Thursday, July 25, 2024

The Heat is On! Beating the Heat of Summer by Bruce Callis Jr


The Heat is On!
Beating the Heat of Summer
by Bruce Callis Jr

Somebody turn on the Air Conditioning, it’s just too hot out here! Welcome to summer! Scorching temperatures and then factor in the humidity, it is unbearable. And I want to go fishing so bad! But do we battle the heat or just give in? How do we survive the heat while enjoying our passion?
For some, summer time means night fishing. The sun isn’t beating down on you, so it is cooler. But you have to put up with the bugs and not being able to see everything. We can add lights, but as you know, it draws even more bugs!

The only option for a lot of folks is to brave the heat of day and try to stay cool. Some opt for early morning or late evening trips to miss the heat of the day. I’m all for those trips, but the early morning seems to be the best for beating the heat and the storms that seem to hit in the afternoon.

Personally, I’ll take the morning trips and try to hand in as long as possible. It is the little things we do to survive that can allow us to enjoy our time. My first is wearing the right clothing. Moisture wicking shirts and pants will help us stay cooler. I prefer to have a hood to help protect my ears or you can opt for a wide breamed hat to cover the face, ears, and back of the neck. Too often we forget to cover these areas.
Next would be the hands. No one ever really thinks about their hands. We work with them in the sun, but we don’t usually think about covering them. I prefer to have a pair of Fish Monkey guide gloves that are half fingerless. I like them because they provide that much needed protection from above the wrist down. I prefer fingerless because it allows me to also do the things I need easier, like tying knots and feeling the rod and line.

Some guys prefer shorts, but I burn easily, so I opt for pants. Shorts are awesome if you can use them, but make sure to use sunblock on your legs. They take a beating normally, especially the knees, so we need to protect them as best we can. If you wear pants, opt for fishing pants as they are made of special material that will help keep you cooler.

One of the most important things is to stay hydrated! That means drinking plenty of fluids to replace what we are sweating out. Water is the best, followed by those speciality fluids that help replace those important nutrients that we need. Some can’t handle plain water, so you can opt for something that flavors the water. And one of the worse things to drink is alcohol. It doesn’t hydrate, it actually adds to dehydration.
One thing I love to have is fruit. It has water in it and helps to keep us hydrated. Go for those that are high in water, like watermelon. I will take and cut it up and put it in containers for the cooler. When you start to get hot, pull it out. You will be surprised at how fast you will feel better. The only problem I have is it tastes so good I hate to stop. Opt more multiple containers so when you finish the container you aren’t tempted to grab another right away.

Everyone needs to know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. I know it’s a guy thing to be tough, but this tough can lead to death. Heat and humidity increases your risk of heat-related illness. It can also have an effect on your medication as well. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling you off. No sweating, no cooling. A healthy person can sweat more than 6 cups of liquid in an hour on a super hot day.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are as follows:

  • heavy sweating
  • cold, pale and clammy skin
  • fast, weak pulse
  • nausea or vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • fainting

If you notice these signs, treatment needs to be quickly. If you can get them cooled off within 30 minutes, you can help prevent serious health issues. The first step is to bring the body temperature down. Some strategies that work fast are:

  • move to a cool place (in front of a fan or air conditioning)
  • loosen their clothing
  • sip water, do not drink it fast
  • place a cool, wet cloth on the skin
  • spray water on the body with a mister
  • lie down and raise the feet

Heat exhaustion may not be as serious, but it can quickly change into heatstroke if you aren’t careful. That is why quick treatment is necessary. Heatstroke affects your nervous system. And it can have very serious results, including death. Besides heat exhaustion symptoms, signs of heatstroke include:

  • body temperature above 103 degrees F
  • dry skin that doesn’t sweat or skin that becomes very hot, sweaty and flushed
  • strong, fast pulse
  • confusion or slurred speech
  • loss of consciousness

When signs of this serious form of heat illness appear, act fast. Call 911 right away. Lower the person’s body temperature, the faster it is lowered the better the chance they will survive without serious side effects. Listen to the 911 operator, they will help you help them.
Summer time and fishing can be very difficult on us. The fishing can be tough, but staying alive to fish another day is the most important thing of all. Keep an eye out on your fishing buddy! Don’t be a tough guy and say you are fine when you know you aren’t.

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