What are your best summer hacks?

BY Nora Daly  July 2, 2014 at 2:20 PM EST
Summertime and the living is easy ... with these "hacks." Photo by Flickr user Niamh

Summertime and the living is easier with these “hacks.” Photo by Flickr user Niamh

After one of the more brutal winters in recent memory, who hasn’t looked forward to a summer filled with barbecues, days spent poolside and weekend jaunts to the beach or campsite? But forgotten in the dead of winter are the many woes of summer — from bug bites and sunburns to spoiled food and tepid beverages — that crop up as the weather turns from sunny to sweltering.

It becomes necessary to develop an arsenal of tips and tricks, or summer hacks, to keep these inconveniences from ruining the season. A few favorites? Use frozen green grapes to chill white wine. Skewer hot dogs and slice them in a spiral to ensure the franks are cooked to the core, as explained in this Foodbeast tutorial. Stash an old beach towel or two in the backseat of your car to serve as an extra layer between bare skin and hot vinyl, or to prevent sweat from soaking through onto cloth seats. Stock up on bounce dryer sheets, which according to a 2010 study in HortScience provide a viable alternative to sticky spray-on bug repellents.

 

We asked for your creative solutions to summer problems, and received some clever responses. PBS Facebook follower Nick Swan suggested:
“Put spray sunscreen and bug spray in the fridge, guests get refreshed while they get what they need.”

“Love to have bottles of water in freezer. As the ice melts I stick a straw in the bottle and it lasts a long time,” shared Shelly Solomon.

NewsHour follower Pamela O’Neil Emery  added, “I use a soft-sided cooler as a carry-on … Empty it at the hotel and you have a decent sized cooler for the room.”

Share your summer shortcut on Facebook, or by tweeting @NewsHour using the hashtag #NewsHourAsks. We also welcome instagram contributions. The best suggestions will be posted in the coming weeks.