Tips and Recommendations for Fun in the Sun — Summer 2021Angie Lewis, Writer
Summer 2021 is finally here, and many Americans are ready to break out of their houses and venture into the great outdoors — whether it be to their local recreation area or hitting the open road with friends and family.
Appropriately so, the month of July is UV Safety Month, National Recreation and Parks Month, and National Grilling Month — everything related to summertime fun.
Before you start soaking up some of Vitamin D, here are a few tips and recommendations for staying safe in the sun and having the best summer ever!
Prepare & Protect
As roofers know, working (and playing!) outdoors means being constantly exposed to dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause sunburns, premature aging of the skin, and even potentially blinding eye diseases, not to mention skin cancer.
Unfortunately, “one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As the Skin Cancer Foundation explains, “UV radiation is a proven cause of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma ... [which,] fortunately, when discovered early enough... are almost always curable.”
The good news is, it’s relatively easy to protect yourself against UV rays, including using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (reapplying often!) and wearing protective clothing, hats, and eyewear.
Parks & Rec
With 63 national parks in the U.S., there’s no shortage of options for a summer adventure in the great outdoors!
Everyone knows about the most iconic national parks, such as Yellowstone, Zion, and Grand Canyon — and, unfortunately, the crowds that flock to these parks annually. So, why not take the road less traveled and check out one of these underrated, less busy destinations:
- North Cascades National Park (on the Canadian border in Washington State) – Known as the American Alps, this stunning summertime park boasts high peaks, over 500 lakes and ponds, and scenery that includes countless cascades and waterfalls, colorful wildflower displays, and snow-tipped mountains.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park (southern Colorado) – With some of North America’s tallest sand dunes, this park allows visitors to slide down the dunes on a disk (after a 750-foot hike). It also features marshlands and wetlands, which are home to a huge variety of birds.
- Dry Tortugas National Park (70 miles offshore from Key West, FL) – Often passed over for its better-known neighbor, Everglades National Park, this park is protected marine sanctuary, where snorkelers and divers can enjoy colorful tropical fish and coral reefs.
Before you start your trek, pick up some Asphalt Life gear from the AtlasPRO shop, where you can rep your industry and show off your American pride with items such as the Live, Roof, Play Patch Cap and Live, Roof, Play in the USA T-shirt.
For more information about our country’s national parks, visit The National Park Service at nps.gov or The National Park Foundation at nationalparks.org. Also check out seeker.io, which includes photos and an interactive map for all 63 parks, organized by state.
Grill & Chill
Sometimes going no farther than your own backyard, firing up the grill and hanging out with loved ones, makes for a perfect summer day.
For the best-tasting burgers and steaks, follow these 10 do’s and don’ts, provided by Ocean Prime:
- DO clean your grill with a grill brush while it’s still hot.
- DO oil your grill before cooking by rubbing it with half an onion dipped in oil.
- DO tenderize meat with salt about 30 minutes before grilling.
- DO pat meat dry on both sides with a paper towel before grilling. Otherwise, it won’t sear.
- DO make a small indentation, using a spoon or your thumb, in the center of hamburger patties. This helps the patty hold its shape and stay flat while cooking.
- DON’T put your food on before the grill heats all the way up. That will also prevent searing.
- DON’T constantly move or flip your food. Only turn meat once during cooking or much of it will end up stuck to the grill.
- DON’T overwork your ground beef. The more it’s handled, the less tender it will be.
- DON’T cut into meat to check its doneness. This allows all of the juices to seep out. Use a meat thermometer instead.
- DON’T slice meat immediately after it comes off the grill. Allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes to retain its juices.
The AtlasPRO Shop even has you covered for your backyard barbecues! Roll the 65-quart Asphalt Life Beverage Cooler next to your grill, and you’ll always have an ice-cold drink within arm’s reach while you’re cooking. And with an Asphalt Life Live, Roof, Play coozie, your beverage will stay chilled longer and your hands will be nice and dry for those grilling tools and utensils.
Hugs & Happiness
After a tough year of quarantining and social distancing, we’re definitely ready to wrap our arms around each other again. So, no matter what you do this summer, cherish every moment you have with friends and family, and, of course, Live, Roof, Play!
Share your summer fun with us on the Atlas Facebook page, and don’t forget to tag #SummerOfAtlas, so we can see what you’re up to.