Summer heat means time for midseason check-up

row boat

“Warning! Warning!”

Yes, you heard it. The alarming buzzing. The scrolling message at the top of the screen. The monotone voice announcing that trouble is indeed brewing.

All that followed, minutes later, by 10 or 12 text messages from friends and siblings wondering if you are still alive.

That’s summer in Ohio. Extreme heat and unstable, dense air team up to build storm clouds. The higher the clouds get, the heavier the rain falls, the harder the winds blow, and the more we wonder if it will ever stop.

But summer storms aren’t the only thing we ought to be warned about. Here are some other midsummer warnings:

Protect your skin. Number one is the sun or, more precisely, the UV rays that play havoc with our exposed skin. Tanning is considered by some as a sign of good health and outdoor activities. Wrong. In fact, it has been proven that the same dark tan is doing irreparable damage and threatens our future health.

Take that warning to the nearest store to stock up and lather up with sun screen.

Going on the lake? Consider wearing a light-weight, long-sleeved shirt, a broad-brimmed hat, and quality sun glasses. Then, add a midday fresh application of sun screen.

Only you can prevent sun burn. If that warning sounds like something a bear wearing a trooper hat would say, so be it.

Got a screw loose? No joke. If you trailer a boat or pull a camper, midsummer is check-up time. Miles on the road generate loose bolts, nuts and screws on both trailer and boat.

Start at the front and don’t stop till you run out of things to check. Light bulbs fail, wheel bearings need grease, lug nuts need to be checked, wiring connections loosen and corrode, and trailer springs rust. One of the most common midsummer check-up finds is that the trailer license plate has gone AWOL.

A through midsummer check-up may prevent a mid-trip breakdown, a citation, or worse.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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