It's a good old-fashioned heat wave across Montana this week with some parts of the state to see triple digits. Most of us will be hovering in the 90s for at least a week, so we wanted to share our super easy ways to keep your cool.

Our most important guideline for these suggestions is that they had to be EASY, and they had to be cheap or free. We like to keep things simple around here and who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on air conditioning?

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KIDDIE POOLS: Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm a big kiddie pool advocate. There's absolutely no shame in that game. Nope, I do not have kids, but every single summer there's a kiddie pool in my front yard. Even a very small one is a life-saver after a long day at work. Pull up a chair, crack a cold beer, and plonk your legs in.

This year's Wolfe Ranch model is small, but it has a stand-up inflatable otter that sprays water out of his forehead. How fun is that? I think it cost me $18 online.

By the way, even in the height of summer these things are pretty easy to find. You can always order one online but I've also seen several grocery stores that sell them...and NOW they're deeply discounted since summer is half over.

photo - Michelle Wolfe
photo - Michelle Wolfe
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SPRAY WATER BOTTLES IN THE FRIDGE: These are the best bang for your buck in my humble opinion. For a couple of bucks, get yourself a decent sized spray bottle and then use it only for water. Stick that puppy in your fridge door to make it nice and cold, then grab it whenever you need to do some work outside in the heat.

We actually have several of these things around the house and the garage. They never get filled with anything but water so they keep clean. Two in the fridge, one in the cooler in the garage and one smaller bottle goes in the dude's lunch bag when he's on the road all day.

photo - Michelle Wolfe
photo - Michelle Wolfe
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SPLASH PARKS: It's a shame we don't have more of these across the state of Montana but there are a few. A simple Google search for 'splash parks Montana' will give you several options if you're unsure about your own town.

Belgrade, Livingston, Butte, Great Falls, Missoula, Helena, Billings, Kalispell, and Columbia Falls all have simple splash pad parks or more elaborate water parks.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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STAYING IN THE OFFICE LONGER ON HOT DAYS: Perhaps the least popular of our suggestions (understandably), but also the easiest for those of us who don't HAVE to spend all of our work hours in the office. Most homes in Montana do not have proper AC, but most office and commercial buildings do. Working from home can be awesome, but not if you're roasting in your living room.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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My friend, Jesse, also came up with some Fantastic Ways to Cool Off in Summer and you can see his suggestions by following the link. (Kiddie pools are still my favorite!)

 

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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