By: David Ball
Temperatures are definitely on the rise, and we’re all feeling the heat! We either have to beat the sun up or wait until it’s down to enjoy the outdoors this summer. If you’re like me, bullying the sun to get outdoors isn’t very realistic (or very nice), so I’ve become quite adept at finding ways to cope with the summer heat while still getting outdoors.
It may sound counterintuitive, but wearing less doesn’t always help you stay cool. Ever wonder why people working outdoors all summer aren’t in tank-tops and shorts? It’s because they know that keeping your skin covered is actually a much more effective way to beat the heat. Denim pants and a windbreaker isn’t the best strategy, but I do recommend sun hoodies. You’ll be amazed at the breathable, lightweight layers that keep you cool and protected from the sun. Many of these items also provide UV protection, which is necessary to avoid damaging your skin.
If we’re covering our shoulders and even arms, is it worth covering our heads? You bet. Wearing hats is a great way to keep the sun off of your face and protect your scalp from UV rays. A wide-brimmed sun hat is great for yard work or a chill day on the beach, while a lightweight, sweat-wicking, breathable running hat is perfect for more vigorous outdoor fun. Since we’re following the advice above, we have ourselves very well protected from the sun and its UV rays. But, how do we make sure we’re still feeling fresh and ready to go? Staying on top of your hydration. If you ever stop and think “I’m a bit thirsty,” then you’re already behind! Stop and take a drink. Being dehydrated on warm days leads to headaches and heat exhaustion, which can range from annoying to dangerous. It is crucial that you carry more than enough water for your outing. It’s never a bad thing to be over-prepared!
Let’s take a look into our pack for the next warm day adventure: So far, we have our lightweight sun hoodie’s full-coverage protection, a hat to keep the sun off our head and face, and plenty of water to make sure we don’t get dehydrated. What’s left? Just a few more items to throw in before you’re out the door. Sunscreen. Nothing dehydrates you quite like a sunburn. Protective clothing goes a long way in reducing the risk, but doubling up is never a bad idea. It’s especially important to protect heavily exposed areas like our face, neck, ears, and legs. Long-term sun damage is dangerous, so keep yourself safe with an SPF of at least 30. Sunglasses. They protect our eyes from the sun and reduce the strain from bright light shining in all day. Did you know your eyes can get sunburned just like your skin? A polarized pair is ideal to alleviate the sun’s bright glare, while UV protection defends them from sunburn. Lastly, snacks. Fresh fruit, granola bars, and other healthy foods are a great way to keep your energy up and enjoy the warm weather without getting hangry in the heat. Warm weather is a great time to get out and explore, but it’s important to make sure you are adequately prepared to take on the high summer temperatures. Safety is the foundation of any outdoor adventure, so be sure you bring the proper equipment. With all this on your mind and on your packing list, I’m confident you’ll get out and experience some amazing new places without needing to get in a scuffle with the sun.
About the Author: David Ball
David considers himself the ambassador of the “Radically Mediocre” lifestyle. He defines this as being able to “hang with people doing just about anything and not slow them down.” You can find him trying to get people to talk to him about the book he just read in coffee shops, or in the western U.S. getting pumped out on scary trad leads (and follows), skydiving, split-boarding and trail running in his home mountain range, the Wasatch, with his dog Margo. Follow him on instagram at @DavidDenverBall.