Why use protection?
Your skin needs protection in order to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles, and burn. Never leave home without wearing sunscreen, even on cloudy days. OK, maybe not at night. An outdoor walker gets lots of exposure to sun and wind, you need to reduce that consistently. And mosquito bites are no fun! Also see Facts on West Nile Virus Tutorial.
To protect yourself:
- Choose a waterproof sunscreen of SPF 20 or higher.
- Apply the sunscreen a half hour before your walk so it will absorb into the skin to start its protection.
- Put it on thickly - most people use too little and do not get the protection they paid for.
- Don't forget your ears and any bald spot you don't cover with a hat.
- Protect your lips with lip sunblock.
- Reapply your sunscreen if you have been sweating or are out for a longer duration.
- Mosquitoes bugging you? Buy sunscreen that includes repellent. In mosquito season avoid eating bananas which mosquitoes adore; they are repelled by citrus odours, however. Bring along extra sunscreen and insect repellent containing DEET.
- Your hat and clothing are also a good line of defense against the sun. Cover as much as is comfortable with loose, breathable clothing. Dark coloured clothing attracts mosquitoes so wear lighter colours. Stay away from dark greens or you’ll look like a tasty leaf :) (So why is it hiking clothing is sometimes dark green?)
- Sunglasses: choose glasses that give both UVA and UVB protection.
- Bug Report: Check out the bug report link on the Weather Network for the area you are hiking. Mosquitoes and black flies can be very bad in late May and June. The bug report will give you an idea of how bad these insects will be: mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies, horseflies, etc.
HIKING Sun & Insect Protection VIDEO: