When The Heat Is On! Keeping Safe In The Summer Heat

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Keeping safe and cool when you have to be out working in the extreme heat of summer

Keeping Safe in the Sweltering Heat of Summer!

The Heat is relentless this year here in good ‘ole Southwest Missouri! It’s been in the 90°s here since May, with heat indexes up into the 100°s! But, if you call yourself a homesteader, or a gardener, your outside work still has to get done!

The Garden planting doesn’t take a break

You need to carry out all those Homestead plans

AND you need to mulch that garden!

When the heat is brutal, it’s not just about comfortability, you can be in danger. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very real. AND you can be in trouble without even realizing it! Lots of times this year I have been working away, feeling fine, until I go inside. THEN, I start feeling queasy and exhausted!

So, be careful out there!

Today I’m sharing resources and tips to help you stay safe!


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Be Aware!

Sometimes it’s not just the red on the thermometer! Pay attention to the humidity. The actual temperature can be at a quite harmless level, if the humidity is high it can still be dangerous! At 82° when the humidity is at 90% , the heat index is 91° and an advisory for “extreme caution” is on. There is a chart and calculator for figuring out heat index Here

My friend, Lisa, over at Modern Missouri Pioneers,   who is both a homesteader and an Paramedic, has an excellent post on Safety in the heat.

I encourage you to read and save it!

She clearly outlines signs of heat exhaustion as well as heat stroke; What you can do in case of heat exhaustion, and when you should seek medical help.


Minimize the swelter

Adjust Your Schedule to avoid the hottest heat!


Clock with words: adjust your schedule to avoid the worst heat

When you have work to do outside, do it in the morning or late evening. You can get quite a bit done between 5 AM and 9 AM! Schedule the bulk of your work then in the hottest of weather (You can always take a nap in the afternoon ~ that’s what I tell myself). You can also work in the cool of the evening, although it isn’t quite as cool, for quite as long, while it’s still light.

Also, plan the longest, toughest projects for when there’s a break in the heat, if possible. If it’s 98°, with a heat index of 110°, but the forecast in two days is 78° – yes, that just happened here this week, crazy Missouri weather!

Wait two days to build ALL THOSE TRELLISES!

Get out of the Sun!

Minimize the hottest heat!!!

Know where the shade is on your property. And when it’s there. Plan your activities around the shade. If your garden spot is in the shade at 6 pm, and the compost is in the shade at 4, then you want to turn the compost at 4, THEN pick tomatoes at 6! I know it’s a simple concept, but often in the haste to get stuff done, we forget!

Jesse and Alyssa at Pure Living For Life talk about taking your projects TO THE SHADE!  Read the whole post Here!


Cooling tactics

So, you can’t help it, you have to be out in the sun at 2 in the afternoon on a hot, hot day. I’ve found a few things to help 🙂

  • Misting spray

Teri Page, a fellow Missourian who KNOWS about heat, from Homestead Honey has a recipe for a great misting spray

  • Cool your hands, feet and/or neck frequently with ice water or a cool cloth or bandana.
  • Even dip your feet in cool water.
  • I am always rinsing my arms, neck, the back of my knees, and face in cool water.
  • Freeze a wet bandana to apply to your face and neck. Or put ice cubes in a bandana.

There is an interesting article Here  by a climate scientist who’s specialty is heat transfer, particularly the human body!


Keep Hydrated

Drink plenty!

  • Drink lots of water! It is pointed out Here  that you need to be properly hydrated days before being in the heat to be effective!
  • Drink plenty in the morning before heading out into the heat
  • Keep water at arms reach when you are working.

An insulated water bottle is a great idea.


Although you need lots and lots of water sometimes you need a bit MORE.


Alternatives to sugary sports drinks

Sports drinks are loaded with sugar and who knows what else. These drinks are full of minerals and electrolytes with only minimum, if any sweeteners!



You should ALWAYS drink plenty of water! Sometimes, however, you just need a change. I’ve compiled some refreshing drinks that will help you hydrate.


Fun Drinks to Stay Cool With!

Mint tea latte

Try an Iced Mint Tea Latte!


  • Hibiscus punch

3 Tbsp hibiscus leaves

1 Tbsp orange peel

1/2 cup fresh mint

Steep in 1 pint of boiling water

Strain into a quart jar.

Add 1/4 cup honey

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Ice and water to fill.



  • Lavender lemonade

1 Tbsp lavender flowers

1 Tbsp orange peel

Steep in 1 pint boiling water

pour over ice in a 24 ounce glass or jar to which you have added the juice of 1/2 a lemon (or to taste)

add water.

MMM. . .



Consider these trace mineral drops to help you replenish

Don’t forget the animals!


Chicken panting in the heat

Chickens “pant” as a cooling mechanism


I keep a container of fruit and vegetable peels and scraps to treat the rabbits and chickens in the heat.

I keep frozen water bottles and give them to the rabbits on hot days. They can lay beside them to help cool off!

Ice blocks added to the water dishes helps all the animals

For more ideas check out This list


Here’s to keeping cool!


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