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Keeping Cool on Car Trips

One year when my kids were small (K and 1st grades), we had to move from South Carolina to California in mid-August, including taking along a dog and a cat. Unfortunately I had no A/C in my car at the time. Going across country like that got to be awfully hot. So I stopped at a store and picked up several inexpensive tubs of baby wipes, the kind of tubs that are upright tubs and the wipes pull out the top.

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I took the tops off these tubes and ran clear water into each one till the water came out clear. Then I filled them again half full of water.

I gave one tub to each of my kids plus an extra one for the dog. Whenever we got hot, we'd pull out a wipe and wipe our heads, faces, arms, and legs down. The kids would take one and wipe down the dog all along her head, neck, back, and belly.

For the cat (who was in a carrier), we kept a spray bottle set to mist and sprayed her down good. She hated it, but it kept her cool.

We did that all the way across country. Even going through the Salt Lake Flats, we stayed reasonably cool wiping down and keeping the windows down.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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September 16, 20110 found this helpful

Amazing what we can think of in a time of necessity, isn't it? This is such a good example of how we all need to begin to use our noggins to cut down on costs, use what we have at hand or can get our hands on and still get the job done.

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Well done, mom!

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March 25, 20130 found this helpful

First google ice vending machine don't buy your ice for any more than $2 for 10 lbs. There are ice vending machines that cost $1.50 for 20 lbs ice if you have your own ice chest you get only 16 lbs if you require a bag. I recommend getting a list of these locations along your route before leaving this way you are not going to over pay for your ice.Sounds crazy but wear long sleeve light colored shirts they keep your skin from sun exposure deflect the suns rays and the fabric will stick to your skin when you spray the shirt it will amplify the affect of the cooling best to carry some spare shirts so you can rotate them with ease.

You keep an ice chest full of ice water keep the spares in that water put them on wrung out and it is very refreshing keep sweat bands too they really help. You also carry a clean plunger,mop bucket,with a ringer and some soap to wash these shirts you don't care about getting them dry you just want to keep your ice chest clean free of sweat and dirt it can accumulate and that is just nasty.

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After you wash your worn shirt you drop it in the ice water when you get the fresh stuff. Do the same with face cloths and sweat bands. Keep a smaller ice chest for the face cloths. Carry some ice bottles the kind you use for a bump on the head you place that behind your neck it is a cool relief.

Fill 2 liter bottles with water paint them black and keep these in the sun when you wash use this water if you have a good spot over the engine to place the bottles they will get hot that way no matter just figure out a way to heat water and keep that system if you feel better about it use bailing wire to make a little basket to quickly swap out bottles.

Keep your drinks separate from that ice chest keep ice cold beverage in your cup. You will make more pit stops but this is good to do on a long trip as long as you carry a p bucket shower curtain and trash bags the curtain is for privacy the bags act as a liner so you are not carrying around a yucky bucket.

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