I’ve been getting quite a few questions lately about how we manage the heat off-grid, with no air conditioning. Um, is not very well and day-by-day a good enough answer?

I guess that’s the honest answer, but I’ll try to share more about that another day. I can share a slightly more elaborate answer to one of the keys to this not-so-little predicament – staying hydrated.

Of course, starting with good water is important, but I find that drinking too much water can be counter-productive to staying hydrated.

A lot of sweating goes on around here. Working in the garden, standing in our windowless kitchen, sitting down doing absolutely nothing… lots of sweating.

In order to avoid an electrolyte imbalance, induced by a lot of sweating coupled with flushing our bodies of minerals with too much plain water, we’re using a number of methods to stay hydrated.



I personally have had a consistent problem keeping up with my sodium intake. I know that sounds crazy, but salt is necessary for our bodies functioning, and I personally tend to benefit from the intake of extra salt.

During the summer I often just take a dip out of the salt jar. When I feel a bit shaky, dizzy, or as though a headache is coming on it quite often balances me out.

We generally use this brand of salt. And wow, is it just me or is everything getting more expensive by the day?

Electrolyte Drink

One tasty option I’ve been making lately is this Naturally-Sweetened Electrolyte Drink. It combines the electrolyte power of citrus with a hefty pinch of salt and the fortifying power of a natural sugar.

Electrolyte Packets

 One of the quick-fixes we have used, when we don’t have a batch of the homemade electrolyte drink made up, are these Electrolyte Packets. They are from a company I trust, they don’t contain near the amount of sugar as the usual sports drink, and are handy to have around when we need them.

Lacto-Fermented Beverages

Finally, one my favorite solutions to the hydration dilemma – lacto-fermented beverages. In this article, Lacto-Fermented Beverages as Electrolyte Drinks, I discuss how these drinks are full of hydrating qualities, how to make them, and what you may already be drinking that could do the trick.

So, that is how we are staying hydrated in the heat. How do you do it?


7 Responses to How We Stay Hydrated

  1. Wonderful ideas, Shannon. Like you, we enjoy lacto-ferm beverages to beat the heat of summer. One of our favorite ways to use water kefir or kombucha is to make ice pops from them with fresh fruit suspended in the pop. So yummy and refreshing! Lots of blessings to you for a blessed summer!! :) Kelly


    sally mae Reply:

    I just ordered kombucha starter culture. I will definately give this one a try!


  2. farmer Liz says:

    I love the lacto-fermented beverages for rehydration, particularly beet kvass. I add extra sea salt on hot days too. We have a similar climate, we can sweat from just sitting perfectly still.


  3. mary Ann says:

    I’ll try making your electrolyte drink this week. Thank you for sharing that. Wish I’d had the recipe this past weekend when we were out in almost 100 degree weather working on irrigation and shredding the pasture. I was really concerned about my husband who stayed out all day for two days in the blaring sun (while I went in the house for a few hours in the middle of the day) I’ll be eager for your future posts on how you handle the heat without a/c. I know it’s partly what you acclimate yourself to. When I am out working for hours I can somehow handle it for a few hours but once I go inside to the a/c I wonder how in the world I stood it so long outside. Also we are so aware of how we need to plan our seasons and our work accordingly. The irrigation project had to be completed because of time contraints but it will be nice not to be dragging hoses now and spending hours watering our trees and berries.


  4. mary Ann says:

    Okay I made the electrolyte drink. I followed your directions exactly. And I like it! And that’s saying a lot b/c I very much dislike Gatorade. I am going to freeze it in ice cube trays b/c I am not planning to be in the heat for now. But it will come in very handy when I need it. Thank you Shannon.


  5. Kate says:

    My parents generation survived the Texas heat without air conditioning. We’re just a little spoiled.

    Siestas aren’t a bad idea in the hottest hours. And dampening the sheets before sleep on the hottest days is soothingly cool.


  6. Nichola says:

    We live here in Central Texas as well, and we don’t have a/c either. =) We do use some fans, and some years had a water cooler in part of the house.

    I have also experienced dizziness similar to what you described. I finally learned that it was partly due to a lack of iodine intake. Sea salt is awesome, and I use the same brand you do! =) But it “doesn’t supply iodide, a necessary nutrient.”, as it states on the pkg. I started taking iodine, as well as a good iron supplement and got things back in line. I had forgotten the reason I had been using kelp everyday in my foods back when I first switched salts. After 4 yrs and 2 babies, I was having a really hard time. Got to the point of just not being able to function at all.

    Just thought I would share a bit of my experience, just in case it might be helpful. =)



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