Thursday, June 9, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Take a Chilll Pill

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Calgon...take me away...

It might just be me, but it seems to have gotten hotter sooner this year...yeesh!!  It has been so hot that if my kids take too long to get the eggs from the chicken coop, they are half way cooked (completely serious here - I couldn't believe it...BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE SHADE!!!)
Heat can be a scorcher! Which is why we are so thankful for the modern blessing of AIR CONDITIONING!!!

But what if we were to loose electricity say...because of an earthquake?

Ok, so I joke about loosing electricity, but for many people, it is hard to live without. How would we stay cool in the Southeastern Arizona sun?
I found this very good list from:

  • Don’t cook or eat during the heat of the day, eat early or late.  Digesting food takes energy and generates heat.
  • Do not cook inside, eat cold meals or use an outdoor grill or camping stove.  This is a great time to use your solar oven or wonder box.
  • If you have good insulation open your windows at night to allow the house to cool off.  Then close your windows in the morning and the house should stay cooler during the day.
  • Keep your blinds or curtains closed as long as the sun hits them.
  • Limit your physical activities to early morning or late evening, the more you move the hotter you will get.
  • Dress in light loose cotton clothes, perspiration in cotton clothes can create an evaporative cooler effect.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Avoid caffeinated beverages. 
  • Get a solar powered fan.
  • When outdoors keep your head covered, have a good wide brimmed hat.
  • Wear a water soaked bandana on your head or neck.
  • A friend who lives in the Sonora Desert said that prior to getting air conditioning; he often slept on a cot outside under a wet sheet.
  • If you have a basement, you may want to consider sleeping in it, since they normally stay cooler.
I usually just stick my head in our little pool and let it drip all over me...with 5 kids, it is really hard to limit activity :).
What about keeping your food cool? Or your medicine? Is there an electricity free alternative for that? You ask the best questions! As a matter of fact, there is! It works similar to...but kind of opposite to the Wonder Oven (are you picturing this? Let me just show you a video.... It is called a Zeer Pot.

Is that just stinkin' awesome or what? Who would have known! As with any self-reliance tool, it is wise to practice with it to see what works and what doesn't for you and your family.

A few things to keep in mind is that the Zeer pot has a limit to the temperature it can bring down. In other things I have read and videos I've watched, the max temp it will bring down is about 45 degrees. If it is 120 outside (which is a stretch...we hardly ever see that kind of temp), the best you're gonna get is about 75 degrees. If it is 80 degrees, it leaves you with a chamber that is about 40 degrees. I would still be thankful for 75 degrees if it is 120 outside. It is still a good temperature for eggs, but not meat.

Also, if the only water you have available is not clean and might be contaminated, put your food in a gallon zip lock bag to keep contaminants from getting in the food because they will penetrate the terracotta (what the pots are made of) and we want to keep the food safe.

Terracotta is a COOL name. I think I'll name my next child that...lets hope it is a girl :).

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