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  1. #1
    Registered User VatoGato's Avatar
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    Default Permethrin and Tick/ lyme disease prevention advice

    Hi,
    This is my first post to this forum. I'm going to hike the Appalachian trail with a friend southbound starting in late June. I've been doing a lot of research about Lyme disease and want to do all I can to reduce my chances of contracting it. I plan to permethrin coat my pants, shirts, socks, shoes and backpack. I also intend to wear pants and a longsleeve shirt for the entirety of the trail and possibly tuck my pants into socks. I was wondering if permethrin is readily available in trail towns or if I would need to buy it before leaving and put it in a bounce box because spray coating your clothes only lasts for 6 weeks. Also I know that there is a factory coating option for 10$ per piece of clothing you send in and is supposed to last for up to 60 washings. Do you think that is a better option? I've already bought all my clothing so I would prefer not to rebuy permethrin precoated clothing. I was also wondering if noseeum bug net pants would be worth wearing/effective against ticks. I'm not concerned about how dorky I look, just don't want to contract lyme disease. I look forward to hearing your guys opinions. :)

  2. #2
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    You'll be fine with permethrin. Ticks that crawl on treated fabric die so I don't think you have to worry about going to greater lengths, others may disagree. A base layer can help, though. Ticks want to migrate to darker, hairier places. So tight undies make a nice barrier. Treat your pants, shoes, socks, and perhaps your shirt and you should be fine. A lot of folks treat their pack and tent. That may be overkill but the one person I know who does that contracted Lyme once so I'll defer to her judgement. It's a bigger problem in the North. I think you can relax your anxiety once you come down through lower VA and into TN, NC, and GA. Meaning, I would be less concerned with treating everything I own in the South. Just make sure you're treating things likely to be brushed against tick vectors.

  3. #3
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    Re your question about availability in trail towns---I bought a can of spray Permethrin in the camping department of Walmart the other day, for what it's worth. Don't know how many trail towns have Walmarts.

  4. #4

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    Walmart carries it, outfitters carry it. You should have no problem finding it every few hundred miles if thats what you want. And amazon will mail it to you as s well.

  5. #5

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    Sending your clothing all off to be treated would be easier since it will last the entire hike (lasts 70 washings). It runs $10/garment with discounts as you add more items to be treated. Timing may be the issue, though they say they ship back within 3 days of receipt. (Their website is http://www.insectshield.com/IS_Your_...s/default.aspx) I've sent clothing, but I don't know about treating gear. Best bet is to contact them and see what they can do as far as turnaround time and whether they'll treat gear. Lot of people in the NE hiking in long sleeves and pants, so don't worry. Don't forget something for your head. Buff and ExOfficio sell InsectShield treated buffs for $20 - $30.

  6. #6
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    Do the permethrin thing.

    But also keep this in mind: Have someone check the parts of you that you can't see daily, for ticks. Buy one of those cheap metal "tick removers" at Wally World or REI. Tick check should become part of your daily trail ritual.This is important because a tick can't normally give you Lyme disease until he's been attached to you for a couple of days. Yes, that is correct - a couple of days. Gross, I know but it will happen if you don't do daily tick checks.

    If you find a tick that has been attached for a couple of days, remove it. Keep it so you can show the doc. Because you should see the doc so that he can determine whether or not to put you on Doxycyclene, which is the antibiotic of choice for Lyme. You have a couple of weeks to get to the doc, so don't freak out.

    If the doc prescribes an antibiotic, take it exactly the way (s)he says, for as long as (s)he says. And you'll be fine.

    I bought a pair of the no see um pants/jacket when they were discontinued at Wally World last autumn but haven't given them a go yet. Can't comment on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by VatoGato View Post
    Hi,
    This is my first post to this forum. I'm going to hike the Appalachian trail with a friend southbound starting in late June. I've been doing a lot of research about Lyme disease and want to do all I can to reduce my chances of contracting it. I plan to permethrin coat my pants, shirts, socks, shoes and backpack. I also intend to wear pants and a longsleeve shirt for the entirety of the trail and possibly tuck my pants into socks. I was wondering if permethrin is readily available in trail towns or if I would need to buy it before leaving and put it in a bounce box because spray coating your clothes only lasts for 6 weeks. Also I know that there is a factory coating option for 10$ per piece of clothing you send in and is supposed to last for up to 60 washings. Do you think that is a better option? I've already bought all my clothing so I would prefer not to rebuy permethrin precoated clothing. I was also wondering if noseeum bug net pants would be worth wearing/effective against ticks. I'm not concerned about how dorky I look, just don't want to contract lyme disease. I look forward to hearing your guys opinions.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  7. #7
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I've had Lyme disease, and it sucks, but the antibiotics worked fine in my case. We now treat everything with Permethrin at the start of each hiking season, and have not had any problems since. I don't bother with long pants or sleeves, but I do wear light wool long john bottoms and a wool l/s top for sleeping, and those are treated, too.

    Hey, offshore, thanks for mentioning the treated Buff, I may need to get one of those.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  8. #8
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    Do some research, understand the disease, know the symptoms.

    I carried Doxycycline with me and ended up using it in MA when I came down with Lyme. I was able to start treatment at least two days earlier than I would have without it, I believe that led to a quick recovery. I know several people I hiked with that couldn't finish their thru due to Lyme Disease.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  9. #9
    Garlic
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    Your plan sounds great, because it's exactly what I did and I didn't have a single tick on my AT hike. I agree the pack might be overkill. Bug net clothing does not look dorky to me, especially when compared to tucking your trouser legs in your socks. Wearing long sleeves and trousers gives you sun protection, as well. A head net was worth its weight in gold.

    I had a shoe drop planned for the time I needed to replenish the treatment, so I mailed some to myself. (This should be obvious, but I would not include the chemical in a food drop.)
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  10. #10
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    I've had Lyme disease and now treat my gear at the beginning of the hiking season. I use a 10% solution by Martins and dilute it 19:1 down to the recommended 0.5%. Then I dip my clothes in, wring them out and hang them to dry. Shirts, pants, socks, jackets, gaitors, hats, buffs, mosquito netting. I also saturated one of the socks and drenched my pack and shoes with it.
    There are lots of posts on both Whiteblaze and Hammockforums about permethrin. Easy to search.
    perrito

    673.3 down, 1518.7 to go.

    "If a man speaks in the woods, and there is no woman there to hear, is he still wrong?"

  11. #11
    Registered User VatoGato's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the advice!

  12. #12

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    getting permethrin won't be an issue. it's the application of it on the trail that's a bit of a pain in the ass, since you have to wait a few hours for it to dry (minimum 2 in non-humid conditions for the sawyer stuff). so you need some decent weather (not usually when you want to be in town!) and a place to lay it out

    that would make the suggestion of sending it for treatment a decent option. if it would last the whole hike, you wouldn't have to worry about paying inflated prices at some of the outfitters a couple times and drying out your clothes when you would rather be relaxing at the pub

  13. #13

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    "permethrin party at the howard johnson!" doesn't sound that fun to me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Their website is [url
    http://www.insectshield.com/IS_Your_Own_Clothes/default.aspx[/url])
    Thank you I am sending my clothes in

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