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  • Dealing with the Heat

    Before DC19, I started a thread about how a pasty white guy from cloudy UK should prepare to deal with the heat in Vegas. I really dont like the heat, I will go out of my way to avoid it, but DEFCON in Vegas in July/August meant I really couldnt just ignore it. Thankfully, the community here all chipped in with some fantastic hints and tips to help those who havent been to Vegas before, and it got posted again for DC20 last year. This year, I was told that it would be best to start another thread about this, and reference the original (and now locked) forum thread. If this helps at least one person at DC21, then I will feel happy.

    Seriously, if you have never experienced 105f/40c+temperatures before, its like opening an oven door and breathing in. The moment you step out of the airconditioned airport, your brain will be saying "Uh oh, what have I let myself in for!?". I had a semi-panic whilst waiting for the rental shuttle bus... but if you can prepare before you arrive, you will be fine. I was actually more comfortable in 104f/40c in Vegas than I am back in the UK in 80f/27c.

    I`ll start with the ending of my original thread: my report from after my first desert experience. Please feel free to add anything else here that you think may be useful to first timers.


    Hat - get one if you want to go outside and not burn your scalp... the sun is damn hot and high in the sky! Yes, the sun really is trying to kill you! :)

    Hydrate - water and Gatorade (or similar), and lots of it... worked well, and I just love Gatorade now. Seems there is a special "no additives, no this, no that, different recipe" version of Gatorade for sale in the UK, but I cant find anywhere that stocks it :( Will have to go to American Soda to get my fix.

    As mentioned above by chs, and also by Highwiz in the DC 101, dont get fooled by the hotel aircon. It may be cool inside, but you are still in the desert, and it is trying its very best to suck all the fluids out of your body however it can (that sounds just so wrong, but you know what I mean!). I drank almost as much in the hotel as when I was outside. My nose dried up, my eyes hurt by the end of the day (carried around and used eye drops after the first day!), and my skin hasnt really forgiven me for the lack of moisturing I did. Low humidity does have some downsides, so deal with that before you find out about it the hard way!

    The Camelbak was just great. Allowing me to fill the bladder with ice from the hotel machines and then with water (and optionally a Camelbak elixir tablet), keeping me going pretty much the whole day at the Con (and not spending vast amounts of money on overpriced bevarages!), and out at the DC Shoot on the Thursday AM. It also allowed me to shove some Gatorade bottles in the bag, and a place to secure the goodies from the vendor's area I collected during the day.

    The neck wraps worked amazingly well, and I never even knew they existed until it was posted here. Thanks to not5150 and eris for suggesting them. Sadly the TSA decided that it was a "gel" and I had to trash the one I was wearing when passing through the scanners at LAS (booo!).

    The low humidity made the heat much more bearable. Getting out at 7.20am in 30C/85F+ was comfortable, and even 40C/104F+ didnt get me running for shade and aircon at every opportunity. The only time I started to think I was losing the plot was in Death Valley at 47C/116F, at which point I did seak out shade and aircon :)

    Sun cream 50+ SPF if you want to outside is a wise idea, which does give you the ability to wear shorts and T-Shirts for longer periods, giving your body more chance to cool itself. I wouldnt advise staying out all day in the sun in shorts and T's if you are not used to it, but the only time I wore long pants/trosuers was on the flight in and out of Vegas (but then I didnt go out much during the day!)

    Washing your face after being outside - oh yes, that was highly refreshing... do it!

    And if you are outside for an extended period, just take things a little slower that usual... there is no hurry!

    So, again, a huge thanks to all who commented, it made Las vegas bearable for someone who doesnt usually deal well with the heat. At my next Defcon, I`ll spend less time worrying about the heat, and more time enjoying the con, the people, and the company :)


    The original thread is located here, and there is a lot more comments and tips that were posted by the forum members to read:

    https://forum.defcon.org/showthread.php?t=12660

    (Note this is not a duplicate thread, its a new one... and anyway, TheCotMan told me I could post it :) )

  • #2
    Re: Dealing with the Heat

    Originally posted by Zorlac View Post
    (Note this is not a duplicate thread, its a new one... and anyway, TheCotMan told me I could post it :) )
    Yep. Previous years' threads on this topic get closed, so this is not a rule violation on "duplicate threads."

    Thanks for links to old thread as references.

    I say these things in public to help people understand how those rules are applied and to show there are exceptions in case anyone else is wondering.

    Good luck!

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