risks in wilderness hiking

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risks in wilderness hiking

Postby geologist2007 » Mon May 27, 2013 12:21 pm

I am fortunate to live just an hour drive from the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains where it is easy to find a place to be alone. There are risks. Cougar encounters are on the rise and bears are always a concern especially if hiking alone. But what scares me the most are ticks. We have always done tick checks after hikes and haven't found one for years. Problem is, apparently my wife was bitten about 6 years ago and now has chronic Lyme Disease, coupled with various co infections. Her health has been steadily deteriorating. (I had asked for prayer for her some time ago, and we had direction from God that antibiotics weren't the way for her and that He had a purpose in all of this)
I love the mountains and hiking but the recommendations are for long sleeves and pants, with the cuffs tucked in your socks, hat etc plus DEET. Somehow that clouds the naturalist goal of being free and unencumbered. Depending on what part of the cycle they are in, they can be very small so hard to see. Especially if alone.
Has anyone else dealt with ticks and have concerns for bites? Especially in the NW USA area?
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Re: risks in wilderness hiking

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue May 28, 2013 12:49 am

With respect to deet, I find it very effective to spray it on my hiking boots and especially on the soles. I believe that the tiny seed ticks often attach to the bottom the shoe when you step on them, particularly in leaf litter, then they try to work their way up. I wear Permethrin treated socks and that seems to nearly eliminate bites on my ankles primarily by the seed ticks. Permethrin is both a repellent and insecticide and I often haver rinsed dead seed ticks out of my socks after hiking. If the ticks are exceptionally bad I will spray my calfs to prevent them from climbing my legs. I have scars from tick bites 2 years or more old.

With no clothes rubbing on my skin I find it far easier to feel a tick climbing up my legs or back and pick them off before they bite, They tend to climb up on the hairs. But then that detection system may only work for us hairy sorts.
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