SUN DON’T SHINE

SUP Magazine - - Frontside - RYAN SALM

DE­SPITE A FEW BOUTS WITH HEAVY WIND that pulled her ter­ri­fy­ingly into the mid­dle of gi­ant lakes in the Bound­ary Wa­ters, not to men­tion the oc­ca­sional five-mile portage with 80 pounds of gear, ev­ery­thing was go­ing well for Lau­ren. It was her first ma­jor re­mote SUP ex­pe­di­tion—an off-grid, 10-day jour­ney through the Bound­ary Wa­ters Ca­noe Area Wilder­ness—and to be fully hon­est, at times she seemed more at ease than me.

When the days got long and hot, Lau­ren would swim along­side her board while push­ing it through lakes of vary­ing hues. De­spite the fre­quent leeches stuck be­tween her toes, she jumped in at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. Once back on land, she’d pack up her gear and portage.

One night she awoke com­plain­ing about a bug bite on her back­side, say­ing she couldn’t sleep. I donned a head­light to in­ves­ti­gate. A bug bite ‘twas not. Through my shock and hor­ror I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or con­sole. Her en­tire ass was raw and chapped.

Turns out those cute run­ning shorts weren’t dry­ing prop­erly be­tween swim­ming and walk­ing. When she put them on I watched her wince in pain as the fab­ric tore apart her skin and the ir­ri­ta­tion flared.

So, when en­ter­ing the back­coun­try, al­ways pack your pow­ders and lo­tions (Gold Bond is your friend). And if you’re spend­ing your ex­pe­di­tion days pad­dling, portag­ing and swim­ming, al­ways dry off prop­erly. It might just save your butt. –

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