I spent all weekend at a charity festival, Creve Coeur Days, and it was HOT. Did I mention that already? Surprisingly, I held up pretty well, considering temps in the low- to mid-80s with a heat index of around 90. Not so bad, you say? We were on pavement, which raises that index to 100. Easily.
There are two kinds of people at these events: customers and workers. Now, I won’t lie, the ticket booths and the food wagons (“joints” in carny-speak) have air conditioning. Not very efficient, but it’s there. I, however, did not work in any of these. I walked, I cleaned up, I chatted with folks and directed traffic, and organized the parade.
It was hot.
Yeah, yeah—but how did I keep cool for a 5-6 hour shift or, worse yet, the 12-hour stint? You know what I’m going to say, right? Water. But not just any water.
Or, rather, not just drinking water. It’s all about prepping which, as you probably know, is being prepared—and also taking advantage of the things that are available.
We packed a cooler of ice with extra water, some iced tea, and snack—protein, that is. Not like you can’t get food at a carnival, if you’re willing to be a little choosy and pay the price. (By the way, I passed on the fried alligator on a stick.) We also had to park a fair distance away, so if you had to go out to the truck or even the dumpsters, it was nice to have a cold drink out in the back forty.
I’m also a big fan of bandanas—you can do all kinds of things with those. I did ask a vendor to dunk mine in their drinks bin a couple times, because I habitually wear it around my neck or head when I’m outside in the heat. It’s also good to wet down your arms and legs and, of course, to wipe the sweat out of your eyes. It’s just a little better when it’s wet . . .
No, I didn’t wear a hat. I’m of two minds about this—sure, it keeps the sun off your head/face, but we wear hats in the winter to hold in body heat, right? So which way do you go in the summer? I find shade. Simple. Whenever possible.
I’ve also been known to stick my head inside the ticket booth from time to time, or through the serving window of a food joint, or even into a car window if one stops for directions. And yes, I ask, and yes, they usually obligingly crank it up for a minute!
Besides water, any fluid is good—yes, even caffeinated beverages; just don’t go crazy—but keeping up a regular eating schedule is important too. Small things, here and there, not a large meal. Keep in mind, too, we’re at a carnival and it’s nearly impossible to find fruits and vegies, but there’s protein. If you’re feeling well, it’s easier to deal with the heat.
I did suffer a small problem early Saturday. Had to do with that beer sensitivity I’ve mentioned before. No, not a hangover. Cold symptoms and sinus issues. I came home for an hour, into the AC, and then the Advil kicked in. Good as new.
The only real ill effects of the four-day event were a blister on the bottom of one foot and a slight sunburn. Yay, me!
So I guess if SHTF happens in the summer, I’m good to go. But I’m hoping for spring or fall . . .