The Earth is getting hot, hot, hot, and with all the wildfires, rising temperatures—thanks to global climate change—and the heat-island effect of urban cities trapping heat within pavement and buildings, you’re probably feeling it as severely as we are. It can be tough to stay cool when the planet is trying to turn you into a baked potato. This is the only planet we’ve got, though, at least until enough of us are living on Mars, so you may as well learn a few tricks on coping with the heat.
Air-conditioning is still a luxury for many people, and even in the US and Canada it’s not ubiquitous. Also, people trying to reduce their environmental footprint often choose to go without energy-sucking air conditioners, which raise city temperatures by pumping heat outdoors. Plus, the power could go out during an ill-timed heat wave. This guide has tips on how to stay cool when it’s incredibly hot and air-conditioning is nowhere to be found.
Updated March 2022: We’ve added new products, including SaltStick Fastchews, Igloo Laguna Ice Chest, General Electric LED bulbs, and Gila Solar Window Film.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Whether you’re indoors or out, heat can sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.
Heat exhaustion is a culmination of overheating, dehydration, and other factors overloading the body’s cooling system, which causes a lot of problems. People in the grip of heat exhaustion can be combative and confused.