Hey Guys, My friend Art, who was at one of the NJ wars this year (soon to be member here on NH under Artmageddon) Is a cross country runner, and has ran in a lot of various climates. He was going to post this but he is in the waiting group so this is some additional and add on advice.
"Hey all - so having recently finished an Ultramarathon in the Sahara desert*, I can share suggestions on how to stay safe in the heat for APOC. The others in here have brought up some good tips, and I'm happy to expand on them.
• Hydration is a MUST, especially with the heat waves we've been getting in NJ. Langley suggested at least 1 gallon of water, my personal recommendation might be at least two gallons, depending on how fit you are, how hot it is, how much you'll play, and if someone forgets to bring their own. Hydration is the cheapest yet most important aspect of the day and there's no reason to skimp on it. Like Langley said, sports drinks are going to be better than water alone, because water won't replace the salt that your body loses from sweat. Personally, I use water as well as hydration tablets like Nuun(see URL below) - you can find these at a nearby running store, or at an outdoors shop like REI. They're better than sports drinks because you get a better dosage of sodium and other electrolytes without sugar and junk like that.
• Expanding upon the previous point, listen to your body. If you start to feel cramps, dizziness, dehydration, overheated... just stop playing and give yourself some rest. Seriously, sit out a round or two and let your body recover. There's *no* reason to let yourself succumb to heat stroke. Langley’s point about Hyponatremia is a very real concern – don’t think it can’t happen to you!
• If you are on any kind of medication like Tylenol or Advil, STAY HYDRATED. Putting your body through this kind of strenuous heat(and salt loss) while on these kinds of medications can be hazardous for your kidneys. This applies to anyone of any age!
• Light-colored, light-weight, loose fit clothing is the best option here. If you can get UnderArmour heat gear, or other synthetics like it, that would be your best bet. I like it because it wicks the sweat off of your body, and they're really comfortable. If you can't get UnderArmour, cotton is probably fine as long as it's loose and breathable, but beware that your shirt will weigh you down as you sweat more(cotton absorbs a lot of water), and you'll be more prone to chafing as the material rubs on your body.
• Sunscreen is also a must, but don't leave it at home, take it with you. Reapply it every two or three hours, regardless of whether it's SPF 15 or 45 - sweat will affect how long it stays on your skin. Either sprays or creams will be fine.
• Avoiding caffeine is a very good idea - this includes coffee, energy drinks like Red Bull / Monster, and soda. Using caffeine will dehydrate you faster, especially in the heat.
• I also recommend wearing a hat/visor, and will also add sunglasses. Given the lack of shade, you'll want eye protection to keep your retinas from getting burned, or from taking a stray dart to the face. I'm usually reluctant to suggest cheap sunglasses like the kind you find at Walmart, but if you're just wearing them for the day then those will work. If you wear eyeglasses like I do, definitely get a hat - the brim will shade your eyes for at least part of the day. Personally I'll be wearing a hat like the Desert Hat linked below, as the flaps will cover part of my neck.
• If there's no shade, bring some - getting a beach tent wouldn't be a bad idea, but if that's too pricey/heavy, bring an umbrella. Even a cheap $5 one will help keep the sun off of you while you're not playing, and that'll allow for better recovery between rounds. I'll have a large umbrella with me that is large enough for two.
• Others have suggested using body glide / vaseline, and I will do the same. Getting a rash on your thighs / chest hurrrrts, and getting one means you'll feel it for days when you walk. Much like the Nuun, you can get it from a local running store. It’s only a couple bucks and well worth it – people who will be wearing cotton clothing will definitely want to consider using it, and I can speak from painful, personal experience from not having used it.
• Getting acclimated to the heat isn't a bad idea prior to the event. Get outside and go for a walk!
• Finally, I'm going to wear special arm sleeve coolers that will cover the lower and upper arms. The ones I use are made of a special material that helps cool your skin, especially when water is poured over them. It's also nice because it means having to use less sunscreen, and they can be removed whenever I want(unlike a long sleeve shirt which has to be rolled up and kept up, keeping more heat inside your shirt). They may look silly but damn if they don't work.
I'll post more thoughts as they come to mind. Looking forward to meeting everyone at APOC!
Desert flap hat: http://www.amazon.co...D/dp/B000B5GU1M
Arm sleeve coolers: http://www.artscycle...CFYqZ4Aod4AgAWw
*Sahara desert race pics if anyone is curious: http://imgur.com/a/UyQ7S#0"
Edited by Griever 2112, 18 July 2013 - 02:48 PM.