If you're showing skin, you better have a thin layer of protection. Photo: Ben Lindbloom

If you’re showing skin, you better have a thin layer of protection. Photo: Courtesy of Ben Lindbloom

Traveling to a tropical spot? Awesome. Getting hammered by the local bug population or six too many rum punches? Not so much. Follow these tips to ensure your trip is great, even if go overboard with the fun. Because moderation is often best left at the office.

We tested a bunch of gear during a recent trip to Panama, and here are some solutions to the problems that may put a damper on your vacation:

Problem: Vulnerable, Exposed skin

deet_familySolution: You're probably going to have some skin exposed. To reduce the chances of mosquito bites, go with some bug spray. If you want to pull out the big guns, go with a product with DEET. We've been testing the latest from Coleman. They have a 25% Dry Deet, 40% Deet, and the nuclear option, a 100% Deet continuous spray – the first available at that level of Deet in a continuous spray option. All are unscented and protect against mosquitoes (those are the guys who carry Zika) as well as repelling biting flies, gnats, chiggers, ticks and fleas.

Coleman also has a .5 oz. take along spray pen that provides complete protection from mosquitoes and ticks for up to 8 hours.

"The active ingredient IR3535 is one of the four active ingredients recommended by the EPA for mosquito protection," explained Molly Fies, who works with Coleman on the bug sprays, to GrindTV. “And also protects against mosquitoes that may carry Zika Virus.”

Problem: Dehydration

rescueSolution: Rescue Hydration from Skratch Labs. Dehydration is common in the heat, whether it’s from an intense workout or one too many. Rescue is one of the quickest and easiest ways to combat it. Company founder and sports physiologist, Allen Lim, told us, “It’s like Pedialyte without the chemical sh*tshow.”

Designed with World Health Organization recommendations in mind, the formula is flavored with real fruit, a buttload of sodium, a pinch of zinc, and electrolytes.

Problem: Vacation flu (aka hangover)

Solution: An energy drink you haven't heard of. Proendorphin is what you need after a night of kamikaze shots and rum punch refills. It certainly will help get you back on your feet if you went a little too big the night before (intentionally, or not).

Seriously, this stuff is magic. It will help clear your head from the all-too-familiar “rum blues” and get you out the door.

Problem: Sun that could cook raw meat

Solution: A burly sunscreen. There are a lot of good options out there, but we like the 30 SPF from Beyond Coastal because it contains aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin C and is waterproof for 80 minutes. And don't forget you lips because if you don't protect them, you'll vacation will take a quick and almost unfixable downturn.


Problem: Bug bites

Solution: A hat that houses a bug zapper. Kidding. If you're really freaked out, cover as much skin as possible with gear that's built from fabric that bugs hate. When we went deep into the woods in Panama, we wore a bunch of gear from Ex Officio. They have a line of pants and shirts they call Bugs Away that’s treated with Insect Shield where a treatment is bound to fabric fibers that endures 70 washes and repels ants, flies, ticks and mosquitoes.

Want to protect your neck? Get a Buff with Insect Shield.

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