Nothing beats the heat like taking a refreshing dip in the lake on a hot summer day. Does that quick swim really cool you off, though? You might be surprised to know the answer is not really. There is more to keeping cool in the heat than just making a splash.
Of course, you can dock the boat and cool off inside an air-conditioned restaurant—but that’s no fun. What boating is all about is being on the water as long as possible. But, there are dangers to staying out too long, especially in the midday hours when the sun is high and scorching hot. Take extra precautions to prevent sunburns, and even worse, health maladies.
Stay out longer and protect yourself from the sun and the summertime heat with these tips to beat the boating heat.
Swimming in the cool water makes you feel more refreshed, but you might feel more hydrated than you really are. Simply being exposed to water does not hydrate you. You have to drink it. Once you’re chilled on the outside, take a long tall drink of water after you get back into the boat.
Staying hydrated is more than just drinking plenty of water. You lose more than water when you sweat. Keep healthy snacks onboard to replace sodium, potassium and other electrolytes you need to keep cool. Water can get downright boring to drink all day long so why not eat it as well? Make room in your cooler for some of the foods listed next.
Some fruits and vegetables contain a surprising amount of water and are tasty, too. Here’s a list of top picks, along with their percentage of water content.
- Watermelon (92%) – It’s low in calories and high in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.
- Strawberries (91%) – Blending them into smoothies counts!
- Cantaloupe (90%) – This is another great smoothie ingredient and is also high in fiber.
- Celery (95%) – These are loaded with vitamins and low in calories, and go great with a healthy dip like hummus or Greek yogurt.
Getting creative with dips, smoothies and salads by adding these fruits and veggies will add to your daily water intake.
This might seem a bit over the top, but there are inexpensive systems you can buy to hook up to your shower hose or a tap. Considering that boats are set up to get wet, why not enjoy a bit of mist as you chill out on a hot day?
For really hot days, a spritz bottle is a great way to cool off. The best kind are those favored by gardeners, as they spray a thin mist of water instead of a downpour. If you really want to chill out, a mist bottle/fan combo is the way to go.
Hyperthermia, when the body’s temperature rises above the normal level of 98.6 degrees, can pose life threatening risks. Hyperthermia most commonly affects people over 50 and/or those taking diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and some heart and blood pressure medications. If you or anyone in your crew meets those conditions, take the proper precautions.
What to look for: Sudden dizziness and faintness
What to do: Rest in a cool place, drink water and prop the legs up in a prone position.
What to look for: Heavy sweating and muscle pain or spasms during intense work like at the dock
What to do: Take a shade break or go inside.
What to look for: High body temperature, strong pulse, headache, nausea, dizziness and confusion
What to do: Call 911 right away and move the victim to a cooler place. Cool cloths can be applied, but do not give the person anything to drink.
What to look for: Heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, headache or passing out.
What to do: Move to a cool place, loosen clothes and put cool, wet clothes on the body. Sipping water is okay.