This heat is slowing me down, no time to write a lengthy intro today. Instead, I’ll simply get right to it. It’s HOT! Yeah, really, really hot. You’ve heard it all before, drink plenty of fluids, limit outdoor physical activity and stay in the shade. So no need to preach the same story again. If you are like me, you’ll tend to ignore the heat and continue doing the things you enjoy like paddling. However, I do take all necessary precautions to make sure that I avoid dehydration or even worse, heat stroke.

For instance, keeping hydrated is priority number one. When paddling longer distances, I tend to utilize a CamelBak Hydration Backpack such as the Octane XCT. This one in particular is perfect for paddling since it is made for “minimalist trail running or riding” meaning that it has a sleeker design that doesn’t get in the way. It’s great for paddling because I don’t have to stop and open a bottle whenever I need a drink. It’s just there and produces no trash. As an extra precautionary measure, I also pack a Platy Water Tank. It holds 4 liters of water and I can easily hide it away inside the cockpit.

I have to admit, I am more of a cap guy so you’ll rarely see me wearing big-rimmed hats. However, caps alone don’t provide the protection you need in extreme conditions. That’s why I use the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap — it’s  a cap but also offers full protection over my ears and down to my neck. When I am finished paddling, I simply remove the shield and keep the cap on, it’s perfect!

I have dark skin and rarely get sun burned but it doesn’t free me from using sunscreen. Regardless of how dark or light your skin is, sunscreen is key when it comes to protecting your skin for harmful sun rays. If I plan on staying out in the sun longer that a few hours, I shed the t-shirt and shorts for apparel made specifically to keep me cool and protect me from the sun. Columbia has it all figured out with the PFG Blood and Guts Superlight Long Sleeve Shirt. Not only does it offer UPF 50 sun protection but with a vented mesh-lined back, the breeze sure feels good. Together with a pair of Backcountry Convertible pants, Columbia has you covered…literally.

And of course, we can’t forget about our eyes. How about a pair of quality sunglasses by Costa? Whether fishing or simply paddling for joy, protecting your eyes is just as important as anything else. Also helps deter the reflection from the sun off the water so you can see where you are going and what’s beneath you.

I invite you to browse our website to see all the other products we offer made specifically to protect you from the sun and keep you cool. Also, if you have any other recommendations you’d l like to share, comment below.

Stay cool!