Sun Protection is an Outdoor Essential Year Round

10:37 a.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Sun Protection is an Outdoor Essential Year Round"

Sun protection isn't just for sunny hikes or summer swims. And effective sun protection means more than slapping on some sunscreen. So, as part of our Year of Essential Outdoor Gear, we're taking a look at Essential #2, sun protection.

Full article at

10:51 a.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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One of the smartest moves I've made in terms of changing my mind about gear and apparel was the purchase of a few long-sleeved, UPF shirts for summer hiking. I used to only wear short sleeves in the summer, but that inevitably led to the dreaded "farmer's tan."

Most of my long-sleeved summer shirts are light, airy, and do a great job protecting against the sun. I like the Ex Officio brand, but there are many others on the market and these types of shirts seem to be getting less and less expensive. 

If your local gear store doesn't carry any long-sleeve summer shirts, try your local fishing outfitter. Fishing folks have long worn long-sleeve shirts year-round for sun protection. 

11:02 a.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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Sun protection is absolutely essential. Those of us who grew up in the middle of the Sonora Desert, and have since spent a lot of time at high altitudes and on snow and ice believed what we were being told about the sunlight providing Vitamin D. So we were proud of our "healthy tans". A lot of us got severe sunburns along the way. We are now paying the price in many ways - literally in our regular visits to the dermatologist, and in getting sprayed regularly with liquid nitrogen to freeze the actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous), various creams that attack the developing lesions, and surgery to remove basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Some unfortunate people develop melanoma, which carries a high fatality risk. My father-in-law died from melanoma that had metastasized.

IT IS NOT JUST A COSMETIC PROBLEM! And it is cumulative. Tomorrow I go to my dermatologist for my quarterly treatment. My spouse, Barbara, who grew up in SoCal and spent lots of time on the beach and also spends lots of time in the wilderness, went for her quarterly dermatologist visit last week. It is worse for us blue-eyed, light-skinned descendants of Europeans. But I had a friend and colleague who got a fatal case of melanoma - he was African-American, lived in Mississippi most of his life.

Sunblock and covering up with clothing is needed for everyone.

12:09 p.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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This is a great article! I think we often over look this because it is so nice to finally have some sun on your face coming from a cold winter or a tree filled trail. Without the right protection as Bill S. mentioned, you can really accrue some long term issues! The sun is great in the moment, but is nothing short of dangerous without the proper respect! Thanks alicia 

1:03 p.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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This is an important topic, especially for outdoor people.  High elevation and being on the water, or snow and ice are the worst.

I learned to wear brimmed hats a long time ago. I wear long sleeves in the mountains and on the boat.  The face and the back of the hands have taken the worst beating.  I carry a buff now, and often use a large silk scarf under a baseball cap when backpacking, since a brimmed hat does not fit so well.  I am always looking for shade, and learned that from my dogs. I wear fingerless cotton gloves in summer for fishing and often for hiking.

Sun screen is your friend and it should be applied every day when you are outdoors.  I use it almost every day.

So far I have had 4 skin cancers removed from my back and shoulders.  When we were young, little was known about this subject and we started the year each spring with some burns to "build a tan."  Now many people are paying a price for being so casual about their skin.  Protect yourself and you will be much happier later.  I dread the next time I am on the table with local anaesthetic and hear the clank of a large diamond shaped piece of my hide hitting the stainless steel bowl.

2:51 p.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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I was told about this long ago by a Doctor in Texas when I was a patient getting a check up..He was very interested in what I did for fun and explained it to him..I grew up on the Jersey shore and we would tan like crazy..But being in Texas it seemed the heat and sun never ending.With his Urging and advice I used proper protection Sun Block highest I could find and clothing.. I have had no problems from my past and still following his advice about sun block, hats and clothing...Great article and reminder...

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