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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tips On How To Survive The Summer Heat In Las Vegas

It gets HOT in Vegas. Especially your steering wheel in July.
Unless you're from the deserts of the Southwest or have lived there, you have no idea what heat really is. If Sin City is your home or you plan on making it a travel destination this summer, here are some tips on how to survive the summer heat in Las Vegas.

There is some credence to the statement, "But it's a dry heat." I'd rather have 105 degrees in  Las Vegas over 88 degrees in Cleveland with 90% humidity any day. When you sweat in the desert, you dry out in minutes. That is a big plus over humid locations.

However, the heat can bring with it some dangers and you need to know how to deal with them.

First off, you are constantly sweating, but the sweat is evaporating faster than the speed of light, and you don't even realize that you are sweating. So drink water constantly. You'd be amaze how dehydrated you can get in just a few hours, if you're not drinking water.

Alcohol does not count. It actually dries you out faster. If you're going to belly up to the bar, make every second or third drink a glass or bottle of water. Your head will thank you in the morning.

Unlike locations that are closer to the Equator, like Florida where they tell you to stay out of the sun between 11 and 1, Vegas gets hotter as the day goes on. Peak temperatures will register around 4 pm. Sun is rarely the problem in Las Vegas, it's the heat. A good sunblock of SPF 30 or higher will keep you safe all day, however, staggering down The Strip at 3:30 in the afternoon in July could get you a trip to the hospital.

Walking and hiking are big in Las Vegas. You can get to everything on The Strip by walking, if you want. If it's too hot, take one of the Deuce buses - they're double-decker buses and you can get a 24 hour pass for under $10.

The southern Nevada area also offers incredible hiking venues at Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire and Mt. Charleston. With the exception of Mt. Charleston, plan all of your walking or hiking for earlier in the day or after 6 pm. Use the scorching late afternoons to hang out at the pool, catch a massage or beat the dinner rush and have something to eat in one of the hundreds of cool, air conditioned restaurants.

Make sure you have appropriate footwear. Those 6" heels will have you in a wheelchair before you can say, "Jackpot." Flip-flops aren't bad, but they are hard to walk in all day and should never be used for hiking. However, when you're at the pool YOU MUST HAVE a pair of flip-flops. It's not a rule. It's just smart. The concrete surfaces around the pools get very hot. If you like to wander around the pool and check out the sights, flip-flops are the way to go.

If you own a car and live in Las Vegas or plan to rent a car, there are some things you need to know. Car interiors can get to 180 degrees in a matter of minutes. Never get in your car and immediately grab the steering wheel. Dumb move. Try it, you'll see why.

Most Las Vegans invest in a sun screen for their windshield. Most of the cars have tinted windows, with the rear windows being tinted darker than the driver and front passenger windows. However, the windshield, by law, is the least tinted window in the vehicle. Get a cheap sunscreen that folds easily and you'll be in good shape. Put it up on the windshield every time you park outside, even if you're going in for just a few minutes. It can make a world of difference in the interior temperature of your car when you return.

Many of the newer model cars have a gradually activated air conditioning system. It blows slowly, then speeds up as the car interior cools. This is a great feature. However, if your car doesn't have this feature, you should turn off your air conditioner or set the fan to low when you exit the car. I learned this lesson the hard way. I had an older model car and left everything on HIGH. When I started my car, 400 degree heat blasted out of my dash and up my nose - I actually burned my sinuses. I was in severe pain for over a week.

Any time you get into a hot car and want to cool it quickly, open all the windows, and if you have it - the sun roof, for about 15 seconds. Turn the AC on low and press the RECIRCULATE button. Close the windows. You've released the hottest air, first; then, you're cooling slightly cooled air, which is more efficient than constantly trying to cool flaming hot exterior air. Once the vehicle is cooled, you can switch the RECIRCULATE button to off and cycle fresh air through your cooling system.

If you live in Las Vegas, you want to check your wipers and your tires around June or July. Vegas is famous for its late summer monsoons. Rubber dry rots in desert climates. My tires would crack and leak long before I'd wear out the tread. Plus, you don't want to get caught in a sudden downpour and find that your wipers are crumbled strips flailing and scraping on your windshield. Also, make sure your engine coolant and water level are correct for the season.

NEVER leave pets or children in a parked car - EVER. Cracking the windows will only lead them to a slower death. Children and pets die every year in Las Vegas because some fool ran in the store for 10 minutes and left their child or their pet in the car. Take your kids with you and leave your pets at home with plenty of water and some shade.

Also, don't leave anything that can melt or spoil in your car. Take the sandwiches to your hotel room or into the house. Take your make-up with you, otherwise, you'll have molten runny lipstick and eye liner. Crayons - out of the car. Plastic toys - out of the car. Cassette tapes - out. CD's and DVD's seem to hold up, but it is best to put them on the floor, in the glove box or in another compartment. They fare well when in those visor cases, too. You want to protect the CD's and DVD's but you also want to minimize the temptation to thieves by getting them out of sight, and there are plenty of them in Vegas.

Most of Las Vegas is fake and made of Styrofoam, but metal and concrete or cement retain heat. Don't touch metal objects in the afternoon. Don't lean against your car. Sitting on a concrete bench at 4 o'clock can fry your ass. Also be careful if you have metal framed glasses or sunglasses and you've taken them off for a while. You can burn a nice imprint of your glasses in your face if you don't check them for heat absorption before putting them on. This also applies to jewelry that is exposed to the sun and heat. After you've been flirting at the pool bar without your wedding ring, don't go back to your pool lounger and put it on. You'll be branded for life.

Be smart. If the temperature is going to go above 108, plan everything for that day indoors. That's why they made air conditioning. Wait until the evening, when the temperature will drop to a comfortable 100 and you'll be fine. That's what makes Vegas so great, it runs 24 hours and the late night temperatures are fabulous, even if the days are blistering.

If the temperature is 113, don't do what my ex-wife's cousin did. She is a brilliant woman. She's a school principal and has like five degrees. However, after living her whole life in Vegas, she still thought, "Stay out of the sun from 11 to 1." So she takes her friend from Chicago and her teenage daughter out to Red Rock Canyon for a late afternoon hike. The temperature was 113. She was shocked that all of them wound up with heat stroke. Don't be a dummy. Get out of extreme heat and lose your kid's college education fund at the craps table.

Wear light colored or white clothes for maximum coolness. Black absorbs heat like a sun Sham-Wow. Avoid the Roy Orbison look until night. Hats are good, too. They reduce sun fatigue on your eyes.

The final tips about how to survive the Vegas heat are regarding your wallet. Stay away from the Big Wheel. The dealers laugh every time someone plays that. Worst odds in the house. You can melt cash away faster than ice on a hookers navel on the Big Wheel - save it for the church carnival.

Don't play Blackjack unless you can count. Sounds stupid, but true. I've seen a lot of boobs hitting 18 or higher. Don't they get it?

Stay away from all the silly bets on the center of the crap table. They pay high amounts because the chance of you hitting them is even higher. Bet Pass Line. Once the point is established, put odds behind your Pass Line bet. Bet a Come bet. If the point is not hit or the game does not crap out, your Come bet goes up to the number rolled. Put odds on that. Repeat the process on the Come bet one more time. Then stay pat. This is the way the Whales play craps. If you load up the board every time a point is established, you've just torched your chances of lasting more than 15 to 30 minutes at the craps table. Think of all the free drinks you've just blown.

Slots are for morons. If you need instructions, jump out of your hotel suite window, and hope it's not on the first floor.

Roulette's fun, if you like to pick up chicks. Women like roulette and it can be fun, but you won't win big.

Baccarat - don't ask me, I don't own an oil company in Saudi Arabia.

Let's say you get hotter than the afternoon sidewalk in August and you're winning - QUIT... RUN... TAKE THE F'n MONEY... YOU DID IT.... YOU BEAT THE HOUSE. Statistically, the more time you spend at any game in Vegas, the more you will lose. The house always wins, whether it's hot or cold outside. They didn't build those monster casinos because of winners.

Those are some tips on how to survive the summer heat in Las Vegas. Be smart. Drink responsibly. Drive safe. Don't pickup hookers. Keep your pants on in the casino. And run once you've won.

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