View Full Version : High altitude sunscreen

06-02-2009, 18:32
I typically don't use sunscreen when in the mountains, as I've got pretty durable skin and don't burn easily, and I'm usually only there for a few days at a stretch. However, I'm thinking it'll be wise to take some on a thru-hike in summer.:sun

Any suggestions? Will the dollar store/pharmacy stuff cut it, or is there a trusted brand you have that works well in the mountains?

06-02-2009, 18:33
No-Ad SPF 45. Use it all the time in Colorado both above and below treeline. Works best for me.

I can't believe you don't have to use sunscreen in Farmington, NM!

06-02-2009, 19:09
I'll get an initial redness the first few sunny days of the year, and after that I don't even have to think about it. If ever I'm out in the sun all day, I might be a little red at night, but I'll slam some water before bed, down a few ibuprofin, and just wake up a little more tan than the day before. :)

06-02-2009, 19:10
I don't use sunscreen either. Not because I tan well (I do...courtesy of southern Italian ancestry)..but because I use long sleeves.

I do not like using sunscreen on long hikes. (I'll slap some on for short hikes). A long sleeve shirt is lighter weight, more durable and less expensive than sun screen. I hate that sticky feeling from wearing sunscreen for days on end. Bleech! I couple the long sleeve shirt with a dorky sun hat (wide brimmed, boonie style hat).

06-02-2009, 19:53
I don't use it either. Mags and I are of the same mind there--cover up with clothing. The only problem I've had was when hiking several days on snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, and the reflection got me under my chin and ears and between the nostrils. But that's not as bad as people I've heard who sunburn the roofs of their mouths when they're panting on a glacier ascent.

06-02-2009, 20:12
I use Aloe-Gator Gel 45 + SPF. The gel version (versus cream) doesn't sweat off very easily. I don't need much here in the southeast, but my Scot-Irish skin thanked me for it whenever I walked the Rockies. The altitude and dryer climate made extra protection important. I still mostly wore long sleeves and a wide brim hat, but the gel on hands, neck, and face were a good thing, especially on snowpack. Don't forget the underside of your side. (I promise you'll only forget it once.)

Wise Old Owl
06-02-2009, 20:13
Welcome to tom, tom is a very smart little satellite! He shows us that things are not the same now some 40 years later. We damaged the ozone layer and we have to take a few more precautions on the trail, regardless of the altitude. Take this from an old Life Guard who spent time in the sun 8 hours a day for one summer and paid for it dearly. Do your best and take care of your skin.


06-02-2009, 20:15
Being one that sunburns easily I do need to wear my Panama Jack ... hat that is.

06-02-2009, 20:17
I too hate the sticky feeling and rarely use it.
I live 400 miles from the equator and still don't.

But, now that I'm getting old, the wrinkles are increasing faster than most people.
I've spent a lot of my life outdoors.

06-25-2009, 15:05
I use, when I remember to put it on, a sport creme with SPF of 30 (something that says it won't wear off with water or mild perspiration.) The one I used most recently was a Coppertone I was given. I just spent a week camping in Telluride, CO after spending a week camping in Manchester, TN and I got a couple of sunburns but only because I forgot to apply my sunscreen. I am peeling a little but my base tan is now great.

Don't forget (even with sunscreen use) to watch moles/ freckles that become irregular, darker or larger over time. Skin cancer can be easily treated if caught early, but can be a biatch if left untreated.

06-25-2009, 15:07
I too hate the sticky feeling and rarely use it.

The Coppertone Sport, I did not have the "sticky" feeling after a couple of minutes but it worked when I used it as directed.