In all the Baseball Mom Facebook Pages I belong to, I’ve seen a lot of talk recently about something called a ‘bucket misting fan’. I honestly had no idea what one was until I looked it up, and I gotta say….it’s a genius idea. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you need to check out this link. Apparently these items go out of stock pretty quickly at Amazon and Home Depot, so if you can find one, I suggest snatching it up (as I will be!).
Baseball parents are always swapping tips on the best ways to manage the brutal summer heat. As we move into the hottest part of summer, I figured I would round up the best ideas, including the bucket misting fan, that I’ve seen for keeping cool at baseball game and tournaments this summer.
For seasoned baseball parents, these ideas aren’t revolutionary. Especially if we have multiple ball players, many of us are already on our second or third pop up tent. Many baseball families build up an impressive inventory of coolers ranging from small to mammoth size where they can choose the right cooler for the weekend based on the length of tournament, distance from home, and how big the tournament venue is.
If you’re looking at the long range weather forecast and wondering how you’re going to survive those long days in the heat, I’ve got you covered. Here are my Top 6 Hot Weather Must-Haves for Travel Baseball Parents who are just beginning to stock up their gear inventory, and even seasoned parents that are looking to refresh their current gear.
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Like I said, I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of the genius idea of a bucket misting fan until now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these misting fans, which sits perfectly atop a 5 Gallon Homer bucket from Home Depot, used in either a dugout or a parent ‘tent city’. Baseball parents from the South, however, swear by this thing. Even though we’re located in the Northeast, we still have our share of hot and humid weather, especially in July and August. This misting fan just became top of my list of Must Have gear I need to buy before our next big tournament.
The RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit comes with a rechargeable battery and cord for charging. You’ll need to purchase the 5 Gallon Homer Bucket at Home Depot, if you don’t already have one. Apparently you load the Homer Bucket full of ice and water, place the fan on top, then the fan mists out cool air. There is also the option to use the fan without water at all, if you just want air flow and cooling without the mist. If you can’t find the RYOBI misting fan on Amazon, check your local Home Depot, which is the only other authorized dealer of RYOBI products.
These Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier packets not only have over 55,000 ratings on Amazon, but they have the recommendation of Baseball parents everywhere. Baseball parents agree – – this is their favorite alternative to Gatorade.
Liquid IV uses something called CTT to help the body absorb water and nutrients faster into the bloodstream. To quote the manufacturer: ‘One stick of Hydration Multiplier in 16oz of water can provide the same amount of hydration as drinking 2-3 bottles of water and contains 3x the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks with 5 essential vitamins’. The single serving packets mix with 16 oz of water and also contain Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B12 and C. It also has some of the cleanest ingredients I’ve seen for an electrolyte drink.
The YETI brand is pricey, but Baseball Parents agree – – Yeti products are worth the investment. If you’re looking at several more years of travel baseball, or any summer travel sport for that matter, you should consider the investment in this tough, virtually indestructible, hard body cooler. The Yeti Tundra Haul is the first Yeti with wheels, ideal for those long tournaments at huge tournament venues with multiple fields. This model has a durable welded aluminum arm with comfort grips, and the curved design keeps you from running into your own heels.
A wagon is usually one of the first pieces of equipment Travel Baseball Parents invest in, and with good reason. These carts are life savers, especially for long tournament weekends where you’re transporting a tent, food, drinks, your Baseball Mom Bag and other essentials from the parking lot to the back field of a ball park. This Mac Sports Mac Wagon is one of the most popular wagons. It has a large capacity (150 pounds of gear!), sets up in seconds, and collapses just as easily. The wagon has an adjustable handle and even includes two beverage holders on the front of the wagon.
The GCI Outdoor Eazy Chair has hard arms, a comfortable wide seat, and a UPF 50 Sunshade attached. This is the chair my husband and I personally use, along with probably half the parents on each of our kids’ travel teams. This chair has saved me from a sunburned face for almost three years of baseball. The mesh back provides air flow so your back doesn’t get too sweaty. The provided large mouth carry bag is extremely easy to get the chair into.
Finally, a good canopy tent is a Baseball Parent Must-Have. We’ve had really good luck with E-Z Up Canopies over the years. The E-Z Up Sierra II Canopy is relatively lightweight and portable (31 pounds), and very affordable, usually less than 100 dollars depending on what time of year you purchase it. The optional sidewall is a great option if you can get it, and helps to provide additional shade for your back and shoulders.
Tip: This version has two different height settings. You can put the legs at two different heights, which is helpful as the sun moves throughout the day. We sometimes put two of the same side legs at the higher setting, and two of the legs at the lower setting, which puts the tent at an angle, but helps to block out the sun as it moves up higher or lower in the sky. YES – We are aware we look ridiculous. But sometimes, late on a Sunday afternoon where you’re already sunburned and maybe had a spiked seltzer or two – – you no longer care about looking ridiculous.
Baseball Parent Essential Gear
Preparing for the heat during Summer Tournament Season is no joke. As Baseball Parents, we need to come to every game and tournament prepared, not only for our own comfort, but for our own health. Besides the tent and electrolyte drinks, cool new gadgets like a bucket misting fan are a great purchase not only for your team’s dugout, but for the Baseball Parents and siblings sweating under tents as well. These Baseball Parent Essentials will hopefully help you beat the heat, and provide you more comfort, while you cheer on your team this Summer!
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