When you’re embarking on a white water rafting trip in West Virginia, you’ll probably be thinking more about how much fun you’re going to have than about the amount of sun that you’re getting. But, if you’re hitting the river when minimal clothing is required, that can be a big mistake!
While you may not notice at the time, sun exposure can do major damage to your skin and body: in the short term, you can burn yourself — and second degree burns from sun poisoning are no laughing matter — and in the long term, your skin may take on a dark brown, speckled look and have the consistency of an old leather purse. And don’t forget, too much sun can also cause skin cancer!
So, there are many good reasons for protecting yourself from the sun. Here are some easy tips for ensuring that you have a great time while white water rafting in West Virginia both during and after your trip:
Wear Adequate Clothing
- While it may be tempting to wear your bikini top and short shorts rafting, you’ll get more coverage with a t-shirt and some Bermuda shorts. A t-shirt provides more protection for your shoulders and sensitive chest area (very prone to burning because the skin is thinner there). While rafting you’ll be partially covered by your PFD (personal flotation device), but if you make any stops – like for lunch – you’ll want the extra material. Also, darker colors and tighter weaves offer better protection from UV rays. If you are determined to wear that bikini, sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!!!
- If it’s going to be bright or you are especially sensitive to the sun, sunglasses protect your eyes from future cataracts and make it easier to see where you are putting that paddle (the person in front of you will thank you). Make sure they are secured with an eye glass retention device (Chums for example), and they are not expensive enough to devastate you if the “river gods” choose to take them.
Sunblock is absolutely key to ensuring that you stay safe and comfortable while white water rafting in the summer. There are several things to keep in mind when using it:
Apply about 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
Reapply every two hours.
Use SPF 30 or higher.
Apply sunblock underneath clothing. Remember– there is sun coming from above and being reflected at you from the water and most clothing isn’t sun-proof.
Don’t forget the little areas: your ears, scalp, toes, etc.
At ACE, we are in the business of showing our guests a good time while white water rafting in West Virginia, but adventure vacations that end in a miserable sunburn are never fun. By protecting yourself from the sun, you can enjoy your white water experience to the fullest.