Tips for Riding Your ATV in Hot Weather

This summer is hot! Riding in 100-plus-degree weather is serious business. You can quickly get sick and even die due to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and other nasty heat-related illnesses. Play it safe by following these guidelines.

Sunscreen
Chicks don't dig guys whose skin looks like a catcher's mitt. To prevent premature aging and cancer, slather on the sunscreen. The key ingredient of many sunscreens is PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, but it has to bind to the skin to be fully effective, and that takes about half an hour once applied.

Hot Weather Riding Tips
Drink more fluids (no booze), regardless of your activity level. If you wait until you are thirsty, it's too late. Caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar-infested beverages cause you to lose more body fluid. Your body's ability to sweat and cool down depends on adequate hydration. Sport drinks can replace the sodium, chloride, and potassium you lose through sweating. The general rule to tell if you are drinking enough is to remember this saying: "Urine white, you're alright; urine yellow, kill a fellow."

Dress Appropriately
Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric promotes sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass. Avoid dark colors. A light-colored helmet can keep your head from turning into an Easy Bake Oven, too. No one likes the taste of brain cookies. I hope.

Heat-Related Problems
Stop riding immediately if you experience signs and symptoms of the following heat-related problems.

Heat exhaustion: Signs and symptoms include cool, clammy, and pale skin, heat cramps, a weak pulse, nausea, chills and dizziness, weakness and disorientation.

Heat stroke: This condition can kill you. Your skin becomes hot, flushed, and dry. You stop sweating and your body temperature may rise above 106 degrees F. You may feel confused and even faint. Your insides are cooking.