It’s a dry heat’

Frank Lang

It’s a phrase commonly used to describe the Valley of the Sun’s weather, but dry or not, 115 degrees is still 115 degrees, and a heat stroke is still a heat stroke. Even though high temperatures are here until about September, it’s no fun to just stay shut up at home or work all the time.

There are things to do outside, or even just out of the house, and if you’re smart about it, you won’t get heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Go for a hike early in the morning. Just before sunrise is the coolest part of the day, and some little in-town hikes, like Camelback or some on South Mountain can be done in about an hour.

If you have the time and gas money, Payson is only about an hour from Mesa, and is usually 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the valley.

Sedona is a little farther up the road, but is usually just as cool, and the Redrock Cliffs around the town have some great hikes.

Regardless of the reason for being out, if planning to be out for an hour or more, here are a couple tips from Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The International Red Cross.

Stay Hydrated

This one seems like a no-brainer, but depending on location, water may not be readily available.

Most public places in Arizona (i.e. parks, golf courses and water parks) have drinking fountains available, but if it’s yard work or construction, plan ahead and bring a water bottle.

Stay away from heavily sugared and alcoholic drinks, as these actually cause a dramatic loss in body fluid.


On the subject of hydration, make sure drinks aren’t too cold. Extremely cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.

Insulated jugs or water bottle sleeves are always nice for keeping it cool though, especially if outside for extended periods of time.

If working outside, try and take a two or three minute break every hour or so, and make sure it’s in the shade, if not in some air conditioning or misters.

Portable Shade

That doesn’t just mean a bamboo umbrella. It means covering up with loose, light-colored clothing. Ever wonder why road workers always have long sleeves on?

Wearing light clothing can seriously cut UV exposure, helping to prevent sunburn, and skin cancer. Wear sunglasses to make it easier on the eyes. Big shady hats to keep cool, and a bit of sunscreen are always a good idea.

Stay safe!

About Author

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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