Usually, there’s not a whole lot you can do about your department’s (or company’s) dress code and uniform regulations, but there are still things you can do to make sure that the heat won’t get to you when it’s pressing down the hardest.
We’ve got a few tips when it comes to staying cool while you’re in uniform and lacking an AC system – we can’t all stay in our cars all day long, right? So let’s get down to business.
Number 1: Dress the Part.
So what does that mean? It means planning with temperature in mind. In winter, you’d lay out the clothes that will keep heat in – in summer, you have to use clothes that will transport heat away from your body instead of trapping it inside.
Avoid wool, and opt for cotton or fibres constructed for that specific purpose. Take a look at this, for example, or even better; this. Contrary to popular belief, a skin tight Under Armour shirt under your vest will feel exceptionally good both in heat and cold, since it will keep you dry and keep normal skin temperature during variations in the outer environment.
Number 2: Cool Your Blood!
Being hot-blooded can be both a plus and a minus, but during summer, you’ll want to keep it as cool as possible. The way to do this is simple, really.
Locate the points on the body where as much blood as possible is as close to the skin as possible. That means your head, your wrists, the back/sides of your neck and your groin. That last one has to be approached cautiously, by the way… 😉
Make sure these places are cooled down, and the blood will transport that relative coolness to the rest of your being. Use a moistened bandana (like this, for example) around your neck. As water evaporates, it takes a lot – a lot – of heat with it. Wear loose wrist bands that you keep moistened throughout the day – and if you wear a cap, keep that wet as well.
When it comes to the groin area, make sure you have as much ventilation there as possible. Wear boxers instead of briefs (who wears TWs these days anyway?) and when you can, keep your fly unzipped. Just make sure you zip up before you step out into public view!
Number 3: We Have the Technology!
Gadgets are always fun, aren’t they? Well, we think so, at least, and if they can help us do the job, then the fun just became useful!
We’re going on and on about water, here, but the fact is that water is the easiest, most effective coolant that is readily available and actually good for you as well! Water mist is also fun, and you can actually get water misting fans small enough to keep in your pocket. It’s no secret that water mist cools very effectively, and with the addition of a slight breeze, you’ll stay nice and cool without the risk of attracting that nasty AC cold or the headaches (yes, it’s true!).
Take a look at this or this, and see for yourself. Also, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Keep it in your locker, and bring it with you on your beat or in your patrol car – or have it handy when you’re out on the porch in the sunshine. Or the beach. Or in the kitchen. Whatever. It’s cool – pun intended.
Number 4: Walk on Water?
Right, not quite, but close. Having the right boots gets you a long way, but if you add some insoles specifically made to chill down your feet, then you should be good no matter what. Keeping your feet nice and dry is also important if you’re serious about being at the top of your game, and staying frosty at the same time.
Check out these, or go see your nearest sports goods dealer. They’ll usually know what you’re after, especially if they cater to runners and the like. Remember that your feet also have a lot of blood (actually, all of it) coarsing through them, and that’s a good place to put in a little cooling effort.
Number 5: Avoiding the Obvious…
We here at SB have usually advocated for the natural way of doing things, since fashion trends have a tendency of making things worse – like artificial fibres in winter, which will make you freeze to death. Use wool instead. Likewise, in summer, you should go the natural route. Avoid using your AC too much when you’re in your car.
Keep the AC on, but make sure it’s not freezing inside there. You should be able to feel that the inside is cool, of course, but never cold! The transition from outside heat to cold inside is devastating for your mucous membranes, drying them out quickly, which will render you succeptible to a whole army of various cold germs and other nastiness.
The temperature should be the same as inside a regular building, or the temperature you like your living room to be. No colder than that. Getting into a really cold car after a while out in the sun might feel good for a while, but in this case, what feels good really only does you harm.
[box type=”blue”]Bonus Tip! Drinking enough water is the best way of keeping your cool. Also, it does your body good in a whole heap of other ways too. Win-win situation, right there. [/box]