Your body regulates its internal temperature through perspiration. This means that in hot or humid conditions, you’ll need to drink fluids frequently to you remain hydrated and avoid heat stroke, even when you’re not thirsty. If you start to feel thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated. It’s that simple and happens that quickly. Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as these will actually cause you to have to urinate more frequently. Instead, it’s best to drink plenty of water—usually between 10-20 ounces every half hour or so. Water is the most important fluid to keep on hand, but I also like sports drinks, too, which help to replenish salts, sugars, and other minerals that are lost due to excessive perspiration.
Keeping your head protected is also important during hot, sunny conditions. Without a wide brim hat to protect your face from the sun, you’re only inviting sunstroke. Other options include ball caps, buffs, and bandanas. While they may not provide as much protection as a wide brim hat, they’re still better than nothing.
Sunglasses will come in handy during sunny days on the water. Glasses with polarized lenses will cut down on the sun’s glare on the water, letting you spot fish and underwater structure, while wrap-around options are popular because they hug your face and do an excellent job blocking out the sun. I’d also pick up a floating case and a lanyard to protect your glasses in the event you drop them in the water.
Heat stroke and dehydration are among the swiftest and sneakiest threats during hot days on the water, but you can still protect yourself with a little planning and preparation. Hopefully, the tips outlined today get you started on the right foot. Be sure to come back for more tips on beating the heat on the water!