Since I last blogged we have suffered through 5 days of temperatures in excess of 35 deg C.
While we were at Cobram living a life of luxury with electricity and a swimming pool to boot, the heat seemed a lot more bearable. The grandchildren were also a welcome distraction. Since departing yesterday….(was it really only yesterday) the heat has increased to 38 and 39 degrees C, and while yesterday our campsite was charming, the river resembled wet cement and was less than enticing. To combat the searing temperatures I turned on our outdoor shower and after waiting for the temperature of the water to drop to just hot from third-degree-burns scolding, stood under the shower fully dressed, then let the breeze turn my clobber into an evaporative cooler, a trick I learnt on our first trip around the block. I have plagiarised my own blog from back in 2009. So if you missed it then or have simply forgotten, here it is again. You can read it while I submerge myself in the cooling waters of the mighty Murrumbidgee River as it flows by the Beast at our latest campsite outside of Darlington.
Blog from 2009
They say necessity is the mother of invention and because of the heat and our habit of free camping with no power connection I have had to be inventive. I have devised a new portable evaporative cooler. I took a much-loved sarong that I bought during my first ever visit to the Woodford Festival held in the Queensland Sunshine Coast hinterland during the last week of December each year. I soaked the sarong in a basin of water, wrung it out then draped it over my hot naked body. (This is best done in private). Usually if there is just a whisper of a breeze it acts as an evaporative cooler, causing my body temperature to return from sizzling hot to something approaching normal. See my concept design below.
But my new invention needs some improvements. The single length of fabric is only suitable for use when reclining. To cover the entire body so that you can walk around and do things, I suggest stitching two lengths of fabric together or using a single bed doona cover.
As it is almost impossible to see anything through the fabric I propose cutting a viewing panel in the fabric and to stop the ingress of flies and other pests, stitch a patch of gauze or fly wire over the viewing panel. See the detail here.
To keep the fabric hydrated I tried many options, I found the water bucket on the head gave me a headache after an extended period so I suggest inserting a water bladder.
Then all you need do is jazz it up with some funky fabric and you have the all new Body Evaporative Reticulated Cooling Aid or BERCA.
See my production model here.
Do you think it’ll catch on?