We have to make the most of the little warm weather we have, and summer is the time when most of us get out into the open air and take part in our favourite sport. If you haven’t cleared out the kit bag for a while and it is still full of waterproofs and warm fleeces, then it is time to get organised because the sorts of items you need for summer sport can be quite different from winter sports equipment.
We’ve all become more aware of the risks of getting sunburned, but many of us still neglect to use enough sunscreen. It can often seem that the rays are not strong enough, especially if you are on top of a mountain where it is very windy, or out on the water. Sunscreen should always be used for a long day outside, especially on sunny days. If you are on the water taking part in sailing, canoeing or even fishing, you may have to use a stronger factor or reapply the sunscreen more frequently as the water reflects the rays and you get burned more quickly. Buy a small “travel size” tube of sunscreen to pop in your bag rather than carting around a huge bottle with you.
Getting bitten to death by midges and other sorts of little flying creatures is no fun and if you’re going to spend any time mountain biking around the forests, hiking in the hills or even relaxing on the riverbank at the end of a long day in the great outdoors then some good insect repellent is a must. There is a huge range of different insect repellents on the market and often it is a matter of trial and error to work out which one works the best for you. Some people prefer to avoid harsh chemicals and use natural remedies based on lemon or other essential oils, so take some advice from a pharmacist to help you to choose the best product for you.
Even the warmest of summer days can turn into a cold one very quickly, so don’t clear out all of the fleeces and leave at least one light waterproof jacket to protect you against a sudden shower. How much you need to take with you will depend on where you are going and what you are doing, but it’s never a bad idea to keep a complete change of clothes in the car in case of emergencies. A hat is a good idea to keep both the sun and the rain off your head in extremes of weather, and some good sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the glare. Look for brands such as Fox sunglasses which are specially designed for sports use and make sure you try them on before you make your purchase as not all brands fit in the same way. Also get a good quality case for your Fox sunglasses to prevent them from becoming scratched or dented in your bag while you’re not wearing them.
Morag Peers is a keen writer and lover of the great outdoors. A resident of Scotland, she knows all about changeable weather!