Flies, Dust and Extreme Heat Summer Is Here. The Desert Is Hot, Planning a Heat Hike?
It was and most likely is common seen walking across the desert in the afternoon heat people with discolored plastic gallon jugs filled with water. It didn’t matter if it was 70 degrees or 130 degrees, people were walking down the road or across the vast space between the Salton Sea and Mexico. This is the type of environment flies die in, when it exceeds 120 degrees they die, in mid flight. 110 everything is dandy, 120 dead. It’s remarkable when a water hose is turned on and a puddle is formed, flies instantly cover the water completely. Water is the heart beat of the desert, life and death are very closely related in the summer sun. Desert hazards: flies, heat and blow dust. (The dirt flung about during wind storms).
I worked outside at a small electric YETI ONE GALLON generating plant, we burned urban wood waste from Los Angeles and it’s suburbs. We worked in shifts, 1/2 hour in the heat and 3/4 hour in the air conditioned shop. The opposite crew would take over, the job would continue and most of the time everyone was doing alright. We would work in the summer shifts for sometimes weeks on end, normally October would bring relief and nice weather. We had safety meetings once a week, once a month a doctor would have a presentation pertaining to the heat and dehydration. The battle cry “stay hydrated” could be heard all day long as jokes as well a prudent advice. Typically we would each drink a gallon or more of water a day, room temperature was the most common choice. Our clothes would be drenched in very short order, it helped to keep us cool, after the sweat dried it would leave white mineral streaks on our clothes.
Those streaks are an indication your body is losing minerals, they must be replenished. A very good way is to drink an energy drink such as “Gator Aide”, they do have concerns of their own. The drinks come in liquid or powdered form, I have used both, there seems to be no difference to me. However I did make a mistake with an energy drink that I will never do again. I was working in a remote site on the West Side of the San Joaquin valley, again in the extreme heat. In the “control room” was a water cooler with a five gallon jug of water in it, we’ve all seen them. I filled the five gallon jug with a packet of powered drink, just like cool aide, or so I thought. All that day we all drank from it, the next morning however introduced a new situation. The first worker that drank from it, took a drink and instantly vomited, the drink had turned into some sort of chemical stew overnight. We did not take the time to figure out what had happened to it, we put a new bottle in and went about our business