All of this talk about the summer heat and the danger’s related to it have reminded me of all of the time I spent working with my dad.

My dad was a painter and handyman for a good 25 years before he changed his career path.

He taught me some very valuable lessons about work ethic.

He also dragged me, kicking and screaming, to work with him every day of the summer from the time I was 8 until I was 14 and got my first job.

Any (and I mean ANY) time that I would complain about the hard work or the heat, he would laugh and tell me that I had better make damn sure that I did something with my life to make sure that this was a skill that I knew how to do, not one that I needed to do.

Along with all of the work ethic and training he showed me a few tips and tricks to help get through the day as comfortably as possible…

If any of you have ever worked as painters, you know that 9 times out of 10 the client cuts the power to the air conditioner.

This can make for some very nasty working conditions… and on more than one occasion landed my father in the hospital for heat exhaustion.

A friend of his showed him a trick to keep cool, that he then passed on to me.

He kept a cooler filled with ice water and at the beginning of every shift, he would soak several bandana’s in the cooler.  Once the heat got to an uncomfortable temperature he would take two of them out and wrap one around his neck, and one on top of his head.

This trick would instantly cool us off and make the day that much more bearable.

Unfortunately, those bandana’s would dry out and need to be soaked again about every 15-20 minutes.

I really wish that we had invented these back then:

frogg toggThe “Frogg Togg”

This nifty little tool is great for cooling off in the hot sun.

It takes the same tip of using a soaked bandana but makes the cooling effects last up to a couple of hours, instead of having to stop and re-wet the it ever 20 minutes or so.

These things are small, lightweight, and machine washable.

The only real problem that I have seen with the Frogg Togg is that it can be a little awkward to keep around your neck, especially in high winds.

I have actually seen a different brand that tries to correct that problem by adding a draw string that allows you to tie it around your neck.

(Though I haven’t tried this one out as I have an innate fear of it getting caught on a tree and strangling me. :) )

Have any of you used the Frogg Togg or a similar cooling towel?

Keeping cool and hydrated in the heat is a necessity in any situation.  I have had friends pass out from heat exhaustion while doing something as simple as mowing the lawn..

Stay safe this summer and most of all, stay cool!