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It's "Don't Fry Day": Shirt, sunscreen, hat required

Today, the Friday before Memorial Day, is designated "Don’t Fry Day" by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.

Of course sun protection is one of the outdoor 10 Essentials every day. So, whether you're gearing up for a climb, hike, paddle, or trail run — or just hanging outside with friends— the council advises you "Slip! Slop! Slap!...and Wrap."

That is, slip on a shirt (and other appropriate clothes, please), slop on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, slap on a hat, and wrap on some sunglasses.

Here are some more sun safety tips from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Bright sun Do Not Burn
Sunburns significantly increase one's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
SPF 15 sunscreen bottle Generously Apply Sunscreen
Generously apply sunscreen: about one ounce to cover all exposed skin 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Clothing, hat, sunglasses Wear Protective Clothing
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
Tree shading a person Seek Shade
Seek shade when possible and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Beach and water in bright sun Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
Water, snow, and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
UV Index scale Check the UV Index
The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. The UV Index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and EPA. Visit

Don't Fry Day

National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention


A great reminder!

Sometimes it's the little things that 'do you in' so to speak.

Chapped lips, mosquito bites, poison ivy, or a sunburn, are all things we need to prevent and can sneak up on us.

Good info.

Sunscreen isn't good for you. Wear a big sun hat and cover your skin. Especially during the hot part of the day. While it sounds nice sunscreen ingredients react to the sun and can cause skin cancer.

Alicia, if I wear 2 Trailspace hats at once(Sherlock Holmes style) does it double my UPF rating? :)

Old sunscreen can become very bad.  When using sunscreen, use new and not too high of an SPF rating.  I don't have the specs to quote but have heard that above SPF30 is not necessarily better because the ratings are not that correct and the ingredients can be bad.

I believe that SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks only 1-2 percent more. So for most people, the super high SPF's aren't necessary (ask your doctor though, as I am not one).

I personally try to use sunscreens with zinc oxide, versus loads of chemicals, especially on my kids, plus hats, sunglasses, etc. to keep the rays off.

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Alicia, if I wear 2 Trailspace hats at once(Sherlock Holmes style) does it double my UPF rating? :)

Rick, we would be able to sell so many hats if that were only true. If nothing else, it would be a look.

When I was in Utah, very few folks wore sunscreen.  Almost all wore light colored/lightweight long pants, sleeves.  The climbers I worked with all wore large brimmed hats when they weren't on a pitch.

The Environmental Working Group's annual report has been my source of info on sunscreens for several years now -- it rates based on effectiveness and health risk based on active ingredients. They favor zinc and titanium.

I'm still easily fooled and lean toward high SPF, especially at high elev as I was last weekend. I'm fair-skinned so I try not to take chances.

Take a gander at the hat I am wearing in my avatar photo.   I've worn that (and a couple 'Planter's Hats' ) hat waaaaay before "Indiana Jones" and "Crocodile Dundee" were on the scene.  I've sweated through about 3-or-4 hatbands.  Was just tawkin' to a local "leather-guy" about making me up another hatband.

As a life-long surfer, sunscreen is a problem.   It's OK on your backside, but not anywhere on the front of your body.   It migrates to the top of the board's surface (deck), and the slipperyness makes standing impossible.

Zinc-oxide on the nose and lips.  There is a product called "Zink-a" that is zinc-oxide for the lips and nose, and it comes in vibrant neon colors.   Kinda cool.

I seldom wear hiking pants in the Summer.   Maybe, a brief few days with shorts, to get a little tan on those hideously white legs and feet.  Long-sleeve, light technical-fabric ("Cool-Max", etc.) shirts with modest SBF factor protection, and now, also "Insect*Shield" and "Buzz-Off" treated.



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