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Sauna during a summer heat wave, and people think we’re crazy

As many places are experiencing a summer heat wave, many of us are finding exceptional thermal goodness taking saunas, and yes, people think we’re crazy.

When it’s 100 degrees outside (38°c.), the last thing most everybody thinks of is sitting in a 180 degree sauna (82°f.). Instead, there’s iced tea, cool shade, and most often hiding inside in air conditioned houses and apartments.

But many sauna enthusiasts enjoy wicked good saunas on hot days. Yes, i’ll admit, the logic didn’t hold up well for me, initially, until I tried it. Now, sauna in the heat feels great. “It’s all relative”, and the temperature variance of 180°f. to 100°f. is the same as 100°f to 20°f. So, this means that it’s actually possible to feel a “slight chill” cooling down during a summer heat wave.

To achieve good sauna magic during a summer heat wave, we recommend:

  • Lots of water. As we know, sauna and sweating leads to massive dehydration. Drink 32 oz. of water before you step into round one, and 32 oz. of water between each round. Sauna during a summer heat wave is like power sweat flushing. So gear up for it.
  • Mega cool downs. In winter, cool downs can be as short as a few minutes until the body reaches equilibrium. During a summer heat wave sauna, cool downs can last dozens of minutes until the body returns to equilibrium.
  • Cold water element. This tip may be hardest to achieve. In summer, lakes are warmer, the garden hose water servicing our outdoor showers is warmer, and water in our cold plunge tank is warmer. But the relative temperature is enough to chill us out and cool us down between rounds.
  • Drip dry. As we emerge from our water elements, consider no towel action. Instead, wind dry in the shade. This is often where and when the. magic of sauna during a summer heat wave happens.

If access to a lake, many enjoy Hippopotamus style hanging out in the water between sauna rounds. This is an effective way to transfer heat away from your body and into the water.

We’re smart enough to avoid too much alcohol, listen to our bodies, and remember that most often, the time to leave the hot room is when the idea of a nice cold lake plunge is about the best idea we’ve ever heard.

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8 thoughts on “Sauna during a summer heat wave, and people think we’re crazy”

  1. No, you are not crazy. I am doing my weekly sauna visits for more than 40 years and I like it especially in summer. Great you are bringing this topic up.

  2. Let’s not forget the access to fresh birch whisks. Nothing beats a fresh whisk paired with Rento birch scent.

  3. I love it! I enjoy a daily sauna bath regardless of if its -10degrees or 100 degrees out.

    I recently bought a home, and my first project is going to be my very first sauna build. I have a “mostly perfect” room picked out for it in the basement (only issue is there’s really no way to get drainage/plumbing in this particular room). Anyway, I am wondering what you would suggest for a sauna heater that gets very very hot, but doesn’t require water (as the lack of drainage will limit the amount of water I can pour on the stones) ?

    Also I would love a sauna that I can turn on remotely (via wifi) and would love any tips you have in regards to that?

    Thank You

    – Kyle

  4. Hi Kyle,

    By definition and practice, all decent sauna heaters are made to take water. A sauna without steam is not a sauna. Some cut corners and try to build their saunas without a drain, and you could try to do this, as a huge percent of the water that gets tossed on sauna stones does turn to steam. But you’ll want to get things figured out from a sweat/de-jankify perspective.

  5. It truly is all relative.
    But it’s damn hot here in the AZ desert – The “Cold” water from our well comes out warm this time of year.
    So we keep gallons of water in the fridge just for the purpose of dumping over ourselves.
    Two or three gallons of icy water poured slowly over your head can feel pretty good when you’re hot.
    What’s funny is that the mice and rats have learned what we’re up to – as soon as we pour water over ourselves, they’re at our feet drinking!

  6. Great topic Glenn. I was just thinking about this very thing as I took a sauna during the recent hot weather. I actually feel cooler between sauna rounds and after a sauna session during 90 degree weather. Meijer sells 22lb bags of ice for $2.19, Throw three or four of those in the cold plunge tank combined with a refill of fresh, cold well water and you are in business. Remember to save a little ice from the last bag for the ice bucket to keep the beer cold.

  7. This is extremely beneficial information! I wouldn’t describe you as insane, but it is unusual for me to use the sauna in the summer. Following your experience, I’m going to give it a shot. Instead of relaxing in a lake between sessions, I’m going to attempt it in my pool.

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