Title: Essential Sun Protection for Ocean Anglers: Sunscreen, Hats, and More
When it comes to outdoor activities like fishing, it’s important to prioritize sun protection. Spending long hours in direct sunlight on the water increases the risk of sunburns and skin damage caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. To safeguard yourself during fishing trips, it is crucial to apply sunscreen, reapply it regularly, and protect your head and face with a fishing hat and sunglasses specifically designed for sun protection.
Sunscreen: Your First Line of Defense
Sunscreen is an essential item for any outdoor activity, including fishing. When choosing a sunscreen, opt for a broad-spectrum formula with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher for adequate protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using at least SPF 30 for prolonged sun exposure. It’s important to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of the skin, including the face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget areas that are often overlooked, such as the tops of the feet and ears.
Reapply Sunscreen Regularly
To maintain its effectiveness, sunscreen should be reapplied regularly, especially after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Aim to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are perspiring heavily. Additionally, be mindful of the expiration date on your sunscreen bottle, as expired sunscreen may not provide the same level of protection.
Choosing the Right Fishing Hat
While many anglers may opt for a simple baseball cap, fishing hats are specifically designed to provide optimal sun protection during long hours spent on the water. These hats typically feature a wide brim all around to shield the face, ears, and neck from the sun’s rays. Look for hats made with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric, which offers additional sun protection.
There are several reputable brands that offer high-quality fishing hats. The DDYOUTDOOR Trade Fashion Summer Outdoor Sun Protection Fishing Cap is a popular choice due to its adjustable drawstring, durability, and collapsible design for easy travel and storage. Another excellent option is the Sombriolet Sun Hat from Outdoor Research, known for its superior sun protection and ventilation.
Benefits of Fishing Sunglasses
While a fishing hat can protect the face, ears, and neck, the eyes also need proper protection from the sun. UV rays can harm the delicate tissues of the eyes and increase the risk of conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Fishing sunglasses with polarized lenses not only provide UV protection but also help reduce glare caused by reflections off the water, allowing for better visibility and reducing eye strain.
When choosing fishing sunglasses, look for lenses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses help improve clarity and contrast, making it easier to spot fish and navigate the water. Additionally, sunglasses with a wraparound design offer better coverage and prevent sunlight from entering from the sides.
Investing in a high-quality pair of fishing sunglasses is crucial, as they provide long-lasting protection and durability. Brands such as Costa Del Mar, Maui Jim, and Oakley are well-known for their quality fishing sunglasses.
Additional Sun Protection Tips
In addition to sunscreen, fishing hats, and sunglasses, there are other measures you can take to enhance your sun protection while fishing:
1. Fish from the Shade: Whenever possible, try to fish from a shady spot. Seek out areas near trees or structures that provide cover from the sun’s direct rays.
2. Wear Protective Clothing: Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants made from UPF fabric to provide extra coverage for your arms and legs. These specially designed garments offer enhanced sun protection and can be lightweight and breathable for comfort even in warm weather.
3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water while fishing helps prevent dehydration and can help regulate body temperature.
4. Take Breaks: When fishing during peak sun hours (usually between 10 am and 4 pm), it’s crucial to take regular breaks in shaded areas to minimize sun exposure and allow the body to cool down.
Sun protection should be an essential part of every angler’s routine. By applying sunscreen, reapplying it regularly, wearing a suitable fishing hat, and using polarized sunglasses, you can significantly reduce your risk of sunburns and long-term skin damage caused by harmful UV rays. Additionally, fishing in shaded areas, wearing protective clothing, staying hydrated, and taking regular breaks can further enhance your sun protection while enjoying the great outdoors. Remember, protecting your skin now will help ensure many more enjoyable fishing trips in the future.