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High humidity

Old 06-05-19, 03:16 PM
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mev
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High humidity

Any thoughts or tips on traveling (cycling/camping) in high humidity, other than perhaps avoid hottest times of the day?

I have a trip planned to visit Suriname and Guyana. Looking the climate it is just a bit more humid than I normally see in Austin - https://weatherspark.com/compare/y/2...ibo-and-Austin August temperatures in a narrower range, but higher dew points as measured by "muggy", "oppressive", "miserable" factors corresponding to dew points of 65F/70F and 75F.

When cycling South America, my first week in Colombia was at similar factors. In general I tried to get on the road as early as possible - cycling in (relatively) cooler times. By mid-day I typically was in an air-conditioned hotel. In Suriname, I am less confident on finding as many indoor lodgings but otherwise would start off with similar approach.

Anything else I should think of?
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Old 06-05-19, 03:54 PM
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Temperate conifer rainforest. 58f , 81% 2 blocks from the river 9 miles inland from the sea..

You OK with near the Gulf coast..? So Fla?
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Old 06-05-19, 03:55 PM
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hi Mev, interesting destination, august you say?
oof, sounds sweaty.
You know, I have noticed that some of my bike shirts breathe a lot better than others, and make a real comfort difference for me when riding, especially when its humid, but ya, it looks like you're going to be in a real sauna there.

geez, the only thing I can suggest is taking some of those powdered electrolyte paquets, cuz if you take that green shirt of yours, you are going to sweating up a storm.

when I was a young teenager, I used to hang around at a British Car Garage across the street from where I lived in Ottawa, just because I loved the cars that came in. There was a young mechanic, early 20s, who worked there and he was from Guyana (Indian looking fellow). Really nice, and I helped him sometimes after hours when he bought a souped up Austin Mini Cooper and was fixing it up. Back home they used to race Mini's a lot and he knew all the engine souping up stuff. I always remember going with him on the first test drive, and the wicked sound of the leaned on engine and the transmission whining beside us as he took it very quickly up to 90mph.....
not bike nor trip related, but I always think of him and that little Mini when I see Guyana in an article or whatever.

if we don't talk before the trip, have fun. I'm fairly certain they speak English in both countries no?
cheers
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Old 06-05-19, 04:05 PM
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Belize was British Honduras, (borders Guatemala) ex colonial British Guiana has to speak the language..

Surinam , Dutch .. French Guiana .. French of course.. big tourist places hire multi language speakers ,
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Old 06-05-19, 04:25 PM
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When a friend & I were touring in Malaysia (the first tropical country I toured in), we had about 1 hour each morning (7am-8am) when it was truly comfortable to ride. We tried to get on the road by 7am and attempted to do as much riding as possible by 11am. If we still had further to go, we'd take a very leisurely lunch break and maybe not start riding again until 3pm when the sun was lower. We found that it was better if we sought out a room with a good ceiling fan but not AC. It made it much easier to go in and out of the room, and to get moving early in the morning. I did the same thing in Sri Lanka and Thailand, though northern Thailand is far enough from the equator that temperatures or much more comfortable from Dec-Feb. I was only riding at altitude in Colombia, so temperatures weren't excessively hot, though I had to deal with lots of (actually, too much) climbing every day and high altitude breathing.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
hi Mev, interesting destination, august you say?
oof, sounds sweaty.
You know, I have noticed that some of my bike shirts breathe a lot better than others, and make a real comfort difference for me when riding, especially when its humid, but ya, it looks like you're going to be in a real sauna there.

geez, the only thing I can suggest is taking some of those powdered electrolyte paquets, cuz if you take that green shirt of yours, you are going to sweating up a storm.

when I was a young teenager, I used to hang around at a British Car Garage across the street from where I lived in Ottawa, just because I loved the cars that came in. There was a young mechanic, early 20s, who worked there and he was from Guyana (Indian looking fellow). Really nice, and I helped him sometimes after hours when he bought a souped up Austin Mini Cooper and was fixing it up. Back home they used to race Mini's a lot and he knew all the engine souping up stuff. I always remember going with him on the first test drive, and the wicked sound of the leaned on engine and the transmission whining beside us as he took it very quickly up to 90mph.....
not bike nor trip related, but I always think of him and that little Mini when I see Guyana in an article or whatever.

if we don't talk before the trip, have fun. I'm fairly certain they speak English in both countries no?
cheers
My classic (smelly) green shirt has been retired after seams started giving out. Looking for a loose-fitting replacement though not sure if better to have cotton or synthetic. In any case I expect to sweat into whatever shirts I bring - and trying to figure out what breathes better.

Guyana is a former British colony and Suriname is a former Dutch colony. French Guyana is part of France. So I expecting English, Dutch and maybe French on this trip. Mostly looking to follow roads along the coastal plain. I've found just a few CGOAB reports from other travelers.
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Old 06-05-19, 06:21 PM
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hey, speaking of Dutch. A good friend of mine has a Dutch boyfriend, and a few years back they went to some island off the coast there, apparently lots of Dutch go vacation there.
Anyway, my friend had the bad luck to catch one of those mosquito borne diseases, its similar to malaria, I need to ask her the name of it--so I would look into that stuff, as it can happen.
I;ll try to talk to her and find out which one it was.
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Old 06-05-19, 06:47 PM
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Sounds like you've run out of places to visit, Guyana and Surinam. I suspect that Guyana and Surinam are pretty far down most people's list of places to go.
I have not been to Surinam, but I have been to Guyana, former girlfriend was Guyanese. As you would expect roads are pretty bad and can be wet and muddy. The natural landscape dominates over an almost non existent cultural landscape.
Yes you will sweat no matter what, and if you're not careful things will rot - cotton will not serve you well.
When cycling in hot humid climates I pay particular attention to crotch hygiene, things can get out of control pretty fast in those conditions. This may not be the case with you but I've noticed that any cut or scrape gets infected pretty fast. I make sure I clean and cover even small everyday wounds asap.
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Old 06-05-19, 07:45 PM
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Polyester is the magic material you want. It breathes well, dries fast if it gets wet, and it's very light, especially compared to cotton. I just "reminded" myself how bad cotton shirts suck, lol, bought a cotton shirt recently, and wore it today. 🙄😉
As said earlier, take plenty of wet wipes. 👍
EDIT: I just remembered the Seinfeld episode, where George talks Steinbrenner into buying cotton uniforms for the team. All the players were un-happy, and under- achieving. 😁😉

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Old 06-05-19, 09:56 PM
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mev should be accustomed to heat and humidity being in south central Texas. I get heat sickness about 3 times a year so don’t listen to me
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Old 06-06-19, 04:20 AM
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Make sure you have REALLY good insect repellant. Mosquitoes in tropical climates are not only extremely common, they also tend to carry nasty things when they bite.

When I did the Malaysian Peninsula in 2015 I didn't even bother bringing a tent. I've heard some stories about Dengue Fever that I'd rather not confirm in person, so I made sure I had indoor lodgings EVERY day.

Also be aware that the body will sweat A LOT in a humid, tropical climate. Even in Queensland it's not uncommon for me to go through 10 litres of water in a day on the bike.
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Old 06-06-19, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
You know, I have noticed that some of my bike shirts breathe a lot better than others, and make a real comfort difference for me when riding, especially when its humid,
+1, but don't take that talk into the Big $ jersey thread in the Road forum since the "truth" is that all jerseys feel the same since they are all made of 100% polyester. Thickness and weave be damned!

Also, full zip is nice. I have ridden nearly entire hot, humid days with a jersey completely unzipped.
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Old 06-06-19, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Temperate conifer rainforest. 58f , 81% 2 blocks from the river 9 miles inland from the sea..

You OK with near the Gulf coast..? So Fla?
At that temperature humidity is actually quite pleasant. Once temps start to approach mid-eighties and above then it gets very unpleasant. That includes most of the Gulf coast from Texas to Florida.

Getting out early just after sunrise is the rule in those locales. Although during those dog days 80 degrees may be the low. In those cases, just be prepared to sweat bullets -- its too hot to sleep.

Last edited by KraneXL; 06-06-19 at 06:43 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-06-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Although during those dog days 80 degrees may be the low. In those cases, just be prepared to sweat bullets -- its too hot to sleep.
Oh yeah. I crossed the country in '99, which was a very hot summer. One night in IN the forecast LOW was 85 degrees, and it was very humid with no breeze. I slept naked with my tent fly off. I draped by sleeping bag over my lap for modesty reasons. (I was with a group at a commercial campground.) The next day it hit 107 degrees. Got a motel room in Huntington, which is the home town of Dan Quayle, if you remember him.
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Old 06-06-19, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
mev should be accustomed to heat and humidity being in south central Texas. I get heat sickness about 3 times a year so don’t listen to me
I grew up in the mid-Atlantic area which is very humid in the summer. Except for a handful of the very worst summer days in the mid-Atlantic, the heat & humidity in an equatorial region at low elevation is much more debilitating.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

Also, full zip is nice. I have ridden nearly entire hot, humid days with a jersey completely unzipped.
Roger that, it's nice to be able to unzip a little more. 👍 My favorite shirt for questionable weather forecasts, is a long-sleeved full-zippered dry-fit. It's not technically cycling apparel, lol, but who cares. 🙄 😁
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Old 06-06-19, 11:57 AM
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Live with it and ride. I did the Gulf Coast in July in 2015 and the only thing I really did was to not use a tent, unless the mosquitoes forced me into it and I used the tent fly as my sleeping bag. I started at the sunrise or before, only because I was riding 125 miles or so each day, not because of the heat. You learn to touch it out and ride through it. Don't 'sweat' it.
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Old 06-06-19, 12:48 PM
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mev, do you think the heat and humidity will be worse than in Colombia? Worse than other parts in Central America? I imagine Panama was worse than CR or Nic right? and was Colombia worse than Panama?
just curious.
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Old 06-06-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1, but don't take that talk into the Big $ jersey thread in the Road forum since the "truth" is that all jerseys feel the same since they are all made of 100% polyester. Thickness and weave be damned!

Also, full zip is nice. I have ridden nearly entire hot, humid days with a jersey completely unzipped.
re jerseys. I now always bring two diff jerseys, one that is warmer, and one that is much better for really hot.
There is a real diff between thickness and weave for how air flows through them, and I know many jerseys are stupid expensive, which I never buy, but even some "normal" price ones (30-40-50bucks) can be pretty good for breathing better. These ones tend to have more "breathy" side panels slash material, and thinner overall material, and I really notice the diff.

so this is why I like to have two diff ones, I can obviously wear the warmer one for those 15-low 20c temps, can put the warmer one on top of the cooler one for layering and easy-on, easyoff options, and the cooler one for when it gets warmer.

less sweating and lower body temp helps with water intake, as does wearing those sun arm block sleeves. I have some white ones that I can take up to higher 20s, but at a certain point, I find them a bit too hot, and I have to drink a lot more.

also, sun sleeves material also varies, mine are Pearl izumi I think, and they are better than a cheaper pair I had, which made me feel hotter.

I like the full zip thing also to unzip for full air flow to cool, nice at times.

ps, i got a light, more breatheable jersey on sale for maybe 30 bucks, and it was a bit better than my previous "cooler" one, and a lighter colour than the previous one which was black, and I feel the lighter colour helps also.

I do know that some really thin jerseys can still have sunburn issues on shoulders, mine is ok, but some of them in stores look rather on the limit (and probably more fragile if abused in washing or whatever).

Last edited by djb; 06-06-19 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:06 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re jerseys. I now always bring two diff jerseys, one that is warmer, and one that is much better for really hot.
There is a real diff between thickness and weave for how air flows through them,
Same here. But there was at least one poster in the forum I referenced who basically said that he cannot tell the difference between jerseys and that all of them are the same because they are all polyester. Ergo, no one should pay more than $50 for a jersey. Typical case of letting one's "frugalness" do the thinking. It's not uncommon on BF.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Same here. But there was at least one poster in the forum I referenced who basically said that he cannot tell the difference between jerseys and that all of them are the same because they are all polyester. Ergo, no one should pay more than $50 for a jersey. Typical case of letting one's "frugalness" do the thinking. It's not uncommon on BF.
Which isn't true. They have similarities, but they're most certainly not all the same. For one, they not all ALL polyester. Many contain blends which including spandex and other material which is what makes the "feel" different.

They also have different types of stitching which also goes to comfort. They should conform without constricting. Of course there are at lest 4 different levels of jersey from baggy to form fitting so that should be kept in mind.

And finally, there are those confounded cheap zippers, which can make the difference between a good jersey and one that needs to be sent to the rejection pile regardless of how well it fits.

...and now back to our regularly scheduled program.
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Old 06-06-19, 08:45 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
mev, do you think the heat and humidity will be worse than in Colombia? Worse than other parts in Central America? I imagine Panama was worse than CR or Nic right? and was Colombia worse than Panama?
just curious.
Past experience with Central America in March and Colombia in April was Colombia did feel more humid starting out at least. I was pretty focused on getting to the Andes so either it got slightly better after Cartagena or I ignored that part. Panama I remember mostly as just hot without as much sense of humidity and not worse than I've had in TX. My expectation and climate maps suggest Cartagena in April and Paramaribo in August are fairly similar and perhaps a step more muggy/humid.

Also what is different is Guyana/Suriname and perhaps French Guyana are my *only* destinations. So I'm not going to worry about bringing anything for temperatures less than 20C. I'm anticipating less tourist infrastructure in terms of hotels.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:07 PM
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A friend is from Suriname; she doesn't like when DC gets hot & humid but she's a bit spoiled.. Out of curiosity I researched the climate: yes it's humid but the weather is very consistent, temps over 92° are quite rare. In fact the forecast for Paramibo next week is 85° F high every day, not all that bad, has to be more comfortable than Austin TX 100° F. She says all the kids grow up riding bikes but apparently there's not much of an adult cycling culture. OTOH she says the country is so small that folks are inclined to follow social norms so hopefully the drivers are fairly polite. One can camp in the jungle at will, I've heard the locals are tough & don't mind the mosquitoes. The butterfly park near Paramibo is pretty famous. Suriname would probably get more tourists but the coast doesn't have sandy beaches.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
A friend is from Suriname; she doesn't like when DC gets hot & humid but she's a bit spoiled.. Out of curiosity I researched the climate: yes it's humid but the weather is very consistent, temps over 92° are quite rare. In fact the forecast for Paramibo next week is 85° F high every day, not all that bad, has to be more comfortable than Austin TX 100° F. She says all the kids grow up riding bikes but apparently there's not much of an adult cycling culture. OTOH she says the country is so small that folks are inclined to follow social norms so hopefully the drivers are fairly polite. One can camp in the jungle at will, I've heard the locals are tough & don't mind the mosquitoes. The butterfly park near Paramibo is pretty famous. Suriname would probably get more tourists but the coast doesn't have sandy beaches.
Don't mind the mosquitoes huh? They must have some pretty passive mosquitoes then? As someone who grew up in the deep south I can say that mosquitoes are terrifying to me and always have been.

The ones you encounter in the southern states can be ravenous, and do all the things we're told mosquitoes are never suppose to do like swarm in the mid-day. In that, the science behind mosquitoes couldn't be more wrong.

I'm not exaggerating when I say they can literally dive bomb you and inject you with their cell liquefying saliva that can take years to heal. Yes, I said years. I visited the Florida everglades once as a kid and was so traumatized I have no desire to ever go there again. At least not during the summer.

The only good news is that they don't carry any of the serious life-threatening diseases like some other regions. Otherwise, the heat and humidity would be the least of your problems. A team of wild horse couldn't drag me to Panama. Good luck with that.
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Old 06-07-19, 06:11 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Don't mind the mosquitoes huh? They must have some pretty passive mosquitoes then? As someone who grew up in the deep south I can say that mosquitoes are terrifying to me and always have been.

The ones you encounter in the southern states can be ravenous, and do all the things we're told mosquitoes are never suppose to do like swarm in the mid-day. In that, the science behind mosquitoes couldn't be more wrong.

I'm not exaggerating when I say they can literally dive bomb you and inject you with their cell liquefying saliva that can take years to heal. Yes, I said years. I visited the Florida everglades once as a kid and was so traumatized I have no desire to ever go there again. At least not during the summer.

The only good news is that they don't carry any of the serious life-threatening diseases like some other regions. Otherwise, the heat and humidity would be the least of your problems. A team of wild horse couldn't drag me to Panama. Good luck with that.
Just so it's clear, the zika virus and dengue fever are real dangers, and zika unfortunately has encroached in these areas where mev is going.
Bad luck can be a real factor and I have a niece who contacted malaria in South Africa in an area where the chances of getting it were very low, and she even told me there were hardly any mosquitoes present.
A very chose friend of mine has had the misfortune of getting dengue many years ago (may have been Haiti) and only a few years ago traveled in this area where mev is going and also contacted another malaria/dengue type mosquito borne disease, may have been zika (need to confirm with her still)

Because of the experiences of these two people very close to me, I would be very aware of the dangers and do everything I could to minimize the risk of these crappy mosquito borne diseases,.

As a lifelong camper, I have to say my experiences in tropical countries has never made me want to camp there as an option, so many unknown creepy crawlies and plants we just don't have the knowledge of the dangers.
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