about the heat of the Playa during Burning Man so now I have a question...

I've never been to the desert before but I do know that in the summer it's generally dry and hot during the day and cold at night. I also know that when you live here in Florida during the summer it's so humid you're pretty much breathing in a cloud every time you inhale. I've also heard that the dry heat is more comfortable than humid heat.

So here's my question (which is mainly for anyone who lives in climates similar to Florida)...How tolerable is the heat on the Playa compared to Florida in July?

Thanks! :wink:
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:33 pm

Having been to the playa 17 times, and Florida more times than that certainly, I'll try: There is virtually no humidity on the playa. It can be hot, but having grown up in Sacramento it's similar to that. But it can be very cold on the playa (it hit 31 degrees twice this past year during Burning Man, something Florida has never seen) and hot? Well, it's been 105, but generally expect mid-90s. Much cooler to the touch than Florida. But if your body thrives on the humidity, you might simply hate the desert. But I like it. Hate the wind, dust, hippies (oops), but love everything else. No worries, it'll be fine.

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:09 pm

I grew up in the South, I know what the southern climate is like and I hate the humidity.
I'll tell you the same thing Doc did. The heat at Black Rock Desert is far, far more tolerable than high-humidity heat.
It sounds like you know to also prepare for cold, something a lot of new Burners don't expect.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby lucky420 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:56 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:Having been to the playa 17 times, and Florida more times than that certainly, I'll try: There is virtually no humidity on the playa. It can be hot, but having grown up in Sacramento it's similar to that. But it can be very cold on the playa (it hit 31 degrees twice this past year during Burning Man, something Florida has never seen) and hot? Well, it's been 105, but generally expect mid-90s. Much cooler to the touch than Florida. But if your body thrives on the humidity, you might simply hate the desert. But I like it. Hate the wind, dust, hippies (oops), but love everything else. No worries, it'll be fine.



I can always feel the humidity when I go to Sacramento. Reno's pretty dry
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby tamarakay » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:13 pm

I live in central Texas. The heat in brc is no thing. No thing at all. I go there to cool off.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby AntiM » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:27 am

You are never dripping with sweat, as it evaps off so quickly. Easy to get dehydrated. Bring good lip balm, lotion and heel cream, your skin will dry out.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby asr9754 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:45 am

Beating the Playa heat is more about shade than humidity. People spray each other with water misters for fun--humidity is not an issue on the playa.
It's a very dry heat, but the blazing sun at high elevation takes its toll; shade/sun protection is a must. And drinking lots of fluids.

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Aurelia » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:05 am

As a NewYorker child, Florida was where we went for comfort
Now BRC is where I go .

Comfort is of course relative
The best thing to do is to concentrate in everything else

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Agaton » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:09 am

Totally agree. I've been to The South, and the humity is awful. But at Burnign Man, the air is bone dry and I love it even when the temp goes over 100. You may never see a drop of sweat, coz it evaporates instantly. I go nude a lot, coz nothing gets sticky. And people build big shade to protect from the sun. Unless your body is somehow addicted to moisture, youll love it.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:10 pm

Welcome to ePlaya, the best of BM experience discussion and info source!

As ePlayans have advised above, from about 9AM-4PM the event has fierce insolation, fiercer than Florida's atmospheric moisture scatter of the sun. The challenge you will not find in Florida or most other places on earth is the blowing talcum powder size dust. It is alkaline and irritates eyes, lungs, skin and hair. It gets into clothing, tents, electronics, cameras, motor vehicles even fancy RVs.

You might engage connections in person to your regional http://regionals.burningman.org/regiona ... h-america/, people who have done the big burn. They may have resources, camps and transportation to share too.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Agaton » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:00 pm

Everybodys different. I can breathe teh dust real well but it bothers my eyes. Hand and feet are worst. Split fingertips hurt like hell. Split heel too. Use skin lotion
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Eric » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:37 pm

AntiM wrote:You are never dripping with sweat, as it evaps off so quickly. Easy to get dehydrated. Bring good lip balm, lotion and heel cream, your skin will dry out.


This. In Florida you know when you're getting hot - the sweat is dripping off you. On the playa it may creep up on you because you never (or rarely) see the sweat. If you're not careful you can end up dehydrated - I've been going since '03 & I've still ended up dehydrated twice, simply because I wan't being careful. People aren't joking when they talk about how much water to drink (and electrolytes!)
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Molotov » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:20 am

After 83 inches of rain so far this year in NE TX, (suck it Kalifornia!) I am looking forward to the parched playa to get dried out.


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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby pretty_monster » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:51 pm

i grew up in the michigan, moved to phoenix over a decade ago. i've visited florida a few times and have now been to the playa 4 times.

i can say WIHTOUT A DOUBT that i prefer the dry heat. florida in july is my idea of hell. the humidity is stifling and suffocating. it’s like walking around with a soaking wet blanket draped over you at all times. i find it exhausting.

when i'm out in heat of the playa or during an arizona summer, i'm fine. it’s hot as fuck, sure, but i don’t mind that. i wear very little clothing in either place and am used to always having water, shade, and lip balm on hand here in my desert defaultia so I just carry those habits over to the playa.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby BBadger » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:31 pm

The real problem is that -- besides not wanting to leave BM -- you'll never want to leave the glory that is dry heat to return to the sweltering, unlivable heat that is in the South.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Canoe » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:44 pm

Big Hint: when Eric chimes in, you know it's serious (or frivolous).
So note the endorsements regarding dehydration.

One minor addition to that, with the lack of humidity, you may not realize how hot it is.

Most people are O.K. with the dry. Some aren't. Be prepared to mitigate effects.
  • Dip a bandana into potable water and wrap it over your nose and mouth.
  • A spray bottle with potable water in it can be your friend; spray it inside your structure to both cool the air and add some humidity to what you're breathing. Once that humid air heats up, open the door/window and let it be replaced by hot dry air; then spray again.
  • Or, as the heat and dry means that swamp-coolers work here, build a DIY swamp-cooler (major thread on eplaya on that) and have your own relief from hot and dry.
DO read the survival guide. Really.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:04 pm

The dry heat requires certain adjustments in your beer intake. PBR is generally prescribed. It's watery shit back home, but it's perfect on the playa.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby trilobyte » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:26 pm

BRC actually has a triple bazinga. First, yeah, it's a dry heat (especially compared to the really oppressive stuff you experience in summer in Florida), and then second/third... it's a high elevation desert that almost always has at least a gentle breeze. The combination of the two make so that in most cases, your sweat evaporates almost as fast as your body can make it. It certainly is possible to work up a sweat (especially if you're building anything by day), but from my own experience that doesn't happen a whole lot (again, unless I'm building stuff by day).

The way I generally approach the work part is to do as much as possible in the early and later parts of the day. Light enough to see, cool enough that I'm not breaking a sweat. During the hottest parts of the day, I'm usually kicking back someplace in the shade. The first day's the real challenge, because first I've got to get some shade built to kick back in.

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Thecatman » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:08 pm

I lived in Pennsylvania for 11 years and it took me 10 to get to the point that the humidity didn't bother me as much. Some friends of ours from PA visited us this past September and they couldn't believe how dry it was here. Here meaning Carson City/Reno area.
Been to Florida twice in the summer doing the touristy things. It suffocates a body, similar to disembarking an airplane at DFW in July. Although I wouldn't mind living in Kentucky.
Agree with what lucky said about feeling the humidity when just going over the hill to Sacramentoe or Fresno about 100+ miles west.
Being so dry on the playa figure about one maybe two gallons of water per person per day. Not including beer, soda, coffee etc.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Brightly » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:17 pm

Thank you guys so much for all the excellent advice. I've read the survival guide once and I definitely plan on reading it again. Not knowing how the extreme dry mixed with the extreme heat is going to affect me physically I'm going to prepare with plenty of eye drops, lip balm, lotion, vinegar, my awesome neti pot and plenty of water (and my precious iron pills....anemia sucks). I've got the hydration down living in a hot environment (sweat or no sweat). I'm thinking of bringing extra powdered electrolyte packets to gift (still figuring that one out...want it to be something useful and not very moop-y).
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Ratty » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:00 pm

If you take iron pills, do yourself a big favor and bring some prunes or fiber drink. Constipation is common.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby BBadger » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:11 pm

To add to what Ratty said: also bring some magnesium supplements. In addition to helping you be more regular, it'll help with muscle cramps and overall soreness from dehydration and the general pace of things.
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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Aurelia » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:23 am

or don't do as they say
you may prevail with just being there without interference

work out your needs as you go

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby tatonka » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:48 pm

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Aurelia » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:23 am

GREAT !

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Re: Dry heat vs humidity...

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:26 am

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