Are you heading for a hike this Fourth of July weekend or maybe camping with family and a couple of close friends? Outdoor activities are what we do in summer, and this year you may be more likely than ever to find a spot in the woods away from the crowds to enjoy your family. Great idea, BUT it’s important to remember what is creeping around in those woods and how to protect yourself. As you make your way up the trail, ticks and mosquitoes are right there with you, and they are hoping to sink in for a blood meal. YUCK!!
Permethrin - the Campers Best Friend
Permethrin has been used to treat clothing since 1970. It is biodegradable, odorless, and does not stain. Since 1970 people have been using this product to avoid bites from ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. Permethrin not only repels ticks and mosquitoes; it kills them as well. And while incredibly strong in the fight against ticks, it is very safe for humans. It is over 2,250 times more toxic to ticks than humans. The EPA shows the exposure risk for toddlers to be 27 times below its level of concern, and there is no evidence of harm for pregnancy either. It works hard and causes no danger? No wonder the US Army has been using it for 30 years!
When treating your clothes and camping gear with Permethrin, there are two options for application: Spraying and Soaking. Both work, soaking just takes some extra time.
Soaking can be more convenient for larger items such as tarps or tents or hammocks, and possibly easier when treating many items at once. However, mist lasts just as long on your clothing and gear, and it so easy.
Spray Permethrin can be found at your local Lowes store or sporting goods stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods. You’ll find it right there with the repellent containing DEET that you are also going to need to apply directly to your skin. Once you have misted your clothes and gear, they should be good for up to 6 washes. That would make it through the summer for most of us. It doesn’t get much easier when it comes to keeping yourself safe from dangerous illnesses like Lyme disease, Zika, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and West Nile Virus.
Be Prepared and Have Fun!
There are two possible visions of the great outdoors, depending on your perspective. One is a beautiful space full of adventure just waiting for you to discover it. The other is a slightly frightening and shady path full of creepy crawlies that can carry harmful diseases. But as you see here, with the right tools, you can turn the shady path into that beautiful adventure. A little research, a little time, and a little precaution are all that is required for your family to enjoy a fun and memorable getaway in the woods. Take the DEET and the Permethrin, and leave your worries at home. While you’re at it, take the camera, the fishing rod, maybe the canoe! And DON’T forget the marshmallows!
Remember to regularly check for ticks, and promptly remove them while camping.