At this time of year, I’m in the garden the most. The veggies are coming on and I’m in deep harvest mode. It’s still hot and very sunny in Idaho. As a result, I have to protect myself from the sun, that’s because I’m “experienced” in the sun damage department. Yep, I’ve had all three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell and now, melanoma. All three cancers have developed within the last seven years. Fortunately, I caught all three VERY early. They are the result of too much time in the sun as a kid.

Now, I know better.

From my perspective, taking in some natural Vitamin D from the sun is one of my simple pleasures. So, what’s this gardener to do? The Skin Cancer Foundation reports the incidence of melanoma increased by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men from 1970 to 2009. Those are astounding numbers—and I’m part of them. Maybe, you are too. Don’t let the late summer sun fool you—it’s still dangerous in large doses.

Covering up, while outside, is the best way to avoid excessive sun exposure. For confirmation of this, look to the hearty migrant workers in area fields. They dress in long sleeves, long pants and are always wearing a hat. With this in mind, I decided to explore what is new and popular in the sun protection arena. As I found out, there is more than I thought. Gardeners (along with kayakers, hikers, boaters, skiers and many more) want high tech sun protection. It means covering up with materials that breathe and have special fabrication. Here is a review of some of the fabulous products I discovered—from head to toe. While I review items for women, many of these are not gender specific or the manufacturer makes a “dude” version of it!

I’ve also added links at the bottom for finding these items. Of course I’m the thrifty gardener (aren’t we all?), so I tried to find the best deals for you. However, feel free to surf the net for that “killer deal” that I couldn’t find.


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