SURVIVING SUMMER: MAN VS. HEAT, BUGS, SUN & MORE

Summer is here…and it’s hot. Not just hot for a few hours, but that sticky kind of hot that lingers long after the sun sets. With all that heat comes a bunch of gnarly things you have to watch out for, like bugs, sunburns, and yes, even chafing in those sensitive areas. Here’s a quick guide to help you make it through summer (relatively) unscathed.

Man applying sunscreen.

SUN

There really are places you can go to cook an egg on the sidewalk in the summer, so think about what the sun and heat actually does to you if you don’t prepare for it.

Apply Sunscreen: Hitting the beach? Heading out for a picnic or a hike? Slather on the sunscreen and take a bottle with you. Look for something that fends off UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 15. My rule of thumb, if I’m spending the day outside, I reapply every two hours.

 

Aedes albopictus mosquito

BUGS

There are lots of creepy crawlies out this season, and you’ve got to be prepared for them. With things like the Zika virus and Lyme Disease Disease running rampant, a little extra protection can go a long way.

Fend Off Bug Bites: It’s warm, and that brings out the ticks, mosquitoes and spiders. Defend yourself from bites by using repellents and sprays containing DEET. Also, think about where you’re sitting, and what’s around you. Sitting in an old lawn chair that hasn’t been cleaned means more of a chance of bug nests being established, which you might miss if you’re not looking. Also, be on the lookout when sitting on towels or blankets.

 

Bottled water on table at a camp site

WATER

The last thing you want is to deal with heatstroke…and proper hydration is key.

Stay Hydrated: If you’re going to be outside, you need to drink more than just beer or soda. In order to stay completely hydrated, drink water often––not just when you’re thirsty. If you’re sweating a lot, you need to replenish that water by drinking more. Remember the old eight glasses of water per day rule? It’s a good one. Doctors also say you should drink half of your body weight in ounces. If you’re 200 lbs, that’s 100 ounces of water. Sounds like a lot, but if you’re drinking it regularly throughout the day, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot better.

 

the boyscout tent in a field with clothes that dry in the Sun

PROPER ATTIRE

Wearing the right clothing for your agenda, and the area you live, is key to surviving the summer. It’s not all about shorts and tanks.

Dress Appropriately: For some of us, it’s hot during the day and cold at night, meaning you need to dress accordingly. Going camping? Bring pants, a hat, and a jacket to layer on when the temperatures drop. You don’t want to be shivering in your shorts all night.

Worried about the beating sun during the day? Consider a lightweight, long sleeve, moisture-wicking shirt and a hat. This will help mitigate sun (and bug) damage, and even help you deal with the heat.

 

Take a look at our guide to hot weather fabrics for more ideas on what to wear when the temperature climbs.

Another pain point related to summer heat? Chafing. Yes, that unbearable rash that appears under arms and between thighs. Innovative undergarments can help ward off moisture in uncomfortable places.

Now you’re ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at you this summer. Do you have any tricks to deal with summer heat work for you? Tell us about them in the comments below.

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