Spending a holiday during an Australian Summer is something on everyone’s list. Who is not dreaming of white sands beaches, blue skies, fiery sunsets while enjoying the great outdoors? But let’s face it, hot summer days and nights also bring many health hazards.
These tips will show you how to deal with extreme heat and help survive an Australian summer.
How to survive an Australian summer
The summer months are meant to enjoy the time outside; and if you plan a long summer day, you need to be well prepared to deal with an unpredictable heatwave. Here is what you can do to keep your body hydrated all the time
1. Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water in the summer heat is the most important thing you can do. But by saying this, I mean water and non-alcoholic drinks. Not beer or wine. Pack at least a big bottle of 2 litres of fresh water, preferably not ice-cold, and drink every 10-15 minutes, avoid gulping lots of water at once when you feel the thirst. Take your water into one of those vacuum insulated stainless steel bottles; they are great to keep it refrigerated. Taking an esky bag with you will also help keep your bottles chilled.
2. Start your day early
On a hot summer day in Australia, you need to arrange your plans to adjust to the weather and hot temperatures. Start your day as early as possible, between 6.00-8.00 am is a good start for those who love aerobic activities like running, cycling, walking, hiking and swimming. From 12.00pm to 5.00 hide inside in an air-con or well-ventilated place, or stay in the shade. A library or a shopping mall is a good option if you are on the go.
3. Keep your head and body cool
To cool down from the sweating, pack a cooling towel in your backpack like these from Journext, they are excellent quality. A cooling towel is unique because it can cool down below 20°C; even when it’s hot outside, so it’s perfect to cool down after a hike or a bike ride and keep your body at a comfortable temperature. Its silicon case helps to stay cool longer, so it comes in handy for any outdoor adventure.
You can view this cooling towel on Amazon.
4. Take vitamins and minerals
Drinking water is vital to keep your body hydrated on hot summer days, but it is not enough, without an appropriate intake of minerals, vitamins. These are essentials nutrients because, by sweating, we lose minerals. So you need to compensate with a reasonably good intake of mineral supplements and of course by eating the right food.
5. Eat light meals and the right food
In the heatwave months, eating smaller portions helps your body maintain the right balance of energy and the proper intake of essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium and potassium that are vital to avoid muscle cramps. These tips help you stay fit and healthy. The best foods I recommend eating in Australian in summer are:
- Fruits salads.
- Mixed nuts.
- Fresh citrus and carrot juices.
- Cold pasta and rice dishes.
How to cope with the heat in Australia
If you are not familiar with this Australian slogan, slip slop slap was used in an advertising campaign in Australia to help increase awareness about skin cancer which has a high rate of patients. Slip on a shirt, slop on a 50+ sunscreen and slap on a hat, but there was also seek shade and slide on some glasses to block the sun. This turned into one of the most iconic Australian slogans that have entered the Australian dictionary.
6. Use sunscreen +50 SPF all day long
In Australia, you need to use sunscreen from early morning to the evening to protect your skin from the intense sun. And it’s not a joke. If you spend all the time outside you will need it. Way too many travellers underestimate the dangers of the Australian sun and end up with sunburnt. While there are +30 SPF and lower, it’s a good idea to use +50 SPF because it will block 98% of UVB and UVA rays. But the most important thing is to use a great product, do spend a little bit more and don’t use cheap sunscreens that contain lots of additives and colourants and may cause allergies. I know something about the side effects of cheap sunscreen.
7. Choose functional wear and cover up
Also wearing the proper clothes in Australia make a difference. If you plan to spend long hours, at the beach, or walking outside, wearing light colours is a must, but the most important thing is to wear functional wear with +50SPF too. These will help you protect your skin from the sun but also enables you to stay dry. Most importantly cover up your legs, your arms and shoulders. It may sound a bit exaggerated but the more you cover, the better for your skin. Long-sleeve breathable shirts and long pants are the best in the hot Australian summer.
8. Protect your eyes and your head
Don’t forget to protect your eyes from the intense sunlight by wearing good sunglasses. Those with sideway cover are excellent if you have sensitive eyes and yes a suitable cap or one of the funny Australian hats with the extension to cover your shoulders is entirely a must if you go hiking in the summer.
How to stay safe in the Australian Summer
If you are keen to spend your time outside and enjoy the great outdoors that Australia has to offer, it’s crucial for your trip enjoyment and personal safety to take lots of caution, especially on hot days, when undertaking sports, going on road trips and swimming at the beach. Here are a few tips on how to better deal with this:
9. Plan your road trips responsibly
If you plan a road trip in Australia, before setting off make sure you are familiar with all Aussie driving rules first. Before embarking on long road trips in the Outback and remote regions of Australia, check the heatwave forecast where you get updates and bushfire alerts. Don’t drive with extreme heat to avoid a tyre blowout which is not unusual in the Outback when the temps reach 45-50°C. To be on the safe side, always check this site for updates about heatwaves in Australia. Start your journey early morning and late afternoon to avoid driving in the hottest hours of the day.
10. Don’t drink and swim, never!
There is a massive increase of people drowning in Australia in summer with 48 deaths in January 2019, at the beach, in pools or at lakes. And many area locals. So not only tourists but also locals who possibly overestimate what they can and can’t do. But one thing that you must remember is not to drink a few beers and swim afterwards. The Australian ocean is unforgiving, and it is dangerous even for even expert swimmers, so always swim between the flags in Australia and follow these basic beach safety tips.
Conclusion on how to survive the Australian Summer
Summer is the best time to visit Australia for all summer sports enthusiasts; it can be good fun and reward you with memorable moments. As long as we all use common sense and thoughtful thinking about all these basic rules before setting off, you will enjoy its natural beauty with all the good things that make it unique, swimming and surfing, camping and hiking, road tripping and spending leisure time with friends in its great outdoors.
I hope this survival guide on how to survive an Australian Summer will help you plan your holiday down under more smartly and simply.
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