India’s summer months can be cruel on the unprepared. No matter which part of the country you travel to, you’ll either find dust, humidity, or dry heat. Between scorching hot winds or a sticky hot climate that constantly drains, you need to be ready to survive this climate in the outdoors.
Get Some Shade
There’s only two kinds of outdoor light that you’re concerned with; a gentle sunrise or sunset that lets you move around, and then a uniform glaring light. Most of the time you’re going to outdoors require you to deal with the latter. It’s especially tough when right at noon, and after, when the heat is at its worst.
This means you need to cover up the moment you step out in the sun. A hat made of a light, sweat-wicking fabric is a great idea. Many even soak their head in a bit of water before heading out. Similarly, light, airy fabrics that provide you some cover while letting air circulate are essential. When you do stop for rest, do it indoors, away from the sun.
As mentioned earlier, most of your day will have you battling harsh sunlight. It’s better to reach your destination, or cover significant distance before the noon sun begins glaring down upon you. Instead, try to leave and return early, so you can rehydrate and relax. The alternative is being forced to hide out from the sun, even till early evening on, especially cruel days.
You’re still going to face the sun, so might as well prepare for it. Keep a water based sunscreen in your bag, as any alternative will make you feel greasy when you sweat. A higher SPF sunscreen is necessary to avoid sunburn. Also, carry a brand of talcum powder especially recommended for prickly heat. Don’t forget to carry lip balm with SPF, as dryness causes cracked lips and peeling. If you apply makeup, keep it minimal. Men should avoid alcohol-based aftershaves and lotions as these dry out skin.
Water is your best friend, but pack your own from the hotel. Considering that you’ll lose body salt via sweat, you have at least one of these beverages:
i. Lemonade: salt, sugar, and Lemon will replenish the salt-water balance, while sugar and vitamin C will pick you up.
ii. Bael Juice: A delicious drink found easily in the summer months, it is a great body coolant. It also works wonders on any heat-related ailments, including heat strokes and dehydration.
iii. Chaach: The cooling buttermilk drink cools also replaces body salts and energizes, without feeling heavy. Cumin seed and fresh coriander make it a curative summer beverage. Avoid heavy alcohol in the evenings, or foods that produce heat.
You might not know how nutritious your food is when you’re on the road, so multivitamins will supplement any nutrient loss you’re unknowingly experiencing. Either that, or get access to fruits (vitamin A, B6, B1, and C are found in watermelon).