As the later days of summer set in, it’s the perfect time for everyone to get out there and enjoy a ride! With the days still long, you’ve got time after work to hit the trails with your family and buddies. The kids are still most likely off of school, too—or, at least, they have the weekends. Reward your kids for staying strong through these tough times with an ATV ride (provided they have the proper training and licensing, of course!).
Indeed, August seems like the epitome of a great riding month, both timewise and weather-wise. However, you don’t need us to tell you that nothing in life is perfect. August, like all the other summer months before it, brings with it one riding hazard that many outdoor enthusiasts ignore: the heat. While cooler days still exist and can become more frequent as the month ends, temperatures can still be nasty, sometimes surpassing 100 degrees in some areas of the country. Heat exhaustion and heat-related illnesses as a result of this weather are very real things; just ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which devotes countless pages to informing employers how to keep workers safe as temperatures rise.
While your ride on your CFMOTO certainly doesn’t qualify as work (not even close), the ideology still stands: heat is dangerous, and you should take steps to protect yourself while you enjoy the outdoors with your machine. Below, we at CFMOTO, as an ATV company and side by side manufacturer, share some tips for protecting yourself, and risk factors that can increase your chance of contracting heat-related maladies.
Risk Factors: Who can Tolerate Heat the Best?
Every person is an individual, and every person has an individual ability to tolerate heat. If you’re a person with low heat tolerance, there’s no shame in needing to cool down to stay healthy. Taking care of oneself is admirable, and it is something that many people forget to do these days. If you’re of the tougher sort in the heat, don’t look down on those who might need to practice more precautions than you! In many cases, they can’t help it.
What determines this individual heat tolerance can vary, but some factors that might decrease it include:
● Pre-existing medical conditions | A variety of personal factors can interfere with one’s ability to handle the heat, which includes autism and diabetes. Ask your doctor about managing one’s heat exposure when you ride if you are afraid a medical condition might affect it.
● The amount of gear you wear | It might seem obvious, but the more gear you wear and the heavier it is, the hotter you’ll get, and the faster you’ll get there. There’s a reason we bundle up to go riding in the winter, after all!
● Certain medications | While medications may be helpful in managing your health, they can cause unwanted side effects—heat intolerance being one of them.
● One’s physical fitness level | An unhealthy cardiovascular system is ill-equipped to handle the August heat. Since ATV-riding is definitely a sport, it pays to assess beforehand if your body is ready to handle it.
● If an individual has acclimated to the heat | It simply doesn’t make sense to exist only in air-conditioned buildings, then take a long ride in heavy gear and direct sunlight, expecting your body to function at its prime. You need time to acclimate to higher temperatures and increased physical demands.
This list is nonexhaustive, and many factors can affect one’s ability to ride safely in the hotter months of the year. Knowing your body and taking the proper precautions to protect it can help you enjoy the ride on your CFMOTO ATV or CFMOTO side by side safely.
Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses: How Can I Protect Myself?
Heat affects everyone differently. Some people might only experience tiredness upon being overheated, while others might succumb to nausea and vomiting. Figuring out what heat protection works for you and your riding crew might take a little experimenting, but trust us, the results are well worth it.
A few places to start are listed below.
● Watch the weather | Even if it’s the one time you all can get together to ride, there’s no sense putting yourselves in outright danger. Keep an eye on the heat and humidity levels, and don’t be afraid to reschedule. If you’re on the fence about it, remember that you’ll not only keep yourselves safer but have more fun in cooler weather anyway.
● Check-in with your buddies while you ride | Nobody likes to be that person that asks to call it quits in the middle of a ride because of weather, but sometimes, it simply must be done. Alleviate your friends of any embarrassment they may feel by checking in with them periodically and standing with them if they deem it too hot to continue.
● Consider additional or higher-quality gear | Items like cooling vests can make a huge difference in the warmer months. Additionally, make sure all the protective gear you’ve bought is high-quality and well-ventilated. While that cheap gear might look attractive from a financial standpoint, there’s no guarantee that it’ll keep you cool in the summer! Instead, consider items that are specially designed to account for warmer temperatures. Your health will thank you.
Experience the Beauty of the Outdoors in the Driver’s Seat of a CFMOTO
Power. Versatility. Strength. These and more are qualities we at CFMOTO strive to imbue in our machines. If you’re looking for an ATV or side by side to stick with you through the toughest of terrains, find your local CFMOTO dealer today.