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  1. #1

    Default Insect shield - which items?

    I am going to get my hiking clothes treated by insect shield, which items should I get treated, base layers, sleeping clothes, fleece, puffys, rain/wind gear? Checked out their web site and it didnít really address it.

  2. #2
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    I treat all warm weather clothing with spray on permethrin, with particular attention to boot/shoe uppers, socks, and pant legs (where most ticks hitch a ride). Base layers and hat as well. I've never had any skin reaction to permethrin. I've heard that some people are sensitive to it. But it's routinely used directly on the skin as the most common treatment for head lice and scabies, at concentrations 10 times stronger than the solutions typically used to treat clothing.

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    Pants, socks and backpack are the only things I treat. I suppose your favorite hiking shirt too.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I treated everything once with permethrin (including tent and sleeping bag) before I left, and again my tent and clothes up North and never had an issue. Might be a little overkill, but it worked. Just used the spray on stuff you get anywhere. Although nothing is going to stop the mosquitoes around the lake in Maine! I'm still recovering from massive blood loss a year later. Haha Anyway, if you're sending it out to be treated, I'd do all clothes especially the ones you're going to be sitting around camp in.
    - Trail name: Thumper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    I treated everything once with permethrin (including tent and sleeping bag) before I left, and again my tent and clothes up North and never had an issue. Might be a little overkill, but it worked.
    You probably know this, but for others following the thread, the DIY stuff (from Sawyers to Martins) lasts 6-7 weeks or a very limited number of washings, whereas the Insect Shield treatment claims to be permanent, life of garment, 70 washings.

    I had Insect Shield do a dedicated set of hiking clothes for me: 4 pr socks, 3 shirts (2 SS, 1 LS), 3 pants. Acquired another IS-treated LS shirt later. All those combos but I must admit, I am very cognizant of wearing the same stuff all the time! Glad to get out in winter when I can wear other stuff.

    I've not done my pack or tent yet but I do have some Martins with that in mind, so it would not be a permanent thing. IIRC they tumble dry stuff very hot as part of the permanent treatment process. Doing that with a tent or pack would be impossible/unwise, so presumably one must do those at home, periodically, for treatment.

  6. #6
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    I’ve been very happy with insectshield. Personally for hiking I only had my zipoff pants, shirt, and hat treated. So far so good.

    I also had them treat the brush pants that I use around my buddy’s farm property and I’ve been amazed what a difference the treatment makes.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #7
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/-mJ90Ws-4bI
    http://youtu.be/Pv26BNQUWjE

    Two Video Links for the process I went through and what I had treated before my 2018 Thru Hike. I wouldnít do Winter clothing or Rain Gear. My only regret was that the hiking pants didnít fit after three weeks on the trail. Make sure you treat shorts and leggings. I sprayed the pack, hammock, and shoes before leaving home. I retreated in Wayneboro and Vermont when new shoes were purchased and also when I traded in Darn Tough Socks. I didnít see any ticks on me personally. Maybe just lucky. I was actually the most worried walking through fields in Pa near Boiling Springs if I remember correctly. Again, lucky timing because the trail had a nice clear cut path keeping the thigh high grass back. I will continue to treat hammock, pack, pants, socks and shoes in the future. Would use Insectshield again for a long distance hike except for pants!
    Last edited by gbolt; 01-12-2019 at 21:45.
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  8. #8

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    I only treat the items I expect to wear on the outside where there will be nothing on top of it. If you plan on wearing your base layers as the only layer (other than in bed), then include them. If you don't need tick protection against them hitching on you (not required in every locale), you don't need to consider thick (such as heavy fleece) or otherwise impenetrable to being bit through by mosquitos such as rain gear. Definitely treat hats and at least the ankles of your socks. I would even treat your hiking shoes, though I would spray those yourself instead of paying someone to do it.

  9. #9

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    I treated my hat, two tee shirts, pants and socks. I did not treat my underwear, sock liners and sleeping gear, neither jacket and rain/wind gear. On my pack and shoes, I spray with permethrin before any hike (I do sections). I also spray my groundsheet (footprint). They do not treat everything, also, they charge you by the weight, so the more you treat, the more it will cost you. Anyhow, as far as I can remember, they have a great customer service and are very friendly, and they will answer your questions. Good luck.

  10. #10

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    I have treated the clothes that will come in contact with vegetation or the ground where ticks may be lying in wait - my socks, pants, shirts.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    I treated my hat(only on the outside, not skin side), two tee shirts(exterior only), running shorts, pants and socks(again exterior only not next to skin side). I did not treat my underwear, sock liners and sleeping gear, neither jacket and rain/wind gear. Ditto. On my pack(Robic X not DCF, don't know about Xpac) and shoes, I spray with permethrin.... I also spray my (Tyvek, not polycro or DCF)groundsheet (footprint).
    Don't forget the shoes and socks. I prefer rather light total exterior coverage with a spray on rather than wash in so I don't apply to interior side to avoid next to skin contact.

    Some pieces already have Insect Shield(permethrin) applied Buff, ExOfficio Ziwa convertible pants, etc

  12. #12
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    I treat my top layer of clothing with Martin's 10 % with 1.5-2.0 oz per liter more or less in a spray bottle and just wet them down in the garage away from pets/children and then line dry completely.I do not treat underwear or the liner socks but do treat the outer socks.

    I wear knee high gaiters also treated and I might do them more frequently and hardly ever wash them.Years ago when I got a pair of knee high snake boots which were untreated I noticed that I hardly ever got ticks.I have wondered if it is because they cannot sense warm blood thru the heavy material and therefore do not hang on as they don't recognize a free meal waiting to happen.

    Since I don't wear high boots in the woods anymore I do like the high gaiters as they protect my pants and legs from briars(I will almost always wind up doing some bushwhacking on any given outing).

    I have treated my hammock before but am not sure it's really necessary.

  13. #13
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    I send only my shorts and t-shirts to insect shield. I spray other gear like shoes, pack etc. on my own.


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