Posts Tagged ‘weather’

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6 Ways To Arrive At Your Next Networking Event Cool And Comfortable

If there’s one thing that’s undeniable during DC summers, it’s this: you will walk outside and immediately be wrapped in a blanket of heat. Sticky heat, no less. “Mouth of a dog” heat, according to a poetic co-worker of mine.

But the heat won’t stop the many networking opportunities that take place year-round — and in summer, DC-ites are even more willing to stay out late to enjoy the long days and cool nights. Free from a rigid winter schedule, many creative opportunities arise to meet someone new and find a unique inspiration. The heat is no excuse to avoid finding your next life-changing career opportunity.

So how can you get to your next event — without showing up dripping in sweat? Here are some tips:

Drink Cool Water — And Lots Of It

Keeping a full water bottle with you is key: stay hydrated and the heat might not feel so unbearable. You can put a bottle of water in your fridge or freezer at work and grab it on your way out to keep hydrated and cool.

Layers,  Layers,  Layers!

I bike everywhere in the city, but it’s too easy to work up a sweat in your hot, heavy work clothes. A simple solution is to wear as little as possible when you are traversing the city and bring layer-friendly business clothes with you. When I’m biking, this means I usually just wear bike shorts and a tank top, and throw over a skirt and a button down shirt when I arrive. This outfit may be slightly less acceptable for walking, however, but the idea is the same: you can wear a lightweight business skirt with a tank top or tee, and bring your button down or sweater to throw on as soon as you get indoors.

Consider A Parasol

One issue with my previous suggestion: the god forbidding sun. It can beat down on you like the Belgians beat the States in World Cup overtime (too soon?). I’ve been looking into purchasing a parasol for awhile now, the most elegant way to keep the sun away. Of course, you can always use an umbrella, but parasols are just so adorable!

Like this one, from Amazon:

Pack A Miniature Toiletry Kit

Make sure you don’t get caught unprepared and keep the essentials with you at all times. Simply throw a miniature deodorant stick and maybe a tin of hard perfume into your makeup bag and make a quick restroom break when you arrive to freshen up.

Nab Some Toilet Seat Covers

Bear with me here: it has been scientifically proven — sort of — that toilet seat covers are a great way to absorb your sweat or oil. If you just can’t prevent the inevitable, stuff a couple of these in your bag next time you see them in a restroom, and use them to wipe the sweat off of your face. You can also grab some Starbucks napkins. Works like a charm!

Bring Back The Summer Camp Style

Back in the days of summer camp, a key item was on every campers’ list: portable, miniature electric fan, maybe with a squirt bottle. I’m thinking it’s about time to bring these bad boys back — it may look a little silly but onlookers will surely be jealous of your personalized cool breeze.

What are your tips and tricks for keeping cool in the summer? Leave them in the comments!

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How to beat the heat without turning up the AC

Dawn Bickett

Well, it’s official. As of this past Saturday, it’s summer. That means we can look forward to months of hot, muggy, energy-zapping weather outside. But don’t fret, and certainly don’t go burning up power with your AC on full blast. There are other ways to stay cool during these scorching summer months. Check out these splashy ways to beat the heat while avoiding excess electricity use.

Public Pools

Washington D.C. is full of them! Whether you are looking for ways to exercise outside without straining in the heat, or just want to relax, public pools are a great option. One of the most popular — Banneker Pool near Howard University — is open six days a week during the summer, including weekends. It is accessible by public transit, has bike racks out front, and it’s free! If you are a DC resident, that is. Don’t forget to bring proof of DC residency for free admission — either a DC driver’s license or a utility bill will do just fine.

Maryland and Virginia also have great access to public pools. Just check with your county’s parks and recreation department to learn more.

Natural Swimming Spots

Not a fan of chlorine? Perfer the shade of a tree to a pool umbrella? You may have to travel a bit outside the beltway (and drive a car), but these swimming holes will help you cool down and get back to nature!

Harpers Ferry, WV – The town Harpers Ferry sits at the junction of the Potomac River and Shenandoah River. Swimming in the Potomac and Shenandoah can be dangerous due to unseen currents, but there are several companies that will help you float down the river in an intertube instead! Harpers Ferry is also public transit friendly — it can be reached from DC via MARC train in about an hour.

Beaver Dam Swimming Club – Located just north of Baltimore, about 70 minutes from DC, this swim club is actually a huge filled-in marble quarry from the 1800s. A swimming hole since the 1930s, Beaver Dam is both a historic landmark, and a great swimming destination. For the more adventurous, it even has a rope swing!

Cunningham Falls State Park – Head to this state park in Maryland if you are looking for a little more than a swimming hole. A 75 min drive from downtown DC, Cunningham Falls has a lake open for swimming, campsites, and hiking. And it lives up to its name. Just take a short hike to see the park’s 78 foot waterfall.

The Beach!

Let’s face it. Sometimes a pool (or a lake) just doesn’t cut it. In preparation of those moments, consider two of the easiest, and least impactful ways to get to beaches near DC.

Sandy Point State Park – At just 45 minutes from DC — outside of Annapolis, MD — Sandy Point is your quickest way to the ocean. Well, technically it’s the Chesapeake Bay, but close enough on a hot day. And it’s not all swimming; it also boasts nearby hiking trails. So grab a few friends and carpool on over to the beach!

Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches – Desperate for a real ocean beach to chill out? BestBus can take you straight from DuPont Circle to the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets aren’t cheap, but it beats driving and burning all that extra gas.

With all these options, don’t hunker down in behind closed windows this summer. Go outside – and stay cool! Did I miss your favorite spot? Leave a comment to share it with other DC Ecowomen.

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I love cold-weather camping – there are less critters, the campground is less crowded, and nothing beats curling up in a warm sleeping bag after a long hike! But if you aren’t prepared, cold weather camping can be miserable and uncomfortable, and worse… dangerous!

There are tons of tricks and tips to help make winter camping more fun. Here are the 5 basic steps to camp in style, even in cold weather:

1. Insulation.

In cold (and often wet) weather – insulation is key.  You need many layers for both yourself as well as your campsite.

First, dress in a wicking base layer like smart wool or polyester blends – keep that cotton long sleeved shirt at home! You want something that wicks the sweat away from you, and cotton actually captures moisture and keeps it next to your skin. You will still sweat in the cold weather, and when sweat cools your body temperature plummets.

Next, wear a mid-weight middle layer like a wool sweater or a puffy fleece hoodie, and finally wear a waterproof jacket as an outer layer.  And be sure to wear a hat – even when you are sleeping.  Much of your body heat escapes through your head – so grab a beanie and smoosh it on that noggin!

For your campsite, you will need a tarp or a footprint between your tent and the ground. It keeps the moisture from the ground from getting into your tent, and it adds an extra layer of insulation; the more layers that you have between you and the ground, the better!

You will also want a sleeping pad (or two) that have high “R” values – meaning more insulation in the sleeping pad.  Be sure to grab a sleeping bag that’s insulated – with so many cool sleeping bag options out there, you can find one that’s rated comfy for 0 – 15 degree weather.  I always sleep with a sleeping bag liner – it’s an extra fleece bag that goes inside my sleeping bag, and it makes a world of difference in the winter!

Layers are good for your sleeping clothes as well – I usually go to bed wearing all of my camping clothes and I start shedding layers as my body heat warms up my bag.  And as an extra jolt of warmth on a cold day, I carry multiple packets of hand warmers with me whenever I camp, and I use them liberally. Handwarmers can last up to 8 hours and they help make a cold night more enjoyable!

2.  Hydration.

You might not realize it, but you will need to drink more water in the cold than in warmer weather.  You will still sweat and lose moisture (and heat) throughout the day – and your body uses water to help regulate your internal temperature.  Store your water bottles in the bottom of your sleeping bag while you sleep so that they don’t freeze overnight, and be sure to drink plenty of water.  Hot tea, soup, and coffee also helps keep you warm, but alcohol doesn’t.

3.  Food.

If there was ever a time to eat a candy bar – cold weather camping is it!  Your body will burn more calories keeping you warm, so by eating small meals frequently throughout the day, you will keep your metabolism up and your internal furnace blazing.  Enjoy a couple of cookies and a hot mug of herbal tea or decaf coffee before you go to bed – the extra calories will warm you up and give you energy to keep you heated throughout the night.

4.  Be sure to pack sunscreen and sunglasses.

Though the sun might be low in the sky, you can still get sunburned.   The sunscreen also acts as a barrier between the harsh winter elements and your skin.  The sunglasses will protect your eyes from snow blindness and any strong winter winds.

And finally, the most important tip…

5. Be prepared,  have a plan and tell someone where you are going.

Bring a back up charger for your cell phone.  Take a map of the campground where you are staying.  Bring extra batteries.  Write out directions to your campsite before you head out the door – many GPS systems lose their signal in the mountains and you don’t want to get lost when then sun sets early.  Tell someone where you will be, and even show the campsite to him or her on a map if possible.  Bring a first aid kit, and always have a back-up plan – it’s OK if your plans change because of the elements – sometimes that’s half the fun of roughing it!

Want to know more?  Here are some nifty websites to get you inspired to lace up your hiking boots:

Written by Alison Alford