Which sunscreen is best for camping and outdoors?
Even if you are camping under generous shade trees or in overcast conditions, your skin is absorbing UV rays, which can cause long-term damage and premature ageing. In the short term, it prevents painful, red sunburn - sometimes in some very remote places. Wherever your camping plans take you, an effective sunscreen is an essential pack accessory for sun care. Keep reading to find out more about the features we look for when it comes to sun care and shop our old-faithful range of sunscreen favourites.
WHAT IS THE BEST SUNSCREEN FOR BEING OUTSIDE ALL DAY?
Factor in sun care that's appropriate for around camp and out on the trail
The best sunscreen for camping depends on the activities you decide to enjoy as you go. For example, if there are watersports or swimming involved, water resistance is one of the features you should look out for when buying sunscreen for your trip. If you are hiking in dusty conditions, fast absorbing sunscreen is the order of the day to prevent a tacky film that attracts dust. I always look for easy application - especially if I am going to reapply during the course of the day. For me, that means sunscreen spray - my favourite for no rub and mess and even application.
UVA, UVB, SPF - levels of protection to look for
SPF or sun protection factor indicates the sunscreen's ability to protect against UVB rays. Simply put, the higher the SPF, the higher the rate of protection against the damage caused by UVB. SPF50 and above provides 98% protection. SPF30 offers 97% protection. It has been recommended that we should all be wearing a sunscreen of SPF30 or higher every day. However, UVA rays also cause skin damage. When looking for a sunscreen, ensure you select a brand that offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
Account for your skin type
If you have a sensitive skin or burn easily, this needs to be a factor you consider in selecting the best sunscreen for camping and outdoors. SPF50+ is always a good call if you are prone to bad sunburns. Also take a look at our extra sun care advice below around reapplication, covering up, and protecting yourself from the sun.
Comfortable wearer characteristics
Staying comfortable and avoiding sunburn shouldn't come at the cost of your daily comfort while camping. A sunscreen that is light on the skin and moisturising offers comfort and protection in one. Our sunscreen range has been extensively worn and tested in Africa to provide reliable protection.Shop The Sunscreen Range >
Top 5 Sun Safety Tips for Camping
- Cover Up In Sun Protective Clothing: Sunscreen is your primary defence against the sun - but it shouldn't stop there. Covering up is an important sun care tip. Long sleeves and trousers give you the option of covering up when conditions get hot. By wearing sun protective, lightweight outdoor clothing in technical fabrics like BUGTech™, you add another layer of defence - with UPF50+ built into the fabric.
- Head Out, Hat On: A wide-brimmed hat is a universal accessory for sun care. Keeping the sun off your face and neck isn't always easy, but this is a solution that works a charm and looks great too. Look for hats with broad, 360-degree brims and SPF50+ sun factor ratings. Top tip: Add a Head&Neck Scarf in nanoweave fabric with built-in UPF50+ for lightweight sun protection to combat neck burn.
- It All Starts With Sunscreen: As mentioned above, sun safety starts with sunscreen. Apply, re-apply regularly, and don't forget the often-missed spots like ears, hands, and the back of the neck. Make this the standard in all camping conditions. UV rays don't need bright, sunny days to do damage. In fact, the tendency not to wear sunscreen when it's cloudy makes you especially vulnerable on these days. Include sunscreen in your daily sun care strategy.
- Adaptable Sun Protective Clothes for Camping: If the idea of covering up under long sleeves and trousers seems unreasonable in hot conditions, never fear. Our BUGTech™ clothing designs have been made to be adaptable to the day's conditions. Made from lightweight and cool ripstop fabric, our long-sleeved shirts feature roll-up sleeve tabs to secure rolled up sleeves when the weather gets hot. Our BUGTech™ trousers also convert into shorts or three-quarters in a single garment - especially handy for flexibility as the day heats up. Don't forget the sunscreen when rolling up sleeves or converting trousers.
- Educate Yourself on Sun Safety: Passion for camping and the outdoors is usually one and the same. If you live an outdoor lifestyle, your skin is vulnerable to burns and long-term damage from the sun unless you come up with a burn-proof sun strategy. Take the time to find out more about sun care and invest in the best sun protective clothing, hats, and sunscreens to protect yourself on every adventure.
Shop the Rest of the Camping Packing List
Build a Never-Fail Camping Wardrobe For Comfort and Protection
- Made for the outdoors: Find out more about camping clothes and shop the men's camping clothes, women's camping clothes, and children's camping clothes essentials. Go directly to the full camping packing list
- Advice on all forms of camping apparel: The right gear is a strong start for the success of your camping adventures. Read our camping shirts advice, camping pants advice, and camping jackets advice.
- Top camping accessories: No camping trip is complete without insect repellent, sun protection, and a good torch. Read our advice and shop the essentials: insect and mosquito repellent for camping and torches and camp lanterns
- That's a wrap: Never get cold on a camping trip. Find out our top choices of beanies, scarves, and head and neck tubular scarves and shop the recommendations on our beanies and winter scarves advice page.
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