Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
One of the main reasons I do what I do is the people I get to meet. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I always meet active people with diverse stories. And I always come away enriched.
Here’s a snapshot, from a “Backpacking North Carolina” presentation I did a couple Saturdays back at the Mayo Park Environmental Education and Community Center in Person County.
On April 16, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum “establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.” Like most things that involve a proclamation, speeches and four-page memorandums with subsections, it’s unclear what exactly America’s Great Outdoors Initiative actually is. And maybe at this point that’s not such a bad thing, because one of the first acts of the AGOI is to conduct a series of nine “Listening Sessions” across the country, one if which is Thursday in Asheville.
OK, everyone. Take a knee. It’s summer, the sun’s out: you need to make sure your best friend for a day of play doesn’t become your skin-zapping mortal enemy. Some tips on dealing with the sun from the American Academy of Dermatology.
- 30+ Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. By broad-spectrum they mean it provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
- Once is never enough. Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Cover up. When possible, wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Shade is your friend. Especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. SRT (Shade Rule of Thumb): If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Protect the kids. Be especially diligent with little ones.
- Water, snow and sand … all reflect damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. “If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun,” advises the AAD, “consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.”
- Birthday exam. On your birthday, give yourself the once over. If you notice anything changing/growing/bleeding, see a dermatologist. “Skin cancer,” advises the AAD, “is very treatable when caught early.