Today I was outside all day teaching. Last week was all about hydration. Today I continued drinking water (not enough, but I’ll get to that). It was about as hot as it could have been. Temps in the upper 90s and humidity towards 80% with no breeze on the range, it didn’t feel like it could be any hotter.
Smart things to do if you know you are going to be in the heat. First, bring your own shade. I always have a tarp and/or poncho liner and 550 Cord to create my own shade. It’s hard to make shade for lots of people, but easy to make it for one. Find a tree, post, structure, trashcan, or anything off the ground to tie one side too, and then something else to tie the other end to the ground. Let it stay off the ground some so you can get a breeze to come through and then sit on something like your pack, a chair, or a matt. The other way I have my own shade is my clothing. Big floppy hat, lose fitting long sleeve shirt with and Under Armour Tech T underneath for insulation, and lose fitting pants. I wear a full desert style boot for footwear. It was so hot that the glue on the bottom of my boot came off and I had to use duct tape to finish the day.
I brought tons of water and drank it all (and should have drank more). I had a Camelbak with 2 liters, a gallon of water, and 2 Gatorades. I drank it all plus a couple bottles of water out of the cooler that was there. As the instructor I didn’t get to hang out in the shape as much as my students, but man, it was hot! I had another gallon of water in the truck just in case, but I should have brought more. Extra trick, freeze you water bottles and they will stay cold for a long time, especially if you throw them in a cooler. I froze my Camelbak and Gatorade. It was cold until about noon when I finished it off. I realized I wasn’t drinking enough after lunch because I hadn’t used the restroom since early that morning.
Last thing that most people forget when going into the heat are bug spray and sunscreen. You need both. Putting sunscreen on your face and any other exposed skin will help your body deal with the heat. If there are bugs around they will love your sweat and eat you alive. You need to take it with you because, water proof or not, you will sweat through it. Today there was no bugs, but I should have used some more sunscreen, my face is a little red.
All of this contributed to about 3 pm me, my class, and my fellow instructor (Bob Mayne) hit a wall and that was it. We did a couple more drills and then some fun time where students got to shoot each other’s guns and just have fun. I got to shoot a Ruger SR9, an S&W Shield, an S&W M&P, and a Beretta Nano. I also got an old friend out to use (I let someone use my Glock). I got some trigger time with my Para-Ordnance P14 Limited to do demonstrations.
With proper prep of hydration and bringing something’s to help you with it, the heat is something you can beat. Water is the most important thing.