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Lesson Learnt: Surviving Hot Weather

[ 2 ] July 15, 2010 |

It was just another sweaty day of the Chinese summer, 34 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity.  And there I was walking around Jiaxing in the middle of the day frantically searching for a post office, it should have been a simple quest, but alas it was not!  As I walked and walked, I was getting hotter and hotter and seemingly no closer to my destination after being constantly pointed in different directions.

It was a stinker of a day and as I walked sweat seemed to be pouring of every part of my body like some kind of salty monsoonal downpour.  I was delighted to see that today even the Chinese who seemed to have been genetically programmed not to sweat had beads dripping down their faces, the heat was getting to them too!

The longer I walked the more agitated I got, the more thirsty I got and the more tired I got.  But this girl was on a mission and she was stopping for nothing, not even to buy a bottle of water.  After all if Bear Grylls survived days in the Sahara (with nights spent in air-conditioned luxury hotel suits) I’m sure I had it in me to get through a few hours of hot weather.

Channeling Bear I steamed on, swished around some saliva in my mouth to stay hydrated but stopped short of peeing on my t-shirt and wrapping it around my head to keep cool, that was slightly too extreme.  However channelling Bear turned out to be a big MISTAKE!  I wasn’t Bear Grylls and apparently I couldn’t quite cop this kind of heat, namely the extreme humidity.

After an hour and a half of searching for the post office to no prevail I felt far to weary to go on.  I finally wizened up, stopped to buy water and sat under the cool shade of a tree.  But something was wrong, I didn’t feel too good at all, what I needed was to lie down under some freezing cold air-conditioning.  A few minutes later I found myself walking back to my friends apartment, psyching my self into putting one foot in front of the other, it was so close “Sasha you just need to make it these next 5 minutes” I told myself.  Just 30secs later there I was standing by the side of the road puking into a bush.  I had truly been struck down by a case of the easily preventable heat stroke.


So how can you prevent yourself from throwing up in a bush on a hot summers day???


Stay Hydrated

Now I know that seems a given but when on a mission like I was, it’s easy to forget to do such a simple thing as drink some water.  If your body is sweating like crazy that means you need to put all that liquid back in!  And if you find yourself ogling that roadside drinks stand or convenience store don’t simply walk by, that’s you brain telling you you’re thirsty.


Avoid Midday

Midday is perhaps the worst part of the day to be outside wandering around in the summer.  It is the time when the sun is at it’s highest, at it’s hottest and when your chocolate ice cream will melt into hot chocolate in a matter of minutes!  The Spaniards were certainly onto something when they came up with the midday siesta.  So take a leaf from a local’s book, chances are if they’re seeking out a cool sheltered place then it would be a good idea to follow suit.


Have a Rest

Have you ever noticed that when walking around in the heat you suddenly get very tired?  Well when that happens that is a good time to seek out a shady tree or umbrella and sit down to a cool drink or ice cream.  If you’re walking around in the heat it’s important to take regular rest breaks, hot weather tends to sap all your energy and the last thing you want is too miss out on sightseeing because you’re far too tired to do anything.


Don’t be an idiot!

Don’t be an idiot like I was ignoring my bodies signals and steaming on in the heat.  It’s really not at all pleasant to be puking in a bush on the side of the road on a hot summers day.  What’s even more ridiculous is that it was entirely preventable.  And if you are a “Man Vs Wild” (Born Survivor) fan remember Bear Grylls is an SAS trained nutter and someone you shouldn’t even bother to model yourself after!  I tried and certainly learnt my lesson!


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About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

Comments (2)

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  1. Duncan Brown says:

    Don’t forget that Bear probably has his camera team lug his own minibar filled with bottles of Evian just in case he breaks a sweat every few feet he walks. Aside from that, very good points well made.

  2. Sasha says:

    Haha thanks Duncan, and maybe he even has an air-conditioned limo to cower from the heat lol!

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