Summer survival kit

Summer survival kit
By Walter Ang
April 6, 2000

Summer's here! The sun is scorching hot and the temperature is rising fast. Living in this cosmopolitan city we call home becomes a challenge this time of the year. The summer sun brings with it a host of thing to look out for. The moment you step out of the house, you feel your skin begin to cook from the intense heat. Sometimes, airconditioners conk out from overheating and you're left with just a folding fan to keep you aerated. Throughout the day, you get more and more irritable from the torrid atmosphere. If you're not careful to keep your temper in line, you're liable to lash out at the wrong person at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons. You wouldn't want that to happen now, would you?

Fortunately, we can try to keep ourselves in check and maintain our cool. All we need to do is keep a few things handy. A sort of survival kit if you will. Before anything else, we'll need a container for all our other gear. Guys can go with a sturdy backpack and the ladies can opt for a sensible handbag.

First order of the day, sunblock. Have you any idea what the noxious ultraviolet rays of the sun can do to your skin? Perish the thought of wrinkles and dry scaly skin. But the worst consequence is when UV rays penetrate your skin causing your insides to go out of whack and wreaking some serious havoc. Eventually, this could lead to skin cancer! Good thing I paid attention to my biochemistry teacher back in school.

Every year, I have my aunt from California send me one of those huge bottles of SPF 45 sunblock bought from a warehouse priceclub. Spread the stuff on every square inch of exposed skin. Don't forget your lips ? you can get lipbalm with sunblock. If I'm not mistaken, there's even hairgel with SPF in it.

Next up, sunglasses. Another baneful outcome of sun exposure is the risk of getting cataracts. So cover the windows to your soul. If you have a pretty well developed sense of fashion, you'll end up good- looking too! Make sure you get lenses that are UV resistant. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting your (or your parents') hard earned money if you get cheap lenses that offer no protection.

Caps, hats or umbrellas. Why worry if you can't find any shade to stay under, when you can always bring your own shade with you? Something to protect your sensitive head from the blistering heat. Bonus if you have an umbrella: you'll be in good hands if there's a sudden rain break. This is a tropical country after all.

Deodorant. The summer heat can make things smell more earthy and pungent, and I'm not just talking about durian here. While sharing is a good virtue, I'm sure everyone will agree there are some parts of ourselves that we really shouldn't share.

Water bottle, filled with water of course! The risk of dehydration is higher during the summer. It's no fun to pass out from the heat in the middle of the street just because you thought carrying around a bottle or jug of water with you would be too much of a hassle. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already, horrors, slightly dehydrated. So don't be afraid to take a long cold gulp of good old dihydrogen monoxide. Refreshing, quenching, invigorating. For the weight watchers, news flash ? water has no calories. The best stuff on earth! Best served chilled.

Care owners should take note to have a huge container of water tucked snuggly in the trunk. Humans aren't the only ones who get thirsty when it's hot.

Just for fun, you could buy one bottle of those high brow, high priced brands of mineral water. For example, the one that means "innocent" when you spell the brand name backwards. What you do is use it everyday, impressing your colleagues whenever you take a swig. What they don't know is that it's just the same bottle that you refill in your house. Cheap, yet builds profile.

A summer survival kit can have even more stuff to suit your needs. If you want, you can even have a deflated salbabida with your for those spur of the moment let's-jump-in-the-water moments. Whatever your fancy, at least know you're prepared for anything. Have fun!