Life Saving Tips To Survive Over 100 Degree Heat

There have been a few times in my life when I have dealt with heat that was over 100 degrees. It feels like a blazing inferno. Heat over one hundred degrees can quickly become lethal to your body if you don’t understand how to protect yourself. Over the few times I’ve dealt with heat such as this, I speak from experience to save you some agony. Whether you deal with this every year or are suffering through a heat wave in a cooler region, these life saving tips are for you!

1. Reconsider Going Outside

Seriously, if it is over 100 degrees, ask yourself if it is necessary to go outside. The easiest way to avoid ill effects from the heat is to stay indoors with the air conditioner running.  Unfortunately, most of us have work or school so this is not an option, especially if there are consecutive days of heat over 100 degrees. If you do, be smart, stay safe, and supervise children and pets outdoors.

2. Drink Clean Water

This is an absolute must. The amount of water in the human body is 50% – 75%. Adults are around 50% – 60% of water while babies are approximately 65% – 75%. Essentially, we are mostly water. This is why it is so important to continuously drink cool water (drinking ice cold water can shock your body). Sip on water throughout the day from when you wake up until you go to bed. If you drink all of your water at once, it may not be enough to keep your body hydrated during the day. The recommendation for water is about eight glasses per day, but this can depend on how much water you’re losing through sweating. There are times when water isn’t enough. Consider making hydrating drinks with lemon, lime, and a pinch of sea salt to restore electrolytes. You can add mint for a cooling sensation or raw honey for sweetness. Keep water with you everywhere you go whether it is in the car or on the couch. Best water bottles I’ve used:

Keep an eye on your urine color to tell if you are hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your urine will be a deep yellow. If you are severely dehydrated your urine will be orange, and if you are chronically dehydrated your urine will be brown. The moment you notice your urine is yellow, drink a little more water. Never resort to alcohol or caffeine as they will progress dehydration.

3. Recognize the Signs of Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke, and Dehydration

Heat Exhaustion:

  • Headache
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Fainting

Heat Stroke:

  • No sweat being produced
  • Dry Skin
  • Confusion
  • Strange Behavior
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures


  • Dry Mouth
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Headache
  • Yellow urine
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling tired

If you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately!

4. Administer First Aid to Heat Illnesses Quickly

For dehydration, continuously keep drinking cool water and take a break in a cool area. For heat exhaustion, move to a cool place to rest. Remove any excess clothing if not all clothing if appropriate. Put cool cloths on the skin and sit under or near a fan. Go to the emergency room if there is not improvement. For heat stroke, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately! Keep a close eye on yourself and those who are suffering heat related illnesses.

5. Do Not Stay in an Idled Car

A car can get hot so quickly even with the air conditioning on or a window rolled down. It will not be enough to keep you cool enough for more than a few minutes. Generally when the car is moving on the road, the air conditioning will be cooler and you are moving instead of sitting in the sun. Never leave children, pregnant women, or pets in a hot car even with the window down or air conditioner running. Don’t even think about leaving your child or pet “real quick” or “just a minute”, it will get too hot. If you are waiting for someone to come out of the bank or store, consider going in with them to stay cool. The only exception to this may be your car breaking down.

6. Don’t Fall Asleep Outside

I can’t stress this enough. Temperatures that are 100 degrees or above are not meant to sit outside and sleep on the hammock. If you feel tired, go inside where it is air conditioned. You will dehydrate and could possibly die from heat stroke. Also take pets or children inside if they are feeling tired or sleepy.

7. Dress for Cool

How you dress will make a difference! You may think, “It is so hot I think I’m going to wear my sports bra and booty shorts.” Please, don’t. Exposing your skin to the harsh sun can result in quick reddening of the skin and a painful sunburn. Do not wear black or other dark colors that absorb heat and can burn your skin. Do wear colors like white, ivory, yellow, and other light colors that will not absorb the heat. It may sound crazy to most, but it is not a bad idea to wear a white long sleeved shirt and long pants. This protects you from sunburn and keeps you cooler. As a note, choose your fabrics wisely. You will be cooler and feel more dry in 100% cotton than in polyester. Make sure your clothes do not hug your skin so tightly that sweat can’t escape. This can cause clogged pores on your skin and nasty rashes.

8. Do Outdoor Activities In the Morning or at Night

It is easiest to do any outdoor activities in the morning because it will generally be cooler. There are places that do not cool off at night or in the morning and remain a steady 90-105 degrees believe it or not. It will still feel better to get what you must get done in the early morning, or at night when the sun isn’t beating down on you.

9. Beware Outdoor Benches and Playground Equipment

Avoid sitting outside or taking kids to play on outdoor playground equipment in the heat. The surfaces can be hot enough to cause severe burns. Think touching a hot burner on the stove. Same goes for touching any metal surface that has been in the sun for long periods of time.

10. Save hiking for the cooler seasons

You do not want to be out hiking in the morning only to find the temperature quickly raise to above 100 degrees when you are miles from camp. It is easy to pack up thinking you have enough water only to find yourself begging for a drink out of a friend’s water bottle.

11. Choose Indoor Entertainment

Go see a movie, spend the day at the aquarium, check out a museum, go ice skating, have fun bowling, wander around the mall, buy some tickets for a play, or find a local roller skating rink. Most of these places usually have excellent air conditioning. If you’re stuck at home, play a board game, watch a movie, learn a new hobby, finger paint with the kids, read a book, or write a story.

12. Avoid Turning On the Oven

Not only will this release extra heat into your house, but it will be hard for the house to cool down. Your electricity bill will sky rocket to a new extreme. Do yourself a favor and avoid turning on the oven. Eat cold leftover from the refrigerator. If you must, make yogurt with honey, seeds, or berries for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and sushi or veggie seaweed rolls for dinner. Get creative! If you need to cure a sweet tooth make some popsicles at home or mix some honey in a cool cup of tea. Make sure if you do use the oven, use it early in the day or at night.

13. Buy a Noggle

It may seem weird and they are a bit pricey, but well worth it especially if you have a baby or toddler in the car. The noggle (click the “shop now” button below). There is a 6ft, 8ft, and third row lengths. hooks to one air vent and directs the air to the backseat (especially useful if your vehicle does not have air conditioning vents in the back seat). They keep the kids (and  pets) cool. Some kids enjoy holding the end of the hose or laying it across their lap. The hose comes in different sizes, so make sure you choose the size appropriate based on your vehicle length.


14. Use Black Out Curtains or Cardboard

Use black out curtains over windows to keep the cool air inside. If you don’t have black out curtains, use cardboard boxes. It may not look pretty, but they will keep the heat from coming in through the window.

15. If Your Car Breaks Down

I know I said don’t stay in an idle car before, but this may be the exception. Especially if you break down in the middle of nowhere. Put your water in the shade to keep it cool. Crack the windows slightly if you need to keep some air flowing. Don’t make a trek away from your car because distances can be deceiving. Keep your cell phone on. Call road side assistance if you are able and wait patiently. Call a friend or a cab if you have to get somewhere cool. Tie a white shirt or light colored cloth to your car antenna. Alternatively, place it on the hood of the car to signal that you need help. Use a blanket or sunshade to keep the sun out and the car cool. Call 911 if you realize you are starting to suffer from heat stroke. Most cell phones that don’t have service can still call 911.

16. Don’t Drink Cactus Water

You may have heard survival stories where individuals drank cactus water to survive in the desert. If you are outdoors and don’t have water and that cactus nearby is giving you a glare, don’t be tempted to cut it open for water. Keep in mind that some cacti are actually on the endangered species list such as the Acuna Cactus or the Fickeisen Plains Cactus. Harming endangered cacti can result in a class four felony. Yikes! Not to mention water from a cactus can make you sick. Cactus water is acidic and some cacti produce oxalic acid, which is toxic. In humans, oxalic acid can create calcium oxalates by combining with calcium in the body. This can affect your kidney function.If you drink cactus water on an empty stomach or drink too much it can cause diarrhea, which can escalate dehydration. Instead, eating the cactus fruit like prickly pear is a better option.

17. Spray the Roof With Water

This may sound nuts and it did to me a while ago. I remember our air conditioner wasn’t cooling well and it was warm out. My husband went outside and started spraying the roof with water. I didn’t think it would do anything and he would look strange to neighbors. However, I could feel the difference inside. It felt about ten degrees cooler and I got a “told you so” smile from my husband.

18. Go For a Car Wash

Likewise, if you are already in the car, go to the car wash. Many of them are in shaded areas and the water will cool off the car significantly. If it is hot and you plan to spray down your car with the garden hose before you go, make sure you use warm water on the car first and gradually reduce the temperature. If you don’t, you may end up with a cracked windshield.

19. Don’t Stand With the Freezer Door Open

Don’t stand in front of your freezer to cool down. It is tempting and will cool you down, but you will be costing yourself more money on your electricity bill and run the risk of your food spoiling.

20. Take a Cool Shower or Use a Wet Cloth

Take a cool shower and let your hair air dry to help feel cooler. If showering isn’t an option, use a cool, wet cloth, and place it on your neck and arms. This will feel better if you have a fan blowing on you.

Have your own unique tips to beat the heat? Post below!


[Image Credit: Agustin Lautaro at]

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