Best On-Water Sun Tips

March 28, 2016

by Peter Reese
Best On-Water Sun Tips

A little sun warms body and soul.  Too much, at the wrong time, turns a coastal or water-borne outing into a sizzle-fest.  Active Junky reached out to the seasoned sun-goers at ROW Adventures to get the insider scoop on outside endeavors. 

1.  A cause for pause:  Dangers of the sun (including reflected light)

While present in a lot of scenarios, locations – such as Baja – where sand and water are present mean greater concern; each reflects a high percentage of UV rays. 

  • Dehydration - and resulting complications
  • Heat stroke/exhaustion
  • Sun burns or overexposure to your skin
  • Retinal damage
  • Impeded vision

2.  Let your wisdom show:  Skin protection tips

Rather than watching the weather and gambling on less UV exposure, there are plenty of ways to play smart defense every day.

  • Wear sunscreen (reapply every few hours, get wet or not)
  • Wear protective clothing (many clothing manufactures make active clothing articles with built- in sun protection)
  • Don't forget the lips - get a protective SPF lip balm
  • Always wear a hat to protect your scalp, face and neck: Wide brim hats with neck flaps are great for tropical destinations with limited shade
  • Find shade when you can
  • Avoid the sun between the hours of 10-3 when the UV rays are at their highest: If you can't, cover up and reapply sunscreen often 

3.  The visionary approach:  Eye protection tips

Too much sun can move from eyestrain and blurry vision to permanent damage, Active Junky friends.

  • Purchase a good pair of polarized sunglasses and wear them when the sun is out: Polarized glasses not only protect your eyes from harmful sun rays but enhance clarity, an added benefit on our tours where there’s always beautiful scenery to take in 
  • Wearing a hat with a wide brim helps block sun from getting to your eyes 
  • Again, try to find shade whenever possible.


4.  Medics for the moment: Treatment for overexposure on skin or eyes

Making a poor decision or being surprised by extreme conditions doesn’t mean the trip is over.

  • Get out of the sun
  • Take a cool shower or bath or apply a cool compress
  • Drink extra fluids for a few days
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain
  • Use aloe gel or a moisturizer to skin
  • Completely cover sunburned area when you go outside 
  • Rest in a cool dark environment 

5.  Together is better:  Employing a “Buddy System" to monitor each other

This is crucial as self-monitoring is difficult because most danger areas are out of the line of vision. A buddy watches to see if you’re getting red, reminds you to reapply sunscreen every few hours, and helps apply it to hard to reach areas such as your back.

Images via ROW Adventures


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