In some areas, the temperatures are high enough to spend a day out on the hiking trail. You’ve done your preparation, you have all the gear that you are going to need. You’re all ready to go………
But, have you thought about insect repellent? Specifically, are you ready to fend off those pesky ticks who always find you and attach on to you while you’re on the hiking trail? I am here to help you out in that area, because today we are going to learn how to avoid ticks when hiking!!
First off, why do we need to worry about ticks? The answer is, they can infect us with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The most common diseases that we may contract from these ticks include Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In case you do get bitten, and you experience a rash and/or a fever, you need to seek medical attention.
Ok, in order to learn how to avoid ticks when hiking, you need to be aware where they are likely to exist. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, especially in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come in contact with one or many if you walk through leaf litter or near wooded plants. When you are out on the hiking trail, you should walk in the center of the trail to avoid contact with ticks.
If you decide to use insect repellents, there are some things you should know. Products containing Permethrin kill ticks. Permethrin can be used to treat your boots or shoes, clothing and your hiking gear. It will remain protective through several washings. Another product you can use is a repellent with DEET. This product is meant to be sprayed on the skin for protection. Products with 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours.
Now you have learned how to avoid ticks when hiking. But, after your hiking trip, there are a few things you should do to rid yourself of those pesky ticks in case you picked up a few on your hike. The first thing you should do is check your clothing for ticks. If you find any dispose of them. You could also put your clothes in the dryer for an hour, this will kill the ticks. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your chances of getting Lyme Disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it gives you a good opportunity to check your body for ticks.
Check your body for ticks. Ticks tend to like a few areas of the body and those are the areas that you need to focus on. To do a body check, you begin at your head. Check in and around your hair the best that you can, next check in and around your ears. Work your way down checking under your arms, then in your belly button and around your waist. Then you can work your way down checking your legs and behind your knees. Hopefully, after the body check you didn’t find any ticks.
If you have any feedback, questions or experiences about how to avoid ticks when hiking, I would love to hear them. Simply drop a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you.