Episode 28: Learning valuable lessons from summer Heat Exhaustion

classic camper cushions

If your living in an average house in the suburbs chances are you have the convenience of central heat and air conditioning AC. When your living off the grid you need to be even more careful in the summer heat. Most people off grid are a ways out from help so situational awareness must translate to the dangers of summer heat. If your not careful you can check out pretty quick from heat stroke. Living in the city its easy to find a place to stop in and cool down. Living in a camper off grid for example introduces a whole new set of challenges with the weather and today I learned a very valuable lesson first hand about heat exhaustion. These first few episodes of Off The Grid Podcast were recorded on my journey to being off grid. Today’s show was recorded back in the crazy dead heat of Virginia’s extremely hot and humid summer month of June.. yes it is still very hot out now in August! I have learned a lot so far and this summer provided a valuable lesson for me about the dangers of extreme heat.

old camper cushions

old camper cushions

The day started out about 11:30 on a good note with the sun shining and I was looking forward to making more progress on the off grid camper. What I did not know of at the time is that I was on track to learn a scary yet valuable lesson about heat exhaustion. I started out meeting someone to get rid of the old camper cushions and mattresses. I did not have a clue at exactly how old they were but they all had to go! It felt good to clear out with some of the old to make room for the new. A couple of hours working inside with a brand new roof (black rubber and tar) made for a toaster oven the size of a camper and it was HOT! If you missed yesterday’s episode of Off The Grid see pictures of the camper roof here. During the dead heat of summer here in Virginia the humidity makes the temp that much hotter. After taking a look at a digital thermostat with a reading of 96.7 degrees inside the camper I realized this could be dangerous heat. Stepping outside the air already in the 90s felt cool so that confirmed the fact that this should have been my sign to be careful. The new black top camper roof had essentially turned the off grid camper into a giant toaster oven. I had been drinking plenty of water so hydration was not the issue. The summer heat with the uneasy feelings of BLAH kept coming in waves. Heat was the issue and I was set to learn a valuable lesson about heat exhaustion. Remember the show motto?

“Its not what you have. Its what you know”.

After finally listening to what my body was trying to tell me about the heat I decided to call it a day. At 4:30 I was not feeling so hot (no pun intended) and was on the road. All windows down in my car the wind was a small relief but too little to late. Heading down the road I started feeling really bad so I pulled into a gas station to be inside the AC. Unfortunately my car does not have AC! Everything was ok in the end but this was a real scary experience because I seriously did not start feeling well until about 8 or 9 that night. Today’s lesson is that you can check out any time if your not careful! So please be careful in the summer heat because heat exhaustion / heat stroke can be very dangerous and creeps up on you fast. If your living off the grid this is even more of something to be mindful of.

 

If your in the heat Beware of these Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion.

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Here are a few important factors to keep mind about heat exhaustion. 1. When the temperature goes above 90 degrees consider that red flag one. 2. If your out in the heat and the humidity is 60% or more consider that red flag number two. 3. Its not enough to just be hydrated. Your body needs electrolytes to keep you in balance. We are all familiar with how rough high temperatures can be. High humidity starts to interfere with your body’s way to cool itself through sweat. So.. please learn from my first hand unpleasant experience. Stay cool in the summer and stay hydrated with electrolytes as well (not just water alone). If you want to learn more about the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke please check out the show notes below for a link to info on WebMD.

 

Show notes from today’s Podcast

  • Here is a link with good info about Heat Exhaustion with symptoms on WebMD.
  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
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August 18th, 2015 by