Sometimes out on the water can get pretty warm or even downright hot if there’s no breeze to cool the boat and especially in areas of the world that tropical cruisers like to venture. Heat stress, exhaustion or heat stroke can be fatal. We have several ways to help keep us cool while out on the water. One of our favorites (and the most portable!) is the Bandana Neck Chiller.
You soak the bandana in cold water — or better yet, ice water — bbbrrrr!!! The beads inside the bandana swell up when submerged and form a tube like ring. When you put it around your neck, it cools by evaporating and keeping your neck cooler which in turn, helps cool the rest of you. We use them on the big boat, on the racing/one design sailboat – anytime we’re going to be outside in significant heat and they do help keep us cool. It took a bit of getting used to since the bandana is wet and will get your t-shirt collar soggy, but evaporation is the key. We do have to be careful taking it directly out of the cooler after soaking with ice water, it can be a bit abrupt on a hot sweaty neck!
Amazon has several examples of chilling bandanas. The price point doesn’t seem to be important. Ours are the least expensive ones we could find. They seem to work for a while – as in months – but eventually wear out and need replaced. The beads simply don’t swell up as much. If you order one from Amazon through this link, commuterCRUISER gets a few cents to offset the cost of expanding the information here. So if you want, click here and you’ll see the choices Amazon has available – under $10 and sometimes you get several for under $10.
Because keeping cool is so important, here’s a quick reference card giving quick info on avoiding heat stress — unfortunately the most concise reminder comes from OSHA and we’re not protecting workers from heat stress, we’re protecting cruisers! But the same info applies, so KEEP COOL!!!