Last week’s heat wave reminded us and the solstice made it official: Summer is here. This is what we do to keep the heat at bay.

From Breathable Fabric to a Breath of Fresh Air, Here’s How We Beat the Heat
David Fenton
Oakland's Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

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Head for the Hills

One of the many things I love about the San Francisco Bay Area is that even in the middle of its cities, you’re never far from nature. Or, as it turns out, far from heat relief. When it gets warm, I like to head for the Oakland hills. If you don’t think of Oakland as cool and green (or hilly), you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Joaquin Miller Park always offers a literal breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s the thick tree canopy, or something about the topography, but the air there stays cool like a wine cellar even on scorching days. My other go-to is the Serpentine Prairie trail in Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. There are fewer trees here, but a small hill seems to shield most of the trail from blasting heat, and the exposed initial part of the hiking path is almost always soothed by cool bay breezes. A bonus is that this high up, you get some of the best views available of the San Francisco Bay. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a glimpse of cooling fog rolling in from the miles-distant open ocean reminding you that heat waves always end. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Fall into the Gap

Gap Linen V-Neck Shirt

Courtesy of The Gap

My place in L.A. lacks A/C. So once the summer temps escalate and breezes vanish I transition to almost non-stop wearing of my V-neck linen t-shirts from the GAP. They perform double duty as a WFH daywear staple and my number-one sleepwear option too. They’re currently 40% off plus an additional 20% off with codes GAPDAYS and FLASH. Shipping is free once you spend $50. Given you’ll want to stock up on multiples, that will be easy to hit! —Christine Bobbish, photo editor 

Become a Fan-Addict

Utilitech Fan

Courtesy of Amazon

I’ve always been a diehard fan fanatic. A soft purr and breeze during the day, a thunderous roar of white noise at night. A reliable propeller and smooth hum is synonymous with comfort in the Simkins household. 

A few years ago, I was in Los Angeles when I decided to visit my cousin Blake. Up until that point, I’d been a regular ol’ Lasko man, touting the standard 20-inch box fans and running them on high each night with what I thought was great success. If it’s deathly silent, after all, you can forget about me getting any sleep. 

Before crashing on my cousin’s living room sofa, Blake, ever the luxury virtuoso and fellow fan enthusiast, unveiled a 20-inch industrial-style Utilitech fan he indicated would be mine for the night. 

With a flick of the switch, he fired it up. It not only blew my mind, but blew everything away in a 10-meter radius. Papers went flying. My lips and cheeks looked like I had just stepped out of a plane at 10,000 feet. I’m pretty sure I heard a neighbor’s dog clawing at the floor in a last-ditch effort to hold on for dear life. 

No longer could I look at the pharmacy store-sold fans the same. Peasantry! Now, whether hot or cold, a Utilitech is my choice to get the job done. Cool off on a hot day, dry off after a shower, or simply hold a few plastic bags aloft and enjoy some in-home parachute simulation. 

Want to take it a step further? Go with the 42-inch industrial. You know, in case “you want to blow the door off its hinges,” my cousin says. —J.D. Simkins, WildLands editor

Keep a Lid on It

Straw Hat

Courtesy of & Other Stories

Hats are a good idea for gardeners, beach-goers, hikers, power-walkers, and anyone else who spends time outdoors for most of the year—and not negotiable in the summer months. I’ve ruined more pricey hats in the pool, or by trying to pack them in a carry-on, than I’d care to admit. So they’ve become a seasonal purchase for me. Looking for a great, affordable hat has become a sort of hobby for me. So when I discover one, I like to share. This pale straw version from & Other Stories is well-priced and has a brim wide enough to shield your face and neck from the burning sun, so you can look cooler while feeling cooler (sorry, had to). —Christine Lennon, home and design editor

Put It on Ice

Insignia Ice Machine

Courtesy of Best Buy

This might be the very definition of a first-world problem: My refrigerator doesn’t have an ice maker. This obviously isn’t a major hardship; it’s just that the last place I lived in did have a surprisingly nice refrigerator for a rental and now I’ve become accustomed to living in a certain style. The solution: A countertop ice maker. Our Insignia machine makes a drink’s worth of ice in less than 10 minutes. I like to run it for an hour or two and fill up the freezer at a rate that far outpaces those impossible-to-wrestle-with ice trays. The cubes are a little small and melt a bit too quickly for a perfect whiskey on the rocks, but during a heat wave, knowing that you can have a glass of ice water any time is priceless.—N.C.