If not regularly replaced, the loss of salt and water can slowly lead to heat exhaustion so sip water regularly and take on salts through food like bananas and nuts. Look out for muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, nausea, clammy skin… all symptoms of heat exhaustion. If anyone shows these symptoms then get them to remove excess clothes and rest in a cool place with plenty of water to drink. They should feel better within half an hour.
Heatstroke is more serious and shows the body core has overheated to such an extent that it cannot cool itself. Dry skin, headaches, confusion, vertigo, nausea, thirst, hyperventilation, cramps… don’t hang around. Get the person into a cool place with plenty of water to drink. Cool the body with a fan, cool water (not cold) and/or wet towels. Seek medical aid.
TIP During the day eat small, cold meals that have high water content, like salads and fruit. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
OK, so if you’re an astronaut then UVC may be high on your agenda of cosmic radiation that you want to avoid at all costs. But, given this aggressive ultra violet light is blocked by the ozone layer, all us humble campers have to watch out for are UVA and UVB. While UVB is primarily responsible for sunburn UVA penetrates deeper to cause skin aging. Both can damage the skin’s DNA and the pain you feel from sunburn is your body healing itself. Unfortunately, this may not be enough and charity Cancer Research UK (sunsmart.org.uk) says that just one painful sunburn every two years can triple the risk of a melanoma!
UV light can penetrate cloud cover so you can still get sunburn when it is overcast. It is worth remembering that summer months are higher risk periods and that UV are stronger the higher up you go. They also reflect off snow, sand and water so you can get burnt in unusual places like under the nose and behind the ears! Pay a little extra attention to the risks when on the beach or enjoying water sports.