Unlike the summer of 2020, that proved to be, on the average, cool and rainy, the summer of 2021 is gearing up to be hot – in fact, a vast majority of British Columbia currently has a heat warning in effect. While the nice weather inspires folks to get outdoors, the exceptionally high temperatures mean that precautions should be taken to avoid heat illness, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some tips to stay safe in the summer heat, while still having fun outside!
Plan Your Activities To Avoid The Heat Of The Day
One of the easiest ways to avoid the scorching midday heat, is, quite simply, to plan your outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day. Early mornings around sunrise tend to be the coolest, with temperatures tending to peak around 3 pm before cooling down again closer to sunset. If you do find yourself outdoors during midday, be sure to stay hydrated, find shade if possible and take plenty of breaks.
Listen To Your Body
Set yourself up for success right in the morning by slathering on sunscreen, choosing loose, light-coloured clothing, sunglasses and your favourite sunhat. Don’t forget about ears, hands and feet – these are common areas that get neglected in the sun protection process and are prone to burning. And if you are in the water at all, don’t forget to reapply regularly!
An integral part of staying properly hydrated in extreme temperatures is drinking plenty of cool fluids before you start feeling thirsty. Most people do not drink enough water even on normal days, but high temperatures should make this a priority for everyone.
No matter what recreational activity you are undertaking, be it boating, hiking or camping, remember to have supplies on hand for those what-if scenarios. You should have some form of first aid kit with you, plenty of fresh water, snacks and some form of shade – be it an umbrella, tarp, etc. Learn to recognize the early warning signs of heat illness and keep an eye on your adventure buddies.
There are plenty of ways to stay safe during the summer heat, and almost all of them boil down to being well prepared for your adventure ahead of time.