It's hot here! :-O Today, in the Raleigh-Durham area, highs will be in the upper 90's to lower 100's! We are on track to beat the record high of 101 degrees F set back in 1954. I don't put much stock in "global warming"... but this July has started off with record heat.
So how do these high temperatures impact paddling sports?
Tips for keeping your cool in the heat
Paddle early in the day - Early morning like 8:00 AM is best. Most parks and recreational areas open by 8:00 AM... so you can beat both the heat and crowds by launching early.
Hydrate often - If you normally pack two water bottles for a 3-4 hour paddle... throw in another two.
Apply sunscreen often - Use a sunscreen with a high SPF rating... I like to use Bull Frog Quik Gel that has a 36 SPF. Apply it before your paddle... and often during your time on the water... usually every 1 to 1.5 hours.
Know the signs of heat stroke - dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, and muscle cramps. If you have any of these symptoms while paddling... get back to shore and into shade immediately... remove clothing... apply cool water to the skin... call emergency services immediately.
A wide brim hat - It will provide all-around head cover from the sun... especially the back of your neck.
Wear lightweight wicking T-shirts and loose, quick-dry shorts (Supplex)
A good pair of sunglasses - For best protection, choose lenses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays. Always use a retaining strap while on the water.
Always carry a bandanna or towel - You can regularly wet and use to cool yourself.