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.