Keeping One Step Ahead of the Heat
While the appearance of the sun in the skies can make a welcome change from dull and wet weather, it’s not without its own set of problems.
Keeping one step ahead of the heat is one of the best ways to help ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. Here are some of our top tips for keeping safe in the sun:
Any exposure to direct, or even indirect sunlight while out on the trails, can carry the risk of sunburn, which in turn can lead to other nasty conditions. The best way to keep sunburn at bay while out and about is to slap on some sunblock.
When it comes to how to choose sunscreen there are a few things to consider in order to determine which is the right one for you. Here are some features to look out for when shopping for sunblock:
- Water resistance: if you are trekking in the UK where it can be sunny one minute then rainy the next a water resistant sunscreen is a good idea. Those of you who sweat a lot will also appreciate this feature.
- SPF Rating: the higher the rating the more protection you will get and with SPF50+ being the highest available level it’s a good choice for the most effective safeguard.
- UVA Protection: while a high SPF rating is good, it is essential that it is paired with UVA protection. While UVB rays burn the skin, UVA rays can age it thanks to the damage they can cause. While a three star rating might sound good, it’s the lowest available so look for five star UVA protection to get the highest level.
Are White Clothes the Best Choice for Hot Weather?
The colour white and therefore white clothes are able to reflect light. On the other hand, dark colours such as black absorb heat, making them heat up in direct sun light. This means that for the best protection from the sun and heat it is recommended to wear light coloured clothing.
However, there is a lot of advice stating that wearing dark or black clothes is a better choice. This is because while white clothing will reflect the light from the sun, it will also reflect the heat from your body back to yourself. While black clothing will absorb that body heat.
The problem with this hypothesis is that your body radiates a lot less heat than the sun, even taking into consideration the distances involved. The best way to remove heat from your body is by use of the wind, which loose fitting or well ventilated clothing will facilitate. So with that in mind, the most important considerations to take into account when choosing clothes for heat protection include the materials used, the thickness and type of fitting making light coloured, well ventilated items the best choice for hot weather.
Just a small dip in hydration levels can lead to large losses in performance, with great amounts of dehydration having disastrous effects. This makes it vital that you keep well hydrated when out in the warm weather and especially when taking part in any exercise.
While becoming thirsty will remind you to drink, by then it is usually too late and mild dehydration will have begun to set in. With that in mind, don’t use your thirst levels for a sign that it’s time to have a drink. Always consume water as a pre-emptive measure against dehydration.
Luckily there is lots of outdoor gear available to make it easier to stay hydrated while out on the trails. These include items like collapsible water bottles, wearable hydration packs and special rehydrating drinks.
While a bit of nice weather can brighten up anyone’s day, don’t get carried away once the sun comes out and succumb to the heat by getting burnt, dehydrated or simply too hot.
By following a few of these tips you should be able to stand yourself in good stead for the warmer weather when it finally arrives.