Being Safe and Comfortable in the Heat

With July approaching, we are reminded of how important it is to react to the coming heat by covering up while practicing outdoor activities.  For most people on most days, a quality sunblock is sufficient but ask any landscaper, surveyor or fishing guide that works under these conditions and they will tell you that the only real protection is to cover up.

In the past, many of us viewed the dudes in fly fishing magazines donning their wide brim hats, bandanas or sun gloves as bit goofy, but after consistently feeling the effects of persistent heat over the past 15 years, I now see the need for these garments.  Sunblock simply isn’t enough.  So I thought I’d pass along some tips that I’ve used over the years to not just stay healthy under these conditions but to stay comfortable.

1/ Cover up with the proper shirts and pants.  Spend as much as you can afford but buy the UV protection clothing with the high collars and long sleeves.  Grand River Outfitting & Fly Shop  has very good inventory on Simms, Howler Brothers and Columbia clothing at reasonable prices.  Further to that, the higher quality products are also extraordinarily durable and will last the average to high use user several seasons.

Shirts from Howler, Columbia and Simms.

Shirts from Howler Bros., Columbia and Simms.

I own a couple of Simms shirts that are 4 and 5 years old and have gone through dozens and dozens of washings and general abuse.  This stuff is light but it wears like iron.  Don’t be fooled by shirts or pants that simply look the part.  There are a lot of knock offs available that look good but have 0 UV protection.

2/ Take advantage of the other products available like sun gloves, buffs and bandanas.  It’s not enough to just cover your legs and torso; you have to protect all of your skin.  Stylish, wide brim hats are also available and are a must as these will protect your ears, scalp and forehead.

3/ Staying comfortable is always a challenge in the sun but the two tricks that I’ve used over the years is to keep my hat and the bandana around my neck wet.

These buffs, hats and gloves are a must sustained exposure to the sun.

These buffs, hats and gloves are a must in sustained exposure to the sun.

Evaporation causes a cooling effect so by this practise alone the most important part of your body stays cool.  The second thing that I do is drink lots of water and augment that with some sport’s drink.  Beverages like Poweraid or Gatorade are not just gimmicks.  They really do re-hydrate and that is what your body constantly requires during outdoor activities.

These tricks of the trade along with sunblock on exposed areas will make the heat bearable but more importantly, keep you healthier.

Have fun this summer.