Many tourists and newcomers underestimate just how hot the Sunshine State can get in the broiling months of summer. Us locals, though — we know better. However, these thermometer-popping months are also the favorite time to take the boat out to enjoy some quality cooldown time on the water. Though you may respect the heat the moment you hop out of your air conditioned car, some forget to protect themselves from the source of that heat.
Between dangerous UV rays and stifling heat, prepare yourself with these three easy ways to protect yourself from the summer sun while on your next boat trip or excursion in the outdoors.
Staying Cool While Boating in the Summer Sun
- Hydrate: No, this is not your permission to whip out the margarita machine. Instead of your favorite cocktail or brew, make sure you’re regularly rehydrating with water and sports drinks with electrolytes. Heat stroke and dehydration are easy ways that your fun time can turn into an emergency situation in a hurry. Bring more than enough water that you think you’ll need to compensate for the heavy sweating that’s bound to happen when you spend any extended period of time in the Florida heat.
- Cover: Though many like to work on a tan while boating, for fishing or cruising (which may necessitate boaters to be in direct sunlight for extended periods), it’s smart to cover up instead of stripping down. Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes and improve visibility, a hat and scarf can prevent sunstroke and breathable, UV-protective clothes can keep the summer sun from slow roasting you throughout the day.
- Lather: Of course, we have to recommend using sunscreen. If you’re not using sunscreen, please start — yes, now. Even if you’re not in the direct summer sun, UV rays can still penetrate many materials and even reflect off of metal surfaces and even the water itself. Prevent skin damage and serious skin issues (potentially including the big “C”) by regularly applying sunscreen that is rated at at least SPF 30. Don’t forget commonly missed, sensitive spots like hands, feet, ears and even eyelids. There is also protective lip balm available, and water-resistant sunscreens for swimmers and watersports enthusiasts. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day as well.
There’s no way around it — the summer sun can be a bit of a drag if you’re not prepared for it. However, if you’re ready for the heat and powerful UV rays on your next boat trip, you should be able to focus on the fun stuff, namely, earning a new “big fish” story to tell your buddies. Enjoy your summer on the water and try to stay cool out there.