Sun Protection in the Wild

Picture this. A mid 80’s summer day. Sun loungers in the backyard, ice-cold cola SodaStream (because soda stream was the best, along with Raro!). The sun is beating down, and we are applying baby oil…Yes! BABY OIL!

Sun protection wasn’t a thing, and a tan was the holy grail. If I remember right, a tan was supposed to protect us from the sun. Get a good burn out of the way and you are good to go for the rest of summer. I’ve still got the scars on the tip of my nose from the successive burn and peel cycles.

Tan = Good and Looking Good

This was definitely the equation I grew up with and I have dutifully worshipped the tanning Gods of the solarium and the summer sun most of my life.

Over the last 10 years we have definitely become more sun smart, but getting away from ‘tan is best’ has been a hard one for me. Last year I had a scare and it was a wake-up call. I was not immune and years of sun damage does take its toll.

So with the summer sun starting to beat down again, I thought I’d remind everyone to keep sun safe and share some ideas and products I love.

The reality for anyone who adventures far or near is that we are unlikely to be avoiding the mid-day sun. Given that’s the case we need to do all we can to take care of our skin.

Here are my favs:

  1. Sun Hoodies! I’m still learning to love my sun hoodie after years of conditioning that told me when the sun is out we take layers off! But these things are just smart! Lightweight garments designed to be worn in the heat. They have hoods to protect your neck and ears and they have UV protection. I have a Black Diamond one, but Rab also has a really great one. Do you have another brand or style you love and can share?

2. Caps, specifically, legionnaire style that cover your neck and ears. Come on guys, this summer let’s make these the things to be seen in. I wore my OR one last summer and absolutely loved it! Those who have seen Peak of Possibility would have seen me sporting it in my 24hr Everesting Challenge. These caps are 100% the only way to go when you’re out in the crazy high sunburn zone. Just do it. Outdoor Research, Raidlight, and I’m sure more you can share. Or if you’re in a pinch a buff stuffed under your cap will do the trick.

3. Eye-protection. We all know this one, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Slip, slop, slap…and wrap! Besides, with all the cool sports shades out there, your eye protection can also up your cool factor in your selfies

4. Sunscreen. Last, but definitely not least is sunscreen. You want something sport-specific, proven to work, and that’ll keep out of your eyes when you sweat (ouch, that stuff can sting!). I love Skinnies, what’s your fav?

Bonus tip: An SPF lip balm. Lips burn, and they hurt, cover them up too!

There really is no excuse for getting burnt! Get out there, have fun, and feel free to share your favs in the comments so we can all help each other.

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