Are you Ready for Summer?

Are you Ready for Summer?

We might not get wall to wall sunshine and high temperatures all summer in the UK, but a few simple measures, like a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, can ensure that you enjoy your outdoor adventures in the warmer weather. Sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration can all be prevented if you look after yourself, so here are a few of my top tips to keep you active all summer long.

Clothing

Technical, wicking fabrics make the ideal clothing for summer hiking as they will pull moisture away form the body. I tend to wear gym tops that are a little looser than normal, this allows for better air circulation. I also sometimes wear long sleeves if I’m going to be out for a long time. Don’t forget your feet, it is worth investing in a decent pair of socks, like my current favourites, WigWam Escalante Pro and a well fitting lightweight pair of walking shoes or boots.

On the second day of my charity walk, I wore a long sleeved technical shirt and a hat for maximum sun protection

Sunscreen

Please learn from my mistake. Earlier this year I walked 50 miles over a weekend and completely underestimated the strength of the sun. All in all I spent about twenty hours outside over those two days. Even with a decent amount of cloud cover, that was always going to result in sunburn without adequate protection. Of course, I completely forgot about sun cream, it was slightly cloudy, it wasn’t really hot so I thought I’d be ok. I still have a ridiculous tan line now that I don’t think I’ll ever straighten out. More seriously, I also ended up with very painful burnt skin that took over a week to recover. The consequences could have been much worse, so I am much more proactive now when it comes to sun protection. I always make sure I wear at least factor 15, also it is imperative that the sunscreen is still in date. DO NOT just use some cream that you have lying around from last year, it may not be effective. Remember that the sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm, so if necessary try to remain in the shade as much as possible during the hottest point of the day.

Hats

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, my tip is to get yourself a good hat. It will keep the sun off your face and eyes, helping to keep you cool and comfortable. We’ve been trying out some summer hats from Sunday Afternoons this year, and we’ve been very impressed. For children, it’s a good idea to get a hat that protects the back of the neck as well.

Finn loves his new summer hat. I feel very confident when he’s wearing it that he’s protected from the sun as much as possible

Hydration

Keeping hydrated is especially important in warmer weather. How much water you need depends not only on the temperature, but also the terrain, distance and humidity. I personally find that my two litre bladder is fine for walks up to about 15 miles. If it is very warm, or I am walking for longer, I will also add an electrolyte tablet, such as Hi5, for quicker re-hydration (and I also quite like the taste of them!). I may also take an extra bottle if there is nowhere en route for refilling water. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, headaches and tiredness. If spotted early, it can be alleviated by drinking more fluids, however if left untreated can lead to heat exhaustion, seizures and a loss of consciousness. Long term it can lead to kidney problems, so it is vital that any signs are taken seriously.

Eye Protection

Finally, anyone spending any extended periods of time outdoors really needs to look after their eyes. I always wear sunglasses, even if it’s a bit cloudy, it’s not a fashion thing, I just hate squinting! It’s important to choose a pair that have adequate levels of protection, I recommend looking for at least category 3, which will block out at least 80% of light. SmartBuyGlasses has a great range of high quality glasses, perfect for an outdoor summer.

I love my sunglasses and feel confident knowing that they are providing a high level of protection

What are your top tips for enjoying the outdoors in the summertime?

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Amy Rutter Amy Rutter August 01, at 17:33

    Good tips – socks aren’t something I’d think about for a long walk but cheap ones can wear through quickly and it drives me crazy when they keep falling down! Where was the first photo taken? It looks gorgeous! x

    Reply
    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker August 02, at 20:22

      If it’s the featured photo, it’s Beachy Head in Sussex. Love the south coast!

      Reply

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