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  1. #1
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    Default Clothing for Ticks

    I've been reading the posts about ticks, and given the situation, I am reconsidering my packing list for backpacing in tick season.
    I've seen it reported that loose fitting long pants and long sleeve shirt (woven fabric), treated with permethrin is the best defense against insects. However, I don't see these listed in a lot of packing lists. running shorts, T-shirts, and wool base layers seem to be more popular choices. My question is if you were to add these to your clothing list during tick season, is there something you would take out so as to not add much more to your base weight? How do you work these into a UL layering system for clothing?

  2. #2
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    By the time you get to the prime tick areas, it's going to be the middle of summer. I couldn't hike in long pants, stuffed into my socks and a long sleeve shirt! Do a good nightly tick check, use some DEET and you'll be OK.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

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  3. #3
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    The answer lays in permethrin, young grasshopper.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
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  4. #4

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    I've often thought wearing nylon panty hose could work, but would at best get strange looks and at worse, propositions! Do they make high heel hiking boots to complete the look?

    I once saw an older couple leaving the DWG in long sleeve shirts, long pants, knee high gaiters and shaking sulfur all over themselfs. (along with a hefty dosage of DEET no doubt). And oh, it was like 95 degrees and wicked humid out too boot! They might not have gotten bitten by a tick, but I bet they kelled over with heat stroke not long after...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5
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    For starters, I'll say HYOH. Our family of 5 hikes about 500 miles a year through prime tick country and prime tick time. Since we are working to avoid as many chemicals in our food and lifestyle as possible, we prefer not to slather ourselves in DEET or Permethrin. We also don't prefer to wear long sleeves and tuck pants into our socks when it's 85 degrees out in the middle of the summer. So those aren't options for us.

    One important tidbit to know about Lyme's disease is that, per the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/faq/index.html) the tick must remain attached for longer than 24 hours, and that's for the black-legged ticks (deer ticks) only. Thus, we have used a nightly check routine as our primary line of defense. Of course, we also see them earlier in the day and stop to remove them then. Though two of our four children have been infected with Lyme's from daily life on the farm, none of us have been infected while on the trail. YMMV

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    I use a long sleeved poly shirt that's been treated, and when it's hot I just slide the sleeves up. I also treated a pair of shorts for hot weather, and pay closer attention to the bare parts of my legs.

  7. #7
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerChef View Post
    For starters, I'll say HYOH. Our family of 5 hikes about 500 miles a year through prime tick country and prime tick time. Since we are working to avoid as many chemicals in our food and lifestyle as possible, we prefer not to slather ourselves in DEET or Permethrin. We also don't prefer to wear long sleeves and tuck pants into our socks when it's 85 degrees out in the middle of the summer. So those aren't options for us.

    One important tidbit to know about Lyme's disease is that, per the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/faq/index.html) the tick must remain attached for longer than 24 hours, and that's for the black-legged ticks (deer ticks) only. Thus, we have used a nightly check routine as our primary line of defense. Of course, we also see them earlier in the day and stop to remove them then. Though two of our four children have been infected with Lyme's from daily life on the farm, none of us have been infected while on the trail. YMMV

    Hi Farmer Chef and welcome to the site!

    I have a very like minded approach regarding tick precautions. I do wear long pants when I can, however it's just not practical in the summer. Instead, multiple tick checks throughout the day and a THUROUGH check once I have stopped for the night is my precaution.

    One thing I would add is that people also need to know the symptoms of Lyme disease and contact a doctor immediately when they suspect they have it. I never got a bulls-eye rash when I contracted Lyme, but fortunately recognized the combination of flu symptoms in the summer and joint aches. Thanks to the doxycycline my doctor put me on things cleared up in a few weeks, but I know it could have been a lot worse.
    "This sucks and I love it"

    The ground's under my boots and not over my head, so it's a good day.

  8. #8
    BARN OWLS (UK) Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2001 View Post
    By the time you get to the prime tick areas, it's going to be the middle of summer. I couldn't hike in long pants, stuffed into my socks and a long sleeve shirt! Do a good nightly tick check, use some DEET and you'll be OK.
    Tick & Snake started a few months ago....

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post
    The answer lays in permethrin, young grasshopper.
    You are wise......

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Hi Farmer Chef and welcome to the site!

    I have a very like minded approach regarding tick precautions. I do wear long pants when I can, however it's just not practical in the summer. Instead, multiple tick checks throughout the day and a THUROUGH check once I have stopped for the night is my precaution. **

    One thing I would add is that people also need to know the symptoms of Lyme disease and contact a doctor immediately when they suspect they have it. ***I never got a bulls-eye rash when I contracted Lyme, but fortunately recognized the combination of flu symptoms in the summer and joint aches. Thanks to the doxycycline my doctor put me on things cleared up in a few weeks, but I know it could have been a lot worse.
    **Forget the checks DWO instead. *** I have had several and keep a months supply of Perscription strengh at all times... as I continue to fight lyme related arthritis first hand. Please do not follow my follyed path...
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr Seuss
    Woo

  9. #9

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    I used a 1:1 solution of tea tree oil and water that's spray on my boots and didn't get any ticks on my last weekend hike.

  10. #10

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    I love this thread already.


  11. #11
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post

    **Forget the checks DWO instead. *** I have had several and keep a months supply of Perscription strengh at all times... as I continue to fight lyme related arthritis first hand. Please do not follow my follyed path...
    WOO, I missed something, what is DWO?
    "This sucks and I love it"

    The ground's under my boots and not over my head, so it's a good day.

  12. #12

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    For the AT (looking like a SOBO trip now) I'm wearing a Railriders Madison River Long Sleeve Shirt that is pretreated for bugs and has mesh down the sides for venting heat. I wore a previous version of that shirt on the PCT. When its cold or the bugs are bad, roll the sleeves down (no need to button them at the wrist though). Roll the sleaves up (you can button them up if you think they'll come unrolled on their own) for hot weather.

    For pants on the AT, I'm talking a pair of Columbia or Ex Officio convertable pants that have bug treatment (usually a form of permithrin) or treat your own pants. Wear them as shorts when hot. Wear them as long pants if there are alot of bugs or it gets cold. However, an alternative is Railriders Eco Mesh Pants which have mesh down the sides. I wore them on the PCT from the Mexican border until wet Washington where I changed them out for normal pants due to cold damp weather (mesh no longer necessary). I found them cool to hike in and never felt the need to change to shorts. The only reason I'm not going that route on the AT is because I'm now looking at a SOBO trip and Maine is pretty wet in June so I figure convertable pants might be better to wear as shorts when the bugs aren't too bad just to keep my pants drier.

    On the PCT, I only used DEET for 2 days (to protect hands and face in Northern Yosemite) and found the premithrin treated clothing to be enough the rest of the time even when other hikers were drinking DEET to stay sane. Whatever you choose to wear, use Permithrin (either buy it pretreated or do it yourself). Don't forget to treat your hat and perhaps your socks if wearing shorts. I know someone who treats his tyvek ground cloth with premithrin since he sleeps with a tarp to keep off crawling insects..

  13. #13
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    However you protect youself , it is most certainly worth the effort ! Even though I check carefully , and shower after being out in the yard , I got bit by one someplace
    I couldn't see . Have had " Chronic " Lyme [ For the rest of your life , ] for 2 1/2 years now . Back in 2010 , I developed an Ankle Ulcer . CRAZY painful ! Oxycontin
    just takes the edge off ! At the 2010 " Gathering " at Athens , WV , I couldn't hike , as the boots pressed so hard on my ankle . [ Miss Janet kindly gave me a pair of
    soft socks , but inside the boots , it was still too tight . ] 8 or 10 " Doctors " have tried " Their Thing " ; ( including numerous drugs , vein - removal , skin - grafts ,
    Hypobaric Chamber , " Una's Boots " , Silver - Wound - Closure , etc., etc. ) Nothing , so far , has worked ! Yet , I still have to pay all the " Doctors " for their failed
    attempts ! I have an appointment on Tues. , May 8th , with yet another Doctor ! This one an Air Force " Full Bird " Colonel ! I was in the A.F . I have high hopes ! DVW

  14. #14

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    [/URL]

    If you're wearing shorts because you will get overheated otherwise, you could invest in some insect pants. You can get them in nylon or polyester. Nylon is stronger.

    As with all other gear which ticks might hitch a ride on, spray the mesh with permethrin for best results. If not tucked into socks, ticks can crawl underneath and help themselves to your more "secret" spots.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11
    Did Adam and Eve rest on the first Sabbath? Scripture only says that God did. Are we thinking yet?

  15. #15
    The internet is calling and I must go. buff_jeff's Avatar
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    The most important thing is being aware of the symptoms of Lyme. You can try to prevent tick bites all you want, but nothing is full-proof and counting on any one deterrent as being such is never good. Also, checks are almost futile after a long 20+ mile day when the tick is barely visible to begin with.

    Know the symptoms, go to a doc immediately if you suspect lyme, and you will more than likely avoid long-term complications.

  16. #16
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    Finding ticks that are feeding on your body and removing them in a timely manner is the SINGLE most important thing you can do to prevent contracting Lyme disease.

    MY Lyme Disease Strategy

    Understand what Lyme disease is.
    Understand the deer tick / its habitat (vegetation)
    Develop tick check procedures / removal processes
    Develop clothing / gear strategies
    Develop use strategies for Permethrin / DEET / Picaridin
    Be able to spot signs / symptoms of being infected with Lyme disease
    Carry Doxycycline / other antibiotics
    Develop infection plan short / long term

    I have started a PAGE in my blog dedicated to this subject:
    http://hikingthedream.blogspot.com/p/lyme-disease.html

  17. #17
    BARN OWLS (UK) Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    WOO, I missed something, what is DWO?
    Short version of Deep Woods Off...Awesome stuff on the planet.

    Winds add Rocky Mountain Fever
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr Seuss
    Woo

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Short version of Deep Woods Off...Awesome stuff on the planet.

    Winds add Rocky Mountain Fever
    Oh terrific! Ok, looking into that now...

    On first look, this might be hard to differentiate from Lyme disease while out hiking with initial symptoms other than topical rashes. However in BOTH cases the recommended antibiotic for immediate use is Doxycycline.

    ANOTHER reason I will make sure I have this prescription on me.
    Last edited by Winds; 05-05-2012 at 23:07.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    I have started a PAGE in my blog dedicated to this subject:
    http://hikingthedream.blogspot.com/p/lyme-disease.html
    Winds, lots of great stuff there. One other question. Does your protocol for tick removal include saving and testing the ticks?

  20. #20
    BARN OWLS (UK) Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    ouch. No..............
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr Seuss
    Woo

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