The dog days of summer have arrived, and for many boaters that means it’s a last-chance opportunity to get some quality boating time in before Labor Day. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always seem so keen on the idea. With the hottest days of summer come plenty of damaging sun, an increased risk of heat stroke, and a variety of other potential problems that
give new meaning to the phrase, “not cool.”
Luckily, you’re a more prudent boat owner than that, which is why you’ve come to this article seeking ways to stay cool:
- Staying hydrated is about more than just being on the water. When you swim, it’s tempting to feel a bit more hydrated than you really are. Anyone who’s using your boat for tubing, water skiing, and more might feel the same. The key point to remember is: simply being exposed to water doesn’t hydrate you. You have to drink it.
- Staying hydrated is about more than just water, too. If you want to feel your best, you can’t only drink water…particularly if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. As any long-distance runner can tell you, you lose more than water when you sweat. Replacing water and electrolytes with just water isn’t enough: you have to keep some snacks handy to replace some sodium and potassium and other electrolytes as well. The best solution? Take a lunch break when the sun’s at its worst.
- Wear white. White is the most efficient reflector of light, which means it will do the best job of keeping the sun’s rays out. White towels, shirts, shorts, and hats are in season for this very reason. So make use of them! Not only will they add to your protection from the sun, but they’ll generally feel “lighter” throughout the day thanks to their reflective properties.
- Find shade whenever you can. If your boat has a canopy, that’s great—it will be a great way to keep out of the sun even while staying out on the water. But if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to take frequent breaks. Breaks aren’t only important to make sure that you feel refreshed, but the symptoms of dehydration can sneak up on you, so taking a break is a great way to check on yourself.
- Bring a cooler. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool drink on a hot day…but if it’s a hot day, you’ve got to bring some cool storage with you to ensure those cool drinks actually last. A mini cooler can bring enough drinks for a boat trip without getting in everyone’s way.
- Keep protected.A sunburn also “feels” hot as it develops, which is why it’s important to protect your skin from the sun with a nice water-resistant sunscreen.
Make sure to keep every boat outing a reasonable length and follow these tips and you’re sure to curb some of the summer heat…but remember your limits too: sometimes, the sun simply gets the best of you and it’s a good idea to know when to call it quits and stay comfortable so you can enjoy boating just as much tomorrow as you did today.