Doing DIY in a tropical country is not easy because of the heat, the slightest bit of manual work and you break in to a sweat and can quickly become exhausted.
I have ended up on a drip in the local clinic twice suffering from dehydration after spending a day doing DIY, as it is very difficult to take on as much fluid as you are losing from doing manual work.
You might ask why would you want to do it yourself when local labour is so cheap? in the Philippines you can hire a carpenter for just 500 peso a day. The problem is the quality is often very poor, the job never gets finished or some of the local tradesmen will try to con you, asking for money up front and then disappearing.
This week the wife said she wanted some shelves replacing in her shop, with it being summer time in the Philippines I was dreading doing it and the worry of it making me ill again and having to spend time in the local clinic on a drip was something I wanted to avoid.
I then came up with an idea to help me stay cool while doing the work. I set up a fan in the area I would be building the shelves, then stood a open cool box in front of it with half a sack of tube ice in it.
The fan blew across the top of the ice and felt very cool, as the ice melts I rolled down the sack to expose more ice.
It worked so well that I hardly broke in to a sweat and was able to work much harder than I normally would and took fewer breaks. The cooling effect does wear off as the ice melts, but even after 8 hours it still helped a bit.
The cost of the half sack of tube ice was 74 peso plus the cost of running a fan, so probably worked out cheaper than running air-con.
On the second day the weather was cloudy and the humidity was extremely high. The result was the cooling effect was not as good but it still helped a lot. I know without it I would have not been able to work for more than an hour as it was 33 degrees and with the high humidity it would have been to much for me.
By the hottest part of the second day I was starting to struggle, aching muscles from the first days work did not help. However I found soaking my arms in the ice cold water from thee melted ice helped a lot, I also resulted to pouring some of the ice cold water on my T-Shirt which kept me very cool.
The result was job done in 2 days and the wife was very happy. If I had not used the cooling I am sure I would not have got it done in 2 days, and I would possibly made myself ill.