Ok, so maybe summertime living isn’t always easy.

As inviting as that sunshine might look as it streams through your window, you also know that as soon as you open the door, you’ll get a swift reminder of just how hot a Southern summer can be.

But that doesn’t mean you should stay inside. Jason Parrie, a park ranger at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, compiled a list of tips to stay safe in the heat and enjoy the outdoors all season long.

Read the full list of ways to handle the heat on the Arkansas State Parks blog.


Planning is key.

Consider the heat before you go. Do you know how to handle an emergency situation if it arises? What precautions can you take to address hot temperatures?


Timing is big.

Mornings are usually the coolest time of the day. If you can’t pry yourself out of bed to beat the heat, evening time is almost as good. Sunsets can be beautiful.


Be honest with yourself.

Know your physical limitations. It’s ok to take breaks or even shorten your activities. As a first responder, I’ve cared for many patients who just pushed themselves too far or were a bit unrealistic in assessing their abilities — especially in the summer heat.


Be aware of signs of heat stress in yourself and others.

Don’t ignore them. Dizziness, weakness and/or nausea are signs that you need to cool down and hydrate right away. If you feel thirsty, you’re already behind the hydration curve.