Beat the Heat During Your Summer Camping Trip

A man experiencing heat exhaustion while out on a hike.

Summer can be the gateway to many of our favorite activities, but if we’re reckless, the heat can get the better of us. Heat illness prevention is a serious matter during the summer months, especially in warm climates. It can cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, and at its worst, fatalities. Those most at risk for heat illness are young children, the elderly, and those who are ill or otherwise unhealthy.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to tackle heat illness prevention, and with these summer safety tips from Rjourney, you can have fun in the sun without adding a trip to the emergency room to your itinerary.

How To Stay Cool in the Summer

There are several precautions you can take and methods to preserve your safety when the sun’s heat is at its highest. Here’s how to prevent dehydration and stay cool on your summer trip. 

Hydrate Often

A woman drinking water while looking at a mountain.

Wear Light Clothing

Water is your number one defense against dehydration throughout the year, but when summer rolls around, hydration becomes even more important. It’s not just a matter of having a lot of water, but also having it frequently throughout the day so your body is constantly replenished. Too much water at once can make you feel lethargic and lead to stomach or digestive pains, especially if done in tandem with physical activity.

We mean “light” in multiple senses of the word. In terms of staying cool in summer, you want to pack clothes that are both lightweight and light in color. Heavy clothes add more weight, no matter how minimal, to your body and tend to insulate your body and cause overheating. Dark clothes absorb sunlight and become hotter, faster than light clothing with more reflective colors, such as white and other bright colors. You can even purchase clothing that offers SPF protection for going on hikes or spending an afternoon under the sun with little shade.

Take Breaks

Even on days of little activity, when it’s hot outside, it’s important to take frequent breaks to prevent dehydration and eat so you aren’t blindsided by exhaustion. This can mean stopping your game of Frisbee for a few minutes so everyone has a chance to breathe and grab water, or it could mean breaking up your all-day hike with an hourlong picnic.

Use Sunscreen

A woman applying sunscreen while on a hike.

While it doesn’t exactly prevent you from becoming dehydrated, sunscreen is a crucial part of preventing illnesses like sun poisoning from a nasty sunburn. Sunscreen is a hard and fast recommendation to defend against sunlight, but it’s not as simple as applying any sunscreen and charging headlong into sunny weather. Sunscreen is useful because it blocks the ultraviolet waves from hitting your skin, preventing sunburn, and preventing long-term skin damage. However, there are different kinds of sunscreen, so when shopping for what’s the best for you, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • SPF levels. Sun protection factor levels are labeled on every sunscreen product and act as an easy indicator of how powerful the resistance against UV rays will be in that specific product. There’s some granularity in what SPF level is right for which type of skin, but generally speaking, the higher the SPF, the safer you’ll be, especially if you have lighter skin by nature.
  • Perspirant resistance. The formulas in some sunscreens are better equipped to deal with different conditions than others. For example, some are intended to be used during physical exertion, while others are designed to be worn in pools and other bodies of water. It’s important to select the one that most closely aligns with your planned camping activities, as the sunscreen will wear off more quickly if used improperly (for example, sport-type sunscreen might run off really quickly in a pool and damage the chemical balance in the water).
  • Lotion versus spray. Mostly a matter of preference, you can pick your sunscreen as a lotion that you apply by hand or as an aerosol. There are some chemical differences between each, but it ultimately boils down to which you enjoy using most.

Eat Light Meals

Heavy meals, especially ones loaded with carbohydrates, have a tendency to make us feel tired and sluggish, while coaxing our metabolisms to act up, increasing our internal body temperature. When it’s already blazing hot outside, you don’t need your biology working against itself. To avoid this, opt for light meals, like cups of fruit, granola bars, salads, or even just smaller portions of your routine meals.

Stay in the Shade as Much as Possible

When the sun is beating down and time beneath its rays starts to really sap your energy, conserve some strength by staying in the shade. This is especially true during the heat of the day when the sun is at its apex and is striking hottest. Locate whatever cover is available, whether natural or man-made, and take shelter for a short break or for the duration of the afternoon (often the hottest time of day). Shelter from the sun can be trees, canopies, cabanas, umbrellas, or even bathrooms, though you’ll want to be mindful of how much a building can heat up without air conditioning, as this could make your situation much worse very quickly.

Prepare for Summer Heat With Rjourney

With summer temperatures often leading to record highs and heat advisory warnings, it’s important to not only know how to prevent heat-related illnesses but to look out for the signs of it as well. If you or a family member or friend is experiencing dizziness, lethargy, upset stomach, or lightheadedness, prompt them to sit down under some shade and seek medical assistance, whether calling 911 or grabbing a staff member at one of our RV resort parks. At Rjourney, we want you to stay cool this summer, which is why we have shower houses to cool off in and a convenience store to stock up on water, sunscreen, and more. Enjoy the summer at one of our RV resorts and stay cool while doing it.

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