It's easy to remember sun protection when you're out in the summer riding your ATV or playing at the lake. The hot sun beats down on you and it's impossible to ignore. In the winter time though, there is just as much risk of being burned, and in some ways even more.
When you go out snowmobiling, it's important to remember this part of safety. The cold weather not only makes the sun less noticeable, but you wear more cover. This is both good and bad.
Since you are covered, you aren't going to be burned in as many places. On the flip side, you may feel complacent and forget to protect your face and neck. Some of the worst face burns happen in the winter.
To exacerbate the sun burn on your face, you often also get wind burned or chilled. The combination can be excruciating. What's worse is that during the adrenaline of the ride, you don't even notice it's happening, so by the time you do, it's too late.
There are two other contributing factors to winter sunburns to be aware of. The earth's atmosphere gets thinner the higher up in elevation you are. Because of this, if you are in the mountains, the sun has less filter, and will burn more quickly and severely.
Most things absorb most of the UV radiation from sunlight, but snow reflects it quite well. This means that you can burn in unexpected places like the underside of your chin and nose. It also means you are getting double the UV exposure.
Snow blindness is a condition caused when you have sunburn damage on your corneas. Not only is this quite painful, but it can cause temporary blindness. It's also been suggested that it can contribute to other eye problems including cataracts and macular degeneration.
For your safety, always cover up. Wear a beanie or hat to protect your ears, put on sunscreen, and by all means wear sunglasses or goggles. Safety should always be your first consideration on a snowmobile ride.
Snowmobile Sun Protection
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:57:25 PM America/Denver
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