By Bill Mauney

We’re at that point in a southeastern summer where the mercury really begins to climb.  Pursuing active adventure in the outdoors in hot weather brings some new challenges to prevent heat and sun related problems.

Here are some tips to Beat the Heat:

Stay hydrated – Drink often, whether you feel thirsty or not.  Avoid caffeinated drinks, such as colas, tea or coffee as they are diuretics, causing you to urinate more often, thus dehydrating you.  Water is best, supplemented with electrolyte replacement drinks if you are involved in heavy exertion activities.  Old timers used to say, “Pee clear!”  This means that you are staying properly hydrated.  Water bottles are great and easy to carry.  Hydration systems are wonderful for drinking while hiking, biking or paddling.  Studies have shown that people drink more often and thus stay more hydrated when using such systems.  Cool drinks are received by your body faster and are certainly more refreshing.  Insulated water bottles or insulated hydration systems are great for day trips when you can ice down your liquids.  Of course, out in the wild you will need to treat water from natural sources to prevent illness.  Great Outdoor Provision Co. has an incredible selection of water bottles, hydration systems, filters, purifiers and storage systems.  Come check out the options at our shops.

Protect your eyes – Use sunglasses that protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.  Polarized glasses are great if you are on the water as they protect against the glare of reflective sun rays off of the water.  You can also spot objects just beneath the surface of the water better.  This is great if you are fishing.  Don’t forget some sort of eyewear retention strap so you won’t lose them.  Some of these retention straps will float your glasses.  Checkout our awesome selection of fine sunglasses.

Protect your skin – Many of the shorts, pants, and shirts we carry have UPF ratings indicating the degree of sun protection offered.  These garments typically have lots of useful pockets, are made of a quick-dry material and the shirts are well ventilated.  Some pants and shorts have built in liners, so they double as a bathing suit.  Light colors don’t absorb heat like dark colors do.  All of these clothes keep you very comfortable on those hot, sticky days.  You will also need waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen for skin exposed to the sun’s rays!

Don’t forget your head – We have a number of hats to choose from that will protect your face, neck and ears from those burning rays.  Tilley hats have a 50+UPF rating.

Tips for cooling off:

  • Wet the inside of your wrists, inside the elbows, head and back of the neck
  • Wet your hat
  • Rotary cooling – practice that kayak roll!
  • Water fights – bilge pumps are perfect for such use.  We’ve got ‘em!
  • Go for a swim – immersed you will cool off fast!  Check out our NRS Tubes!
  • Catch the breeze – Face the wind or fan yourself.  If your head, back of the neck, inside of your wrists, inside of your elbows or other exposed skin are wet, you add evaporative heat loss to the convective heat loss, thus cooling off even faster.
  • Travel during the cooler morning hours while the sun is low
  • Find shade and rest during the hottest part of the day

Seek shade and rest if you experience weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, loss of appetite or faintness.  Rehydrate using water and electrolyte replacement drinks. Visit your local shop and gear up for summer adventure!