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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

6.14.2010

Its a Hot Buggy Florida

I live in a very hot state: Florida. And not only do I live in FL, but in south FL. The heat during the day can get ridiculous. For instance today it was:

(Just to clarify: it was only 89 degrees but it felt like 102 degrees! and that was at 7:45pm!)

FL also happens to be filled with bugs, In particular, mosquitoes. In fact there are 80 known species of mosquitoes in Florida. Keeping the pesky bugs away is both good for your health and for your sanity. Believe me those bites itch like crazy!

Needless to say, Floridians need to keep cool and keep the bugs away. So I've complied a little list of things which you need when both visiting and living in the Sunshine State.


1: WATER

The easiest and greenest way to stay hydrated is to carry a water bottle. I prefer a reusable bottle, such as SIGG bottles. They are aluminum so they keep your water colder, and they are completely BPA free so no pesky cancer for you! They hold up ridiculously well and come in 5 different sizes. I recommend the 1.5L (50 oz.), 1.0L (33.8oz) or the .6L (20.3 oz):


2. SUNBLOCK

It is so important to make sure you're protected from the sun's rays, especially in a state which is sunshine 90% of the time. There are several really great brands out there, but the following three are ones I think are really great. Nuetrogena is expensive, but you'll be covered (this is the sunblock I use), No-Ad is the same kind of sunblock with a little less coverage and cheaper, and Banana Boat is great for athletes as it doesn't turn slick.


3. FANS

To keep yourself cool in the sun, invest in a hand held fan. They aren't very expensive and come in a couple of different kinds: Japanese Hand Fan, Paddle Hand Fan, Electric Mini Fan. Now I like the Japanese style. It folds up to fit in my back pocket or my purse and I don't have to buy batteries for it. But all three work really well. (There are also some fans with water spritzers attached, but I don't like spraying my face with water)


4. RAIN GEAR

Its not all sunshine here, we get a lot of rain! So it is good to be prepared because these rainstorms are often are often just sun showers and last only 10 minutes to an hour tops. There are two options to deal with the rain: umbrellas and ponchos. Umbrellas I recommend for shopping or walking around town; ponchos I recommend for day long trips such as to Disney, the zoo, etc.
For umbrellas you need one which folds up small, but opens big. The Totes Super Dome does just that; it folds down tiny, but opens to accommodate two people. The Totes 'brella doesn't open as wide but is still a great compact umbrella. Both are very wind resistant, and I have used both kinds over the years.
With ponchos you want to go with something light, but heavy duty. I like a lightweight poncho made from EVA. It withstands use, and keeps you dry. You can become slightly hot if you wear it all day, but nothing too bad.


5. SUNGLASSES

Protecting your eyes is super important. Everyone has sunglasses, but in Florida you really need UV protection. Grey lenses are also ideal as they cut out most light spectrum evenly. Polarized, mirrored, and gradient lenses are all great options. Make sure when you're buying them, the sunglasses say 100% UV protection or UV 400.


6. INSECT REPELLENT

Last, but not least, is insect repellent. Mosquitoes abound in Florida, and it is important to protect yourself against them. Bug sprays which use DEET are the most effective against bugs, particularly mosquitoes. However, DEET products can damage plastics and woods, are smelly, and leave a slightly oily residue on your skin. I recommend using a DEET based product only if you're going to be outside for an extended period of time, are around water (lakes mostly), or are out at twilight.
I have used the products below and recommend them: Cutter Advanced does the same thing as a DEET based repellent, but it uses picaridin, so it doesn't damage plastics, leave you oily, or have a bad smell. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is a natural repellent that uses plant based protection. It does have an intense odor lasting for about an hour and lingering after that. OFF! Active is my favorite DEET based repellent. It's great because its water proof, so you won't sweat it off. It has a slight smell, and isn't too oily on the skin.


Well I hope this is a helpful guide*. Screwing around with the weather and the bugs here is never, never a good idea. So keep cool and keep protected and you'll have a great time here in sunny Florida!




*I am not being paid by any of these companies to promote their products. They are all products I have tried/owned myself and my endorsement is completely my own.

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