Moving To Northern Territory. How To Cope With The Heat?

by Michelle

I am facing moving to the Northern Territory with my partner and I am apprehensive about the heat. Can you let me know how you cope.

Thanks, Michelle
PS: Your site has aroused in me a genuine interest and excitment about the up-coming move.

Moving To Northern Territory Response

Hi Michelle.

Heat? What heat? It's freezing! (Serious. 12 °C last night.)

Basically, you do get used to it. I remember how I asked a friend in Germany about the temperatures in northern Australia around Sep/Oct (when I was about to leave for my first trip to Australia). His answer was, "Not too bad at that time, only 35 to 40°C or so." My jaw dropped. For me that was unimaginable.

Now I experience 12°C as freezing. I put on a jumper and long pants when the day temperatures drop below 30°C. We had below 25°C days over the last couple of months and I've been wearing three layers and was still cold. No kidding.

The body adapts. The blood kind of thins, the body learns to sweat more efficiently. Sweat is just water (don't forget to refill, i.e. drink enough). It's not the greasy kind of sweat that you may imagine. And somehow you just get used to it.

What I find really interesting is that the switch in the other direction, from hot weather to cold, takes a lot longer. I noticed it when I was still travelling between Germany and Australia a lot: it takes a few days to get used to the heat, but weeks if not months for the body to change back to cold weather...

The people who suffer in the heat are those who don't drink enough, those who never move, and those who hide in the air-con all day.

A sedentary job in air-conditioned surrounds, that you commute to and from in an air-conditioned car, from/to your air-conditioned house... That does not give the body any opportunity to adapt.

Just sitting around in the heat and doing nothing is also a bad strategy. In an effort to cool the body down the blood vessels dilate (to move more blood = heat to the surface, to get rid of that heat via the skin). Blood pressure and circulation drop and you feel lethargic and, well, crappy.

And drinking enough is simply the single most important and most overlooked strategy to cope.

At the end of the day I think it depends a lot on what kind of person you are. You can ignore the heat, or you can focus on it. If you are the outdoors type who likes doing things and is active, then you'll have no problems.

There are very few days where the heat bothers me. It's only an issue for a few months of the year anyway.

Cold is much more of a problem I find :-). And I'm not kidding.

By the way, you are right to be excited. It's awesome up here!

All the best and hope the move goes smoothly!

Comments for Moving To Northern Territory. How To Cope With The Heat?

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Looking Forward To Our Adventure
by: Michelle

Hi B
Thank you for your quick reply and advice. Now that the heat question is out of the way I am truly looking forward to our new adventure. And after reading your website, I know adventure is the right word. I certainly won't miss Melbourne's winter, which has been particularly cool this year.

Coping with the heat.
by: Sue

Some of us do it better than others, but what B says is true in my experience, your body does adjust if you don't pamper it too much with the A/C. However, the sun is a different matter. If you come from the South, it is hard to imagine how savage the tropical sun can be. It demands the utmost respect and heat and sun stroke are distinct dangers while you are acclimatising. Hats of course everyone knows about, but watch your feet and the backs of your knees and make sure that your clothing is not so thin as to allow you to burn through it. And in spite of the ironing, cotton or natural fibres are the only thing. You'll soon be like the rest of us, grumbling about the heat... or the humidity... or the rain... or lack of it... and loving every minute!

Getting used to it
by: roland

I live in Sydney & at the moment we have similar weather to Darwin according to the weather channel. We've had this crappy weather since before Christmas . Trust me, you don't get used to it. You get so debilitated & tired. It's almost impossible to function especially if you have to do physical work. I'm in my mid 50s & I'm finding as I get older my tolerance for the heat is becoming less. Give me the colder weather. At least you can dress for it. In this horrible heat you can only remove so much clothing before people laugh at you. So bugger the global warming, give me global cooling. Regards to all you overheated. Roland

How to cope with the heat
by: Heat Cutters

To reduce body temperature, try cooling scarves. Tie it around your neck or forehead you will feel cooling effect immediately.

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