Not so Fun Sun in the BWCA
Remember a few days ago when I said I was getting older and wiser? Delete that comment as I’m obviously not any wiser. After years of preaching to my children, crew members and friends about the dangers of the sun I ended up with a burned, blistering and peeling shoulder!
I thought I had done all of the right things to prevent a sunburn but I guess there are times when you just need to stay out of the sun. I applied and reapplied 50 spf sunblock a few times throughout the day but I should have kept my shoulders covered beneath a layer of clothing or stayed in the shade.
Time spent canoeing on the lakes when the sun is out can be dangerous. The rays are especially powerful and reflect off of the surface of the water. Add swimming, sweating and portaging to the paddling and sunscreen can wear off quickly.
I was left with a sunburn on my shoulders that made portaging extremely painful. Resting portage pads onto the tender skin and having pack straps dig into the burn was excrutiating. Now even more sensitive skin has been exposed due to the peeling and I’ll be dealing with protecting my shoulders all summer long.
When you’re out in the Boundary Waters be sure to be sun safe. Wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, protective clothing and stay out of the sun when you can. And if you need a reminder of why you’re doing it, just check out my lovely shoulders.