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I need extreme sun protection. Suggestions welcome.

Jeb

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Aug/Sept 2016
I plan to walk CF Sept 2016. I have Lupus....which means I don't tolerate sun exposure very well...so I need extreme protection. I am used to wearing lots of sunscreen (spf 100) and sun factor clothing and hats. I recent trip to Africa went very well and not a single day of too much exposure so I am not worried about the trip in general. I am not questioning if I should do the trip, just how can I best protect myself from the rays....and remain cool at the same time.

I am wondering what other solutions others have to protect against the sun. Not just simple things like "wear a hat" or "wear a long-sleeved shirt" but ideas that really protect.

And what kinds of sunscreen lotions work well? While I wear it daily (usually Neutragena Soft Touch) I also tend to sweat extremely easily. This combined with the exertion and heat of the walk, I imagine I will be reapplying very often. And that said....I hate wearing sunscreen. It makes me hotter. I would love to know if there's a solution to shade myself only and forego the lotions!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I would think that aiming for a very reflective outer shirt (white) would help a bit.

Another consideration could be the time of year that you plan to leave. While you are thinking of earlier in September, waiting until just a bit later--or even aiming for early spring--might give you some cooler weather, which would help with the discomfort you feel with sun protection on.

Wayfarer's suggestion of an umbrella is something novel for you, I'm guessing. Aside from clothing, lotions, and controlling the environment via seasonal choice, I don't know of anything else.
 

Felice

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Don't forget that you will be walking west all the time, so your left side will get a lot more sun than the right!
 
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2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Several manufacturers make UVF-resistant fabric for hikers. I have often seen people wear them but I cannot testify to their effectiveness. As well, I have seen sun veils on broadbrim hats, making the wearer look a bit like a cross between a Tilley ad and a member of the Foreign Legion, but that might work to address the left-side phenomenon which Felice mentions.
 
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The_Moo

looking into the heart of light
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013-15

Le Puy 2015 - 2018
I have worn gloves to keep the sun off my hands as using poles exposes them more. Lightweight merino probably most comfortable but I used cheapo thin fleece.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Definitely an umbrella. The first time I took one my daughter and I took turns using it on the meseta. The best! The next time, walking with my husband, he laughed. Now he takes one too.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
how can I best protect myself from the rays....and remain cool at the same time.
Just do what you normally do. Your left side will get the most sun because the route is west! Buen camino!
 

EL Guapo

EL Guapo
Time of past OR future Camino
(1983 - 1985-1990-1995-1999-2003-2008-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017) CF, etc.
Bare skin exposure to the sun is always a consideration of importance . For me it is my nose and face. I use several techniques that work for me . A swag or light scarf can cover your entire face and head if properly tied. Think Lawrence of Arabia . I don't use this method much unless I know I will not be around people , for obvious reasons. I also use zinc oxide ointment on my nose and cheeks . It is water proof and provides very good sun protection, and it does not rub off during activity. Some people use sun screen , I do not. Just my personal choice. They also make some very good buffs for sun protection as well. You may want to check out a local off shore sport fishing store in your area or on line. I hope this is helpful to you.
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
upf fabric shirt, wide bream hat sun block lotion and of course a hands free upf umbrella, have been using my for years works great

Zzotte
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Brolly, Hat, Long sleeves, Long legs/skirt, sunscreen or gloves on backs of hands, sunscreen on cheeks.
Hands free brolly if using walking poles.
Regards
Gerard
 

Camino Ky

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May '2016',
Portuguese Camino '2017',
Camino Frances Dec/Jan '2019/2020'
Sunproof clothing (Columbia has worked well for me).
Zinc cream.
Gloves.
Wide brim hat and have pegged a kitchen cloth (Chux) over front of face. Also took that a step further and made a apron to tie across over nose. Totally unfashionable but summer kayaking in Australia. The hats with the flap at the back are pretty good and even velcro around the face, but I found too hot in humidity.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This may be slightly off topic but I also have to wear a lot of sunscreen because of skin cancer. My dermatologist has recommended that I not use a "non-mineral" sunscreen, which in the US typically has the ingredient oxybenzone. Oxybenzone has been linked to a number of bad outcomes.

In Spain (and I assume in Europe) you can get mineral sunscreens, which for whatever reason are not available in the US. These are more expensive but if you're going to be lathering it all over yourself on a daily basis, the extra cost might be worth it. I use Avene, and another brand is LaRoche Posay.

There is a lot of info available on the web about this, of course, but one more fact-based source is here: http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/

So for the last ten years or so, I've been loading up on Avene for the trip home after my Camino! Buen camino, Laurie
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
another brand is LaRoche Posay

I love their sunscreen. I don't have any particular problems with sun, but got some of this in Paris because I just wanted a small tube and they sell a kind of starter kit with good sizes for carrying in the waist pockets of your pack. Expensive, but well worth it, especially if you can find the one that comes with apres sol, too.
 
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Jo Jo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Eight routes; nine pilgrimages 2014-present
I have worn gloves to keep the sun off my hands as using poles exposes them more. Lightweight merino probably most comfortable but I used cheapo thin fleece.
There are companies that produce gloves specially designed for sun protection (Google "Sun gloves"). My wife always wears them.

Other than that, I second the thought to pushing your trip later in fall or switching to an early spring walk. There is only so much protection possible against a hot sun while walking the Camino (where, outside of Galicia and the Pyrenees, shade is a rare treat). Better to go when it is less intense.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 

Martin.P

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Algarvinia (Sept 12)
Camino Frances (June 16)
Via de la Plata (May 19)
Finisterre (July 16)
Hi, I agree with peregrino2000 la roche posay is a great cream, especially for sensitive skin, my daughter has skin problems & la roche is our first choice here.
On the other hand it needs re-applying & it sweats away. I personally have used Riemanns for the last 15 year's on both family holidays & while cycling/running in extreme heat, don't be put off by price or the fact that it seems oil based.
Apply 30-60 mins prior to sweating, it soaks in & u only apply once a day - it does not sweat out after first application if done correctly & still works after swimming. It's expensive & strong smelling when first applied but 1 bottle goes a long way & comes as Riemanns P15, P20, 30, 50 - I'm a milky white & P20 is perfect. I cannot recommend strongly enough.
 

Cailin O Eire

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked Sarria to Santiago Easter 2014
Hope to walk for 5 days from St Jean Pied De Port to wherever my feet bring me to first week of June 2016
Hi, I am Irish, fair skin, freckles, I even manage to get scalded in Ireland in the spring!!! One thing on my trip in May that I couldn't be without was an Under Armour running baseball cap, so light my head wasn't sweating so I found this great for protecting the face as well as factor of course. I think it's designed with a similar principle as Dri Fit maybe?! Normally I don't do hats cause I feel like a pressure cooker with one on in the heat!!!
That's just my twopence worth!
Buen Camino
Rita ;-)
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I plan to walk CF Sept 2016. I have Lupus....which means I don't tolerate sun exposure very well...so I need extreme protection. I am used to wearing lots of sunscreen (spf 100) and sun factor clothing and hats. I recent trip to Africa went very well and not a single day of too much exposure so I am not worried about the trip in general. I am not questioning if I should do the trip, just how can I best protect myself from the rays....and remain cool at the same time.

I am wondering what other solutions others have to protect against the sun. Not just simple things like "wear a hat" or "wear a long-sleeved shirt" but ideas that really protect.

And what kinds of sunscreen lotions work well? While I wear it daily (usually Neutragena Soft Touch) I also tend to sweat extremely easily. This combined with the exertion and heat of the walk, I imagine I will be reapplying very often. And that said....I hate wearing sunscreen. It makes me hotter. I would love to know if there's a solution to shade myself only and forego the lotions!
I'm late coming to this discussion. On my Camino I took along a trekking umbrella with UV protection (it's made with a silvery fabric). It saved me when I was wilting during some unseasonably hot weather in April. Immediately as I put it up, there was a noticeable decrease in the temperature and I could even feel a cool breeze that was not noticeable before. My umbrella is quite heavy (1 lb. :eek:), but I understand there are lighter ones available now. One problem though, which some of us on the forum are wrestling with, is how to attach an umbrella to our pack's straps so our hands would be free to hold our poles.

Good luck, and Buen Camino. :)
 

WldWil

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
There is a sunscreen called Vanicream. Our hematologist at Mayo Clinic recommended it as one of the best since it does not have all the junk in it and is very effective. After dealing with cancer and effects of chemo, it is important to have good protection.

  • Dermatologist Recommended.
  • No Sensitizing Chemical Sunscreens
    -formulated with 6% zinc oxide and 3.4% titanium dioxide
  • Free of irritants found in ordinary sunscreens such as:
    – dyes
    – fragrance
    – masking fragrance
    – lanolin
    – parabens
    – formaldehyde
    – formaldehyde releasers
    – other preservatives
  • No PABA or oxybenzone
  • Non-comedogenic (does not cause blackheads)
  • Oil-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Odorless
  • Gluten-free
 
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WldWil

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
I forgot to mention, my other personal choice was a http://www.tilley.com/ Tilly Hat. A little pricey, but may be the last hat you will buy. I love mine. It worked with sun and rain. A couple Spanish friends I made thought I was was Australian or a cowboy, but they liked it as well.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There is a sunscreen called Vanicream. Our hematologist at Mayo Clinic recommended it as one of the best since it does not have all the junk in it and is very effective. After dealing with cancer and effects of chemo, it is important to have good protection.

  • Dermatologist Recommended.
  • No Sensitizing Chemical Sunscreens
    -formulated with 6% zinc oxide and 3.4% titanium dioxide
  • Free of irritants found in ordinary sunscreens such as:
    – dyes
    – fragrance
    – masking fragrance
    – lanolin
    – parabens
    – formaldehyde
    – formaldehyde releasers
    – other preservatives
  • No PABA or oxybenzone
  • Non-comedogenic (does not cause blackheads)
  • Oil-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Odorless
  • Gluten-free
Thanks so much for this WldWil, it is very reasonably priced, too, at least in comparison to the fancy ones I buy in Spain. Laurie
 

lenora

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
upf fabric shirt, wide bream hat sun block lotion and of course a hands free upf umbrella, have been using my for years works great

Zzotte
Could you post a link to the handsfree upf umbrella you use please? Or the name of it? Thank you.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Ivar sells a handsfree umbrella in his Camino Store. Here is a link: https://www.santiagodecompostela.me/products/swing-handsfree-trekking-umbrella

I have the one that Ivar sells, and I can tell you that the method of attachment is superior to the G4Free umbrella from Amazon. I've used it on several Caminos, and even when it has blown inside out from strong winds I have been able to revert it to normal.
 

dreaming

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I have had multiple skin cancers removed.
I just wore long sleeved shirts, trousers, never shorts, broad brimmed hat, bike gloves, sox and runners. I just carried an umbrella.
The only part uncovered was my face which I covered in sunscreen
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
Try this one, looks good!

The link is for a G4 standard sized umbrella which has two shock cords for attachment to the shoulder strap of a backpack. The G4 has mixed reviews and even some of the 5 star reviews have caveats.

The model sold by Ivar is telescopic so that the lower attachment point is on the waist belt and there are clips rather than cords. This appears to be a more robust arrangement. The reviews are generally more positive.

I have tried with another product just fixing to the shoulder strap and it did not perform well. Nowadays I just hold my umbrella.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
The model sold by Ivar is telescopic so that the lower attachment point is on the waist belt and there are clips rather than cords. This appears to be a more robust arrangement. The reviews are generally more positive.

I have tried with another product just fixing to the shoulder strap and it did not perform well. Nowadays I just hold my umbrella.
The way that the Euroschirm umbrella that Ivar sells attaches is the most stable that I've seen. I've used it on several Caminos, and it never fails. I tried saving some weight by bringing a lighter umbrella of the sane brand that didn't have the long handle that attaches to the hip belt, and it was very wobbly. Eventually a not very strong wind broke a couple of its ribs.
 

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