How to survive this nasty heat wave of 110+ degrees

Although I don’t live in the Pacific North West PNW, I am hearing a lot of chatter from people about the extreme heat that they are suffering through. I wanted to offer my help through this forum by sharing some  thoughts and ideas on how to stay cool and get through this. Feel free to pitch in your tips and tricks as well if you have some.

If we have any PNW members of this forum, I’d love to hear how things are going for ya.

-Move to a smaller room at the center of your house. It is easier to cool a small room versus the entire house.

-Add tin foil or cardboard on windows to act as extra insulation and repel the heat of the sun. Look at installing solar screens on your windows for a cleaner look.

-Get a battery operated fan that will run off of the same batteries that your power tools will. If power goes out, this can keep you cool. Mist yourself with some water and then sit in front of the fan for extreme cooling.

-Keep curtains closed

-Drink tons of water. Keep up electrolytes.

-Hang out in the basement if you have one

-Use patio umbrellas or storm shutters to shade your windows

-Rinse off your arms, hands, and face with cool water whenever you go to the bathroom. Take a full cool shower if at home for a quick cool down.

-Stock up on fans, AC units, etc during the fall because during the summer they will be all sold out and at full price

-Freeze different juices into improvised popsicles. Eating frozen grapes and berries

-Keep an eye on the weather forecast and if you see hot weather coming, make extra ice cubes a head of time.

-You may have to adjust the temperature to a colder setting on your fridge/freezer. Some people are having to add frozen bottles of water to their fridge to cool things down because their fridge can’t keep things cool enough.

-If you need to cook foods, use the oven or stove in the early morning or late afternoon as to not add too much more heat to your house

-Place your clothes in the freezer for the next day, then when you put them on they will keep you cool for a couple minutes.

-Cool your feet in a bath or kiddie pool

-Don’t go outside during the hottest times of the day

-Feed pets refrigerated wet food. Make them popsicles by freezing tuna water or beef broth in ice cube molds.

-If you can’t hold your hand on the asphalt for 10 seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

-For chickens, give them ice chips to peck at or frozen peas


  • Comments (31)

    • 5

      Move to Mississippi.  Much cooler here than the PNW.  🙂

      • 2

        Where I am in Florida the highs have been in the 80s this week, this weather is crazy!

      • 2

        What is the usual Florida temperature for this time of year?

      • 3

        Usually, it is the mid-90s in north Florida this time of year. 

      • 4

        For reference, here in north Mississippi our normal temps this time of year would be in the low to mid 90s with a heat index in the 100s.  We will experience several spells with actual temps in the 100s.  IMO, it is the humidity that hurts, much more so than the actual temps.  I remember being in the Phoenix area for some Air Force flight training, where the highs would get above 100.  That didn’t feel too bad for me because the air was very dry.

        I wonder what the humidity is like up in the PNW with this system sitting on top of them?  My bet is the humidity is pretty low.  My experience is, it is really hard for temps to get way above 100 with high humidity.  Seems like dry air heats quicker than damp air.

    • 7

      For extreme heat you are going to want to wear as little clothing as possible. For the clothing you do have to wear, make sure it is loose and light.

      Sandals with bare feet will feel so much better than socks and tennis shoes.

      • 6

        Adjust your schedule.  If possible, work outdoors beginning at dawn and quitting about 9 AM.  If hiking or working outdoors, i soaked a full brimmed cotton hat with water and wore it whenever possible/

        Doing a project at the bottom of Grand Canyon, we were on site at 4:30 AM, knocked off at noon and returned after dinner for a couple of hours.  Temps always exceeded 100 degrees.

      • 6

        Wearing loose clothing and adjusting your schedule are some good tips. Thank you rebecca and hikermor, I didn’t put those in my initial post.

    • 6

      Hi All!

      I’ve lived in Ls Vegas/Mojave Desert for over 30 years. (YUK) From the Bay Area and Colorado,
      the desert heat and I no longer get along. So I have a few tricks that might help others deal with the heat… 

      In addition to solar power & solar screens on all windows, I have added clear plastic wrap lining inside windows (as to not look like a ghetto crackhead with aluminum foil windows), and I have “honeycomb style” window shades indoors for ALL windows (which are super insulating, not too expensive, and avail in multiple colors at Lowes and Home Depot). I added large pull down solar screens on the outside of my back patio to reduce heat off my kitchen slider, and make it a shady cooler area which the big outdoor fan can cool easier. 

      I bought a small (like 8″ x 10″) $30. cooling fan that has a small water tank; https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08SM757HG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
      I keep it near the head of my bed and fill it with COLD fridge water before sleep every night. It helps cool the head area of my bedroom alot! I’m am SO happy with the moist cool air! 
      I also ALWAYS have 3-8 frozen water bottles, a couple I use in pillowcases at night to cool me more (post menopause trick), and a couple to take in the 160+ degree car. Super nice to put one behind my neck when driving. Usually takes the AC in my not-to-old car 10-15 minutes to cool down. It’s been 110 to 120 at my home (I’m in the hotter part of town on the edge of the desert). I always use them when I neen an icechest to keep the ice from melting too fast.

      In the heat of the summertime, about once or twice a month, I buy otterpops (80 in a box) and generic electrolyte drinks (24 in a Costco case) and I freeze them solid. Then I get a friend to go with me to give them to the homeless – we don’t get out of the car (they will bum-rush you and grab all of it). I drive carefully (I know the routes and their jump in front of, or onto your car tricks), and my co-pilot hands them or tosses them (carefully) out the passenger window. We keep the doors locked (yes, they’ve tried to open the car doors and pull us or everything we have out). So be careful, but share a cool smile! 

      I keep a good quality spray bottle full of H20 in my fridge, and use it if I overheat outside. I maintain my own yard and it gets VERY hot. West sideyard was 136 in the shade 2 weeks ago… There is no airflow on that side of my house. 

      I also keep my suntan lotion in the fridge in the summertime. So nice to have cool skin, even if just for a few minutes. 

      I only use my big oven to cook a turkey and all the fixens once a year. My counter top convection/air fry/toaster oven combo works great for many things and does not heat the house nearly as much. 

      Everything else you recommend is great too! Stay cool! 

      • 3

        You’ve lived it and overcame the trials of living in a hot desert.

        That sure is nice of you to keep trying to help out the homeless even though they tried to get into your car, that would freak me out. My initial reaction to that fan if seeing it on Amazon would be that it’s a cheap piece of crap. Guess I am not a fan of the gimmicky marketing pictures where they just photoshop the same picture of the fan blowing out polar winds and leaves onto stock pictures of random families. But I’m glad that you have given us your honest review and that it is a good product. I am now more open to buying a product like that.

    • 4

      Cooling bandanas for a few bucks are worth every penny.  I bought a bulk lot from amazon and included in BOBS that I made for loved ones.   Small and lightweight, you just have to soak in water or ice water and they swell and you wear around your neck.  
      I also save the plastic containers that pre- washed salad comes in and use to make giant ice cubes.  These can be used as a component of “hillbilly AC unit” by placing in front of a fan or inside of a cooler w. holes.  I have battery operated fans that can be used w. these ice cubes if/when we loose electric.

      • 2

        Do you have a link or a picture that you could share of the cooling bands you have? I’m interested in getting one if they work so well for you. 

      • 2


      • 3

        Here’s the Amazon link to match that picture. Zero reviews.

        I also found a bunch of similar products, but none of them had particularly good ratings either.

      • 1

        Thank you Sharon and Eric! That helps with my hunt 🙂

      • 2

        I use these:

      • 1

        What does that fabric feel like? 

      • 3

        I love the giant ice cube idea! Will start saving my plastic containers.

      • 1

        Love these things! I still have the one that kept me from being a full heat casualty on the southern rim years ago.

        They only pull like a few degrees, but it makes things feel so much better

    • 3

      As a Las Vegas native, I approve this message

    • 3

      A Stacool vest will keep you cool outdoors even during an intense heatwave. It’s basically strapping ice cubes to your chest, but with all the refinements to make that work well. If you’ll be outside for more than an hour, get a second set of thermopaks so you can wear one set while freezing the other.

      Stacool vests

      Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.10.16 AM

      Of course, the preferred option is to stay indoors with a working A/C. That’s what I’m doing. But if you need to be outdoors, this vest will keep you from overheating.

    • 1

      This clip-on personal fan is great for comfort on a hot day. Clip on to your belt, and it blows air up your shirt. It even has an extra clip to hold on to your shirt so that the shirt stays in place. I love this for being more comfortable when the temperature is around 80-90 degrees.

      Warning: Fan-based approaches like this product become less effective on crazy hot days (around 95-100 degrees). In fact, when the air temperature is higher than 98 degrees, a fan will actually make you hotter. If you’re dealing with temperatures above 95 degrees, as many people are this week, stick with direct cooling options such as A/C or ice.

    • 3

      We are having a killer June with heat indexes above 100 and with several days above 110.  This weekend we are supposed to “cool down” to the mid 90s but all of next week is gonna be 99 to over 100… and that is actual temp, not heat index.

      Living on a homestead, I have no choice but to work out in it.  Generally I try to finish by 1:00 – 2:00, but that is not always possible.  With such heat & humidity, I just take it slow & steady.  When I get overheated, I find a shady spot to cool down.  Going inside to a cool house can just make it feel worse when you go back out.  I do try to schedule chores such as cutting grass to later in the afternoon, where at least I’m riding around & generating a bit of a breeze.

      I always wear jeans and never shorts.  I do wear loose fitting short sleeve shirts.  Most important thing to wear on such hot, sunny days is a sun hat, that has a very large brim to keep the face shaded, mesh material to breath & a long flap to cover the back of your neck.  Keeping your head & neck out of the sun is absolutely critical and makes such conditions bearable.

      sun hat

    • 3

      I don’t deal well with heat, it is nowhere near as hot over here in the UK but it’s getting warmer and dryer at the moment. 
      I get up very early to get my physical, outdoor chores over with before it gets too hot. I take a long lunch to siesta and cool off before working into the evening.

      • 1

        That’s the way to do it. Work during the cooler times of the day, and rest during the hottest times.

    • 2

      Second the rechargeable fans. We use ones with built in batteries and while not as hot swappable as power tool packs, it lets the battery packs that charge everything else not have to run a fan all day and can charge up once every other day.

      We don’t have central air so my little fan has been running non stop since things went over 85 here. Second year of it too.

      That and pulling in the cool air at night are about all we have to do when we can.

      I’ve been meaning to try it, but they make mesh veils for tactical use, it’s a very coarse cotton mesh, and while it’s great for field camo and breaking up silhouette, it’s supposed to have a really nice cooling effect when soaked and applied. I should wash mine and try it, the house seems a lot warmer today.

      • 2

        Please let me know how it works for you. Like the guy says in the video at around the 2:15 mark, it looks kinda silly, but it is shockingly effective and creates a strong swamp cooler effect and drops the temperature down significantly. 

        Plus I like the other prepping uses such as being a net for catching things, bug net when sleeping, breaking up a silhouette like you said, and more. I think that is a really cool piece of material and want one for my BOB now.

      • 3

        For evaporative cooling, Pelagic fishing shirts are surprisingly effective. Since it’s always hot here in Florida, I keep one of these in my go bag. They have a camo option if that’s what you’re looking for. I prefer white to reflect more sunlight.

        AMERICAMO™<br> Exo-Tech Icon

      • 1

        I see they have an integrated face mask. Is that for covid purposes or for staying warm in the morning or for keeping out of the sun with some shade?

        They look really nice and that they would dry quickly if they got wet.

      • 3

        Yes, it dries very fast, mostly via evaporation which creates a strong cooling effect. The material feels like it also has a high heat transmission rate, even when dry, which also contributes to cooling. Your sweat evaporates faster, so that it cools you more effectively without you actually getting very sweaty.

        The face mask is mostly for blocking sun, and also for applying some of that evaporative cooling to the face. There’s also an integrated hood – same reason. This protects your head, torso, and arms from sun/heat.

        While I imagine some people have used that mask to meet official mask requirements for COVID, that’s really not something it’s good for. Get an N95 for that.

      • 2

        I pulled it out of a zip lock bag after washing and trying to set the dye with vinegar, and just the action of opening it to fold it up then throwing it over my shoulders like a shawl gave me the same reaction as stepping into a cool pool.

        Where I was sitting, it was probably around 83, with no moving air. I was able to turn off my rechargeable fan and just sit there without feeling too hot.

        While it would warm up after a few minutes, just a couple of seconds of fanning with a hand fan got it going again. I think I got maybe an hour of solid, barely any air movement cooling from it. It didn’t soggy me up too much either.

        When it started to dry out, it was definitely less, but I felt comfortable throwing it over my head then. Breathing through it makes the air space around your face feel significantly cooler, but because it’s so mesh, it doesn’t feel like breathing through a wet shirt.

        I haven’t tried it in full heat outside yet but I’m sure it’ll perform fairly well. I think also using it as a light sun block would be really nice too.

        I would hope it could be effective like an instant cold pack for heat casualty or as a augmentation, but I’d rather not find out Pfff. I definitely want a few more

      • 1

        Thanks for the update! When you say set the dye with vinegar, do you soak new cloth in vinegar to avoid the dye from running or fading in the wash?

      • 2

        Yes that was the intention. I just did a quick search and it apparently doesn’t work.

        There are purpose built products for attempting to set it, but it becomes mostly washing with cooler water.

        Considering how much skin contact this fabric is going to get, I don’t really mind washing out a bunch of the dye. Plus it’ll lighten it up a bit.