How to Stay Cool at an Event

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I went to Lebus this past weekend, and on Saturday it was 102°F. I run quite warm. So much, in fact, that a couple of my friends and I have been talking about organizing a snow camping event in order to get to wear all of our layers and woolen items at once as they would have done in period. Most camping events take place when it’s too warm for us to do so. Here’s what I did in order to make it through.

First of all: hydration. As most people with first aid training know, if you’re hot but have stopped sweating, you are dehydrated. If you have no appetite, you are dehydrated. If you haven’t needed to visit the biffies in a long time, you are dehydrated. You should drink enough water so you don’t get thirsty in the first place. I reuse all my water bottles, filling them from my water filter. Then I freeze them, saving me from having to buy both ice and water. Plus, I have cold water to drink. If you’re camping with a baby, a mostly empty bottle with a chunk of ice still at the bottom helps keep them cool and entertained.

I am quite naughty in that I’ve been known to hike my skirts up to my knees, especially when a breeze comes along. Also, I made a trip to the store and one of the items I brought back was a pint of ice cream. Several people turned green with envy, despite the fact I had offered a ride to nearly everyone before I left. Best lunch ever. I also wore flip flops as my ankle boots were just too warm. So I cheated a little in the name of comfort.

I pre-cook a lot of my food, baking things like meat pies and scones that don’t require reheating. Less cooking and less dishes.

Wear something on your head such as a straw hat or a linen coif to keep the sun off. And with a coif you can get it wet before putting it on, which feels so amazingly wonderful. Not to mention it hides 3-day old camp hair. Simply getting your hair wet can help as well.

Some people claim that thick wool keeps them cool because it blocks the sun. I, on the other hand, run quite warm and would melt rather quickly from just my own body heat. Linen is marvelous stuff, usually being of a looser weave than cotton and therefore very breathable. Obviously lighter colours are your best option as dark ones absorb solar energy, I just don’t recommend wearing white at an outdoor event. Bleach can only do so much, after all.

Many events here in An Tír are near rivers, so bring something to swim in. A thin, white chemise is not recommended unless you want a medieval version of Girls Gone Wild. I bring along a towel to every event because I am a cool frood. And, as Arthur Dent knows, it’s useful if it rains, you’ve gone swimming, there are showers on site, or even to disguise a modern cooler.

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