So, here's what I do to reduce the chances of overheating:
- Linen fight garb, as much as possible. I am trying to only wear cotton when I'm fighting in the cold. For me, that is not more than 40'f. Probably in the 20s and 30s.
- Vent the armpits of shirts, brigs, etc.
- I have put a linen pad (a linen tube stuffed with shredded linen) in my gorget instead of the foam that used to be there and that has helped a lot.
- I changed the arrangement of padding in my helm so that it has air channels in it.
- I use a linen headscarf. The headscarf will often get soaked in cold water & wrung out while I'm wearing it on hot days. I'll also wipe off my face and neck with it, which helps me cool off a bit.
- My armour is a combination of linen and leather, in addition to the metal. My chest armour is linen, my cuisses/thigh armour will likely be made out of linen at the next upgrade.
- I take breaks whenever I need to. It can take months or years to correct the tendency to overheat - IF it can be corrected. I've been told there are no promises on that, but the best way is to not keep overheating.
Conditioning - the better condition you are in, the better your body can deal with the heat.
Hydration - I'm not talking just Gatorade and water. Nuun Tablets work great for me. I eat pickles, and I will sometimes drink the pickle juice. I will also eat salty things and make sure I can taste the salt. If I can't, then my salt is deficient and I need to eat more to correct that.
I start making sure I'm fully hydrated several days before the planned fighting. The morning of the event, I start off drinking the Nuun tablets unless they taste like chalk (if they taste like chalk, it means I don't need the electrolytes.). I also make sure I have plenty of water at hand. My kit now includes the tablets and two water bottles that are marked as mine. They have straws, can be squirted, and the tops lock shut for transport. This is for the events where there is no waterbearing set up, and also just for keeping up with drinking electrolytes.
Here are some other ideas that I have seen:
- Foam padding will retain heat. Use wool or linen instead.
- Use light colors. Simple as it sounds, this can help a lot.
- Some helms have better airflow than others. It's something to look into.