The Best Sun Protection for Hikers

Best sun protection for hiking

It has happened to everyone at least once in their life: the dreaded sunburn. You told yourself that you did not need sunscreen but now you are suffering the repercussions. The peeling skin, the sleepless nights, and the friend that accidentally hits your shoulders has finally got the best of you. Being a hiker, the importance of sunscreen is something that beginners usually overlook, but advanced hikers never forget. Hikers can spend hours, if not days, being in the direct sunlight. It is time for you to research the best sunscreen and prevent your next sunburn.

It is a common thought that all sunscreens work the same and so why not just run to the local store and grab a can of spray on sunscreen? Interestingly enough, not all sunscreens are the same. Sunscreens are made up of different minerals, vary in effectively covering your skin, and don’t always last as long as you anticipate.

Here are a three tips to consider when buying your next sunscreen:

  1. Use mineral-based products: This is a commonly overlooked detail because it is difficult to know which minerals are better than others. According to Dr. Bailey, a certified dermatologist, she recommends “using mineral-based products that are made with zinc oxide… effectively protects against UVB and UVA rays, including UV-A1 rays, which are the most harmful type.” So next time you buy sunscreen, look zinc oxide in the ingredients.
  2. Avoid spray on sunscreen: While it may seem like the easiest method of putting on sunscreen, it is also one of the least effective ways. It is hard to see where the spray is hitting on your skin, which makes it practically impossible to know what areas you are missing. Take the time to apply the sunscreen with your hands so that you are able to cover the entirety of the area.
  3. Only buy water-resistant: You will be sweating while you hike. You also might find a nice waterfall or lake that you want to jump in and when you do, it is important to know that your sunscreen will hold up to what you throw at it. With that being said, it is important to re-apply every once in awhile, especially if you are swimming. There is no sunscreen that can last an entire day of sweating and swimming.

After reading those, you might be wondering which sunscreen actually fits that standard. Below is a brand that produces quality sunscreen and keeps hikers in mind while doing it.

Butterbean Sunscreen SPF 30: The main ingredient is Zinc Oxide, it is water and sweat resistant (up to 80 mins), and comes in a small 3oz. travel size container. It also is a cream that wipes on with a thicker and creamier consistency, which eliminates the slimy look that you might remember your mom putting on you before you had swim lessons.

Sunscreen is a purchase that most novice hikers do not want to pack or even consider. They forget it and assume that they will not be in the sun long enough to actually get burned. But don’t overlook this purchase and do not think that a shirt and hat is all you need. By remembering to purchase sunscreen that has the correct minerals (focus on zinc oxide), is not spray on, but is waterproof, you will be able to enjoy your hike and not feel any more painful burns. Butterbean sunscreen is a top choice for hikers that not only meets all of these requirements, but also comes in sizes specifically for hikers. Their 3oz. package fits perfectly into any backpack, while lasting enough for multiple trips.

Well thats sun protection for your skin covered, now this article shows the best sunglasses for hikers​, and if it isn't a hot sunny day but rather a cold one these tips will help you stay warm while hiking

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About the author

Justin Archer

Hi, I'm Justin Archer a family man with 2 boys and a wife. I'm an outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking and lots of other outdoor activities. I love testing new outdoor gear, learning new things and passing on the knowledge I have gained.

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