Protecting yourself in the Northern Territory heat

The Red Centre is hot, like really hot, so how do you keep yourself cool and protected in the blistering Aussie sun?

Nothing in the Red Centre is done in halves, it’s an area that thrives on extremities. With summer temperatures frequently reaching as high as 45° and the daily average sitting between 30° and 35°, it’s important to do everything you can to keep yourself cool and protected.

Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of skin cancer, and as such, Australian’s are very well versed in the protective measures you should take when in the sun! In 1981 the Australian Cancer Council started the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign. Fast-forward to today and nearly every Aussie you ask will have heard the iconic slogan. In 2007 it as updated to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide, and remains the countries most successful sun smart campaign, so lets put it to practice!

Slip

Slip on some protective clothing! When spending a long period exposed to the sun you should always wear clothing that covers the chest and shoulders. This will prevent you from getting sunburnt and reduce the chances of heatstroke from burning.

Slop

Slop on high SPF sunscreen. Always sunscreen twenty minutes before heading out into the sun and every two hours after that. Using water-resistant sunscreen will help protect you if you go swimming and has the added benefit of being less likely to sweat off.

Slap

Slap on a broad-rimmed hat. Hats protect your face, nose, ears, and neck from the sun. They are key to preventing burning and help in keeping you cool by providing a barrier from the sun. Broad rimmed can also reduce the UV reaching your eyes by 50%!

Seek

Okay, so this one is a bit hard to do in the Red Centre, but when available seek out shade. Shade is a cool refuge from the blistering sun and provides a great barrier between you and the sun on high UV days.

Slide

Slide on some sunglasses. You’ve got your hat on already, but by wearing sunglasses too you can block 98% of the UV reaching your eyes! Plus, sunglasses reduce glare, making it much easier to see in the bright day.

Other ways to protect yourself

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. We cannot say this enough! Hot weather means you’ll be sweating more than usual as your body tries to cool itself down. This means that you need to drink more water than usual throughout the day to help replenish the water you’ve sweat out. Water can also help keep you cool and prevent heatstroke. Try freezing a bottle to take with you, that way you’ll have cool water in the middle of the day too. Try electrolyte drinks. Sports drinks will dehydrate you, however, electrolyte products can help the body to replace lost fluids and maintain hydration.

Plan ahead. When going for long walks or treks, avoid walking in the hottest hours of the day. During the summer months, it is strongly recommended to not hike after 11am.

There is lots that you can do to help protect yourself from the sun when visiting the Northern Territory. By planning and following guidelines you can ensure you keep yourself safe and as cool as possible during your visit to the Red Centre.

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