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How to protect yourself from the Sun in the mountains?

by Mandar Marathe 22 Aug 2023 0 Comments
protect yourself from the Sun in the mountains

Who does not love to go trekking in the mountains? The view from the top is exhilarating and picturesque as a scenic montage of colours and hues is presented in front of you to treat your eyes to a splendid spectacle. While there is seldom any doubt that it is quite beautiful up there, it is equally vital to understand that the higher you go up the altitude, you need to be extra cautious in taking care of your skin.

 

In the mountain, there is less atmospheric filtering of UV (ultraviolet) rays and radiation increases by 4% with every 300 metres of positive elevation gain. If you also factor in the cooling effect caused by the wind at altitude, you will know why it is critical to protect yourself from the sun even if you feel less need than when on the beach.

 

Here are a few tips that will offer you protection against the hurting UV rays emitted by the burning sun and let you enjoy lovely nature:

 

Wear UPF-labelled clothing

Wearing UPF-labelled clothing is important. An apparel with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 40+ means that 97.5% of the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun are blocked. On the other hand, clothing with a UPF of 50+ blocks 98% of the dangerous UV rays. In addition, applying a layer of sunscreen to your skin is still essential. Ideally, you should wear fabrics certified anti-UV that guarantee optimal protection, such as a long-sleeved shirt (men) and tank top (women).

 

Apply sunscreen 

When in the mountains, it is crucial to apply a higher level of protection and more frequently to avoid sunburn and overexposure. When deciding on a suitable sunscreen, first, you must choose a protective factor to match your skin and colouring. The lighter your skin colour and eyes, the higher the protective factor you will need (SPF 50- or 50+). Also, use a sweat-resistant and water-proof sunscreen. It is almost inevitable that while you are trekking, you will perspire, and the sweat could wash away the sunscreen.

Therefore, the usage of a sweat-resistant and water-proof sunscreen is recommended. 

 

Protect your head

A hat with a wide brim or a cap is essential, especially to fight against sunstroke. There are some caps which can provide protection to your neck. In case you forget to apply sunscreen to your neck, wearing a cap that takes care of it is advisable.

 

Use sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses with protection level 3 or even 4 is suggested if you are hiking on snowfields. Ensure you wear proper sunglasses because if you avoid protecting your eyes, you could be at risk of developing various pathologies related to excessive sun exposure. The most common is solar conjunctivitis which, although transient, is very painful.

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