Summer months are the busiest for vendors and shoppers alike when vacation season is in full swing. As families follow the tradition of the great American road trip, fresh faces arrive at flea markets and swap meets all over the country delivering more business to vendors. But what happens when the dog days of summer have everyone sweating an afternoon outdoors? These tried and true tips for handling hot weather could come in handy when the sun drives temperatures into triple digits and the flea market feels like it was relocated to Death Valley, CA.
Heat Survival Tactics
Be a wet blanket. Hanging cool, damp sheets in doorways or in the pace of tent sides will cool any passing breeze as the water evaporates. The tactic has been used for centuries by desert cultures and is just as effective in a flea market atmosphere.
Have it made in the shade. When the sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. even the smallest amount of shade can provide relief to vendors and customers. Remember to bring umbrellas or set up a canopy to block out the direct rays from the sun. The more coverage a booth has, the better, because sunlight will reflect off of glossy surfaces and heat up merchandise that might be better off in the shade. Metal wares should be properly protected for the sake of handlers’ fingers.
Dress for the heat. Loose, lightweight and light colored clothing is best when the weather swelters. If your market is hot for the majority of the year, consider getting athletic performance attire that wicks sweat from the body and helps keep you cooler. Light linen clothing is a cool alternative, too.
Bring your lunch. In place of foods that may contain high amounts of sugar, spices or salt, eating a light meal of fresh fruits and vegetables helps keep you comfortable by not dehydrating you. Limit caffeine and alcohol while in high temperatures because these can accelerate dehydration, as well. By coming prepared for the conditions, you will stay more comfortable and provide some relief to your customers at the same time.