If you do a quick survey of your outdoors friends, you might be surprised to discover how many have had to deal with health issues brought on by overexposure to the sun. The penalties for taking the sun for granted range from severe sunburn to sunstroke or even skin cancer. If you know at least one person who has suffered from any of those maladies, you also know that it's no laughing matter.
Anglers, in particular, are susceptible to this, partly because we spend a lot of time outside and partly because we are not just exposed to the sun's direct rays but also to reflected rays off the water. And, as we're all told, the sun's rays are much more harmful these days.
That's why I am a lot more cautious on the water now than I used to be. The good news is that it's not hard or inconvenient to do.
I'll start by packing sunscreen to use on skin that is exposed to the sun. And I wouldn't fish without a good hat; in fact, these days I just consider it part of my tackle. My favorite right now is Glacier Glove's Mojave cap as much for the long bill as for the neck shade which does an admirable job preventing sun damage, as well as keeping biting insects off the back of my neck.
Both Glacier Glove products are lightweight, breathable and comfortable and provide +50 UPF (ultra-violet protection factor), meaning it blocks 98 percent of those harmful UV rays, which I deem very impressive. These fingerless gloves are made of lycra and form fit very well. And the cap is incredibly comfortable to wear, too. I'm very pleased with both.
When protecting yourself against the sun's damage, don't forget your eyes either — I certainly don't. That's why I wouldn't fish without a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
Better still, at the end of the day, you won't be worn out and damaged from too much sun, which ultimately translates to much more time on the water in the future. And we could all use a little bit more of that.