Last month, a 29-year-old named Bruce was camping with his family in New York’s Adirondack woods when he became lost. Bruce has autism and difficulty communicating, as well as weak peripheral vision and motor dysfunction.
Immediately, Bruce’s family and park rangers began an intense search for him. After spending 50 hours outside during New York’s heat wave, Bruce was found by park rangers at a nearby lake.
Bruce is an Eagle Scout and relied on his wilderness survival skills to stay alive in the heat. He drank water from a stream while floating in the lake to stay cool. Obviously, with the recent dangerous temperatures, Bruce is lucky to have survived with no major injuries.
This time of year we always hear stories of people getting lost or stranded outdoors. With heat waves in many parts of the country, it’s never been more important to prepare to survive in hot weather.
Considering this, I want to break down your clothing options and give you a few things to keep in mind to help you stay cool.
When it’s incredibly hot outside, you will see most people wearing T-shirts or many men simply not wearing a shirt. Of course, this makes some sense since you will feel better if you have on something light (or nothing at all). The problem is the rays from the sun can severely burn your skin.
For this reason, you want to wear a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt in extreme heat since it will keep the sun off your arms. Cotton is one of the best fabrics for the heat since it soaks off perspiration and will dry in the warm temperatures.
When it comes to pants, you want to choose items with similar qualities as your shirt. Basically, pick light colors that are loose fitting.
You’ve probably seen those pants where the legs can zip off. These are a great idea since you can easily go from wearing pants to shorts depending on the conditions.
Just remember to be careful that your legs don’t get sunburned. In other words, when you’re resting in the shade is a good time to take off the legs of your pants.
Recently, I went to a sporting goods store and tried on a very expensive pair of boots. They were incredibly uncomfortable. In other words, even though they are durable and made by a great company, the fit was horrible so I didn’t buy them.
My point is when it comes to shoes, the fit is everything. In a survival situation, your shoes and the way you care for your feet can save your life. When choosing shoes for heat, make sure they fit comfortably with the specific socks you plan on wearing.
Also, consider buying shoe inserts or even consult a podiatrist to get custom made orthotics. Lastly, do a test run wearing the boots and socks you plan on bugging out with to make sure they don’t cause any blisters.
Obviously, hats are critical for keeping the rays off your head and the sun out of your eyes. These days you can even buy hats made from special fabric with cooling technology, which can definitely help keep your body temperature down when the heat is beating down on you.