Reflections of burns past

by Gary Heffley

The current HOT weather is no joke. Everyone should be limiting exposure and activity as heat related stroke and illnesses are a real danger. Most everyone is knowledgeable about using sunscreen, apply liberally and often. And while most people wear hats and sunglasses for head, facial and eye protection, many forget about the ears. Make sure to lather the lotion on those as well.

Light long sleeve garments are great and there are many that have wicking fabrics and materials that help keep a body cool. Using a wet hat or wet cooling towel on the top of the head will also help keep the core body temperature down. Don't be afraid to wear a top shirt and long shorts for swimming, that goes for the ladies as well. Lobster bikini lines are not that attractive and can be painful as well, not to mention the danger of skin cancer in the future.

One of my worst sun related burns dates back to my late teens when I spent a week canoeing the Russian River with a group of scouts. Great fun, taking what I thought were the proper precautions and protection from the sun. After about 5 days I realized one serious omission to my preparations, as one kiss from my girlfriend on a visit left me with a bleeding split lip that took weeks to heal. While my hat protected my face from direct sunlight, the sun's reflection off the water did a number on my pucker power.

Lip balm is now a staple in sun skin care when I am venturing onto the water on hot sunny days, because the reflective burns off the water can be just a bad as direct sun burns.

Of course, if you are on the water enjoying the hot weather, make sure to hydrate frequently. Drink cold water or Gatorade style drinks that replace used electrolytes. Sodas and beers, while refreshing at the moment, does the body little if any good. And being in the water, while enjoyable, does not replenish the system.

Keep cool, be wise and safe,

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.