As winter sets in, the last thing on most folks mind is sunburn. However, skin cancers are a real threat even in winter. Believe it or not, the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your skin even if you’re wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants. And beyond a simple sunburn, UV rays can result in deadly lesions. Surprisingly, plenty of folks don’t realize UV rays are a form of radiation.

To limit your exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, it’s prudent to purchase garments that have a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The UPF scale is similar to the SPF rating system for sunscreens.

A particular garment’s UPF rating is determined by the fabric’s weave or the type and amount of topical UV blocking treatment. Some common fibers protect the user from harmful rays better than others. These include heavyweight cottons, polyester, nylon, spandex and polypropylene. However, these materials retain heat and are unbearably hot in warm weather.

To maximize your protection, the next time you’re shopping fishing wear, choose garments with the highest available UPF rating. These garments may cost a bit more, but they’re well worth the added peace-of-mind of not being exposed to unwanted radiation.

Pictured: Simms Suntech Shirt
UPF 50; MSRP: $59.95