By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer
You wouldn't know it by the scarves and sweaters showing their wooly faces in stores, but we aren't even to the halfway point of summer, Aug. 6. It's baking out there, and will stay that way, depending on nature's sense of humor . . . and there's global warming to boot.
Chaining yourself to an air conditioner is always an option, but if you're the kind who wants to actually enjoy the outdoors, here are a half-dozen summer coolers. Check out gadget stores, camping and sports shops and running stores for more gizmos.
Personal Cooling Collar, filled with a few ounces of water, is powered by a tiny fan and quiet motor for four hours of cooling. $39.95 at Sharper Image stores or www.sharperimage.com.
Misty Mate portable air cooler in a nylon tote can be strapped to waist, golf bag or beach chair and filled with 24 ounces of water, then pumped 20-25 times to prime for a gentle misting. $19.99 at Walgreens.
Platypus double-lock zip closure pouches, favorites of campers, come tucked away in everything from this mesh-tough one-liter Water Walker, $14.95, to a hands-free suspenders holder, $9.95. Ask for it at Sun & Ski Sports, Kenwood, or go to www.mountainsports.com.
Icebars from California Innovations are tiny reusable 23/4-inch-by-5-inch plastic pouches filled with a non-toxic freezable liquid. Small enough to tuck into a pocket, hat or lunch. Three for $1.47 at Wal-Mart in the camping section.
Kool Off headgear is soaked in water for 20 minutes, activating polymer crystals to reduce core body temperature quickly. Pet bandana, $7.99. Stars and stripes headband, $6.99. More at www.sparklingearth.com.
Check out www.stageoneproductions.com for water-filled bandanas.
Personal fans keep your cool with or without water. O2 Cool refillable Squeeze Breeze Misting Fan (below), $7.99 at Linens 'n' Things; Chilly Willy Handsfree Fan can drape around your neck, $3.99 at Walgreens.
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