I don't know about you, but this winterspringsummer has been weird. Almost no winter to speak of at my home in North Georgia. I was in eastern Kentucky earlier this spring and temperatures were in the 80's. What does all this have to do with the "Everyday Outdoorsman? Well, for one thing, it turned on my allergies way too soon. I've been told that a normal winter provides enough cold temperatures to kill molds that exist. Add to that the early blooming of plants and trees and you have a combination of allergens that can drive a person crazy, as in myself.
Yes, I'm taking all the regular medications to try to reduce the impact, but so far have not been able to shake all the symptoms; coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and a stuffed head. I seem to get a handle on it, somewhat, and then here it comes. In our area in late March pollen counts were at record numbers. So, what is a person to do, who loves to be in the outdoors, but can't stand the affect that allergies have on the body? Here are some of my suggestions
a. Plan outdoor activities when pollen counts are down. This usually will follow a good rain, when the air is cleared of allergens and pollens are soaked into the ground. It also helps to keep activities limited to early morning hours when the temperature and humidity is down.
b. It you are really sensitive to allergens and have to be in the outdoors, consider wearing a mask that will limit the amount of pollen and allergens that you will inhale. I know, it's kind of embarassing to walk around with a "dust" mask on, but consider the alternatives.
c. If you are going to be out of doors several days (camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.) make sure that you have changes of clothes for every day. Dust, mold and pollens will attach to clothing you wear and you will carry it into your tentcampercabinhome. If you wear the same apparel you likely will continue to breath in the allergens that are caught up in the fabric of your clothes. Oh, and that includes your hat! We all have our favorite hat and I find myself wanting to wear my favorite day after day. It can collect pollen and other allergens just as your other clothes can, so change hats daily.
d. Don't forget your medicine. If you are going to be away don't forget to pack the medicine that provides you the most relief from your allergies. Take it according to the directions and don't short yourself when it's time for the next dose. Relief provided when you take your initial dose in the morning will give way to miserable symptoms once the medication has worn off. And don't forget to get a good nights sleep, which may mean taking a medicine that will keep you from being up all night coughing and sneezing.
e. In worse case scenarios visit your doctor and let them know what kind of problems you are having. In seasons like we are experiencing this year it pays to heed a doctors advice. I already visited mine and ended up getting a shot to help me overcome my allergy problems.
Have a safe, and healthy, spring. Don't forget, we are just getting into those peak times when we look forward to being in the outdoors. Leave misery at your doorstep and don't sacrifice the time you want to get out.