Summer is here and so are the instects. This year there has been a higher than normal increase in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Lyme Disease is an infectious bacterium that is carried by ticks. Lyme disease can cause you to have joint pain, fever, feeling tired, heart palpitations and other symptoms. If left untreated the long-term effects can lead to neuromuscular difficulties, fibromyalgia, depression, and other debilitating conditions.
Other insects like mosquitos carry the Zika Virus that in recent years has been a major concern for many especially pregnant women. Prevention by using insect repellant’s, (i.e. Thermacell Backpacker), are your first line of defense. It starts before entering any Wilderness Area. Using a repellant called Permethrin , made by Sawyer, will help make your battle with insects more manageable. Permethrin is a synthetic chemical (insect repellant) that affects the central nervous system of insects.
By spraying your clothing and gear with Permethrin and letting it properly dry will deter these insects from attaching themselves onto you. I enjoy getting off the trail and bushwhacking and that is the time when insects will attach themselves to you especially around your ankle and leg area.
Sawyer has a spray (Sawyer Permethrin), that you directly spray onto your clothing and gear. After it has properly dried it will last for 6 weeks or 6 machine washes. I have used this product for a couple of years now and it has helped me control disease carrying insects (Ticks, Mosquitos, Chiggers, and others) from attaching themselves to my skin. I also use a Picaridin an insect lotion made by Sawyer that is applied directly to my skin.
Next time you head into a Wilderness area think about treating your gear and clothing with Permethrin. Please read and follow the manufacturers directions for proper application of this product.