Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I will be featuring posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
This week’s feature is from Chris of Keep Dry Feet. With over 20 years in the construction industry, working in all sorts of weather conditions and climates, Chris personally know what it’s like to work with wet and cold feet. Over his years of experience, he has had the chance to try out multiple brands of boots and sock combinations. He’s happy to be able to make suggestions to what might be the best boot combination for whatever climate you are walking or working in. Chris is passionate about the outdoors and would love to share some tips and tricks with you!
10 Ways to Avoid Ticks While Camping
Make no doubt about it, this post is in no way meant to scare or frighten you from enjoying the wonders of being outdoors, either camping with family and friends or simply hiking in and around your local trails. Its main purpose is just a friendly reminder to all that enjoy being outside to protect yourself and your loved ones, some tips to avoid ticks while camping or hiking. You probably have heard in the news of people and pets being bitten by ticks, and how some ticks can carry many types of disease. I guess depending on where you live in the world, a tick might not seem like that big a deal compared to other poisonous insects or animals. However, in North America, our insects are not usually poisonous. (Although some people might be allergic to certain bites and stings which could be serious for some and possibly even fatal without the proper medication).
Ticks contract and carry diseases from the blood of animals they have fed on. Then when someone is bitten by a tick, it transfers the blood-borne disease, which can cause symptoms that could start to slowly show. You could develop flu-like symptoms with rashes and even neurological disorders like Lyme’s disease.
The size of a tick is not very big. This can make it tough to find on people and pets. The adult female tick is roughly the same size as a sesame seed and the adult male is a bit smaller than that. The larva and nymph are even smaller, around the size of a poppy seed. You can see why there is some concern here when something so small can have a major influence on one’s overall health.
I was once on a massive solar farm project that was being built in some local farming fields. My job was to set the posts for the solar panels to attach to. One day we had some down time waiting for an inspector to show up before we could start working again. While waiting, I snagged a nice piece of grass to chew on like I had many times before. I always put a piece of grass in my mouth to chew on as a kid and thought nothing of doing it again. You know, like a farmer with a piece of hay to chew on while working. The company had supervisors driving around in trucks all day keeping an eye on production. That day, the truck stopped and the supervisor came over to me and gave me a warning that ticks could possibly be in the grass. At the time, I had never really thought much about it. I thanked him for the concern and quickly spit out the pieces of grass. From that day, I stopped putting grass in my mouth to chew on. I personally did not realize that ticks could be the size of a poppy seed, which would make it easy enough to eat one – kind of crazy.
If you are bitten by a tick, it might try to attach itself to you, the host, and the longer it stays attached the better the chances are of it transferring a blood-borne disease. Try not to pull or tug quickly when removing a tick, because it could cause the head or mouth part to break off in your skin. Instead, try to remove it by using a pair of tweezers and carefully pulling the tick out of the skin. Then, clean the bite area. If you can, keep the tick in a plastic bag, so you can show or explain the characteristics to a medical practitioner or veterinarian and they can send it to a lab for further testing. Click here for proper removal of attached ticks.
So, what can you do to protect yourself, little ones, and the family dog from ticks or bugs bites at the campsite? Be sure to check out 8 Tips for Avoiding Bug Bites (All-Natural Bug Spray Review) and read on here for how I avoid ticks while camping and hiking.
Top 10 Ways to Avoid Ticks While Camping
10. Take some time to educate yourself and your family about how ticks look and their different characteristics.
9. Pick campsites that are well used and maintained, with grass that is cut regularly and with well-used trails.
8. Keep to the centre of well-used trails. Ticks love to chill out in tall grasses waiting to hitch a ride.
7. If you let the dog run freely outside, make sure to always check him for ticks before and after you let him back in the house.
6. If the kids have been playing outside, be sure to check them out carefully for any ticks.
5. Spray clothing with a good repellent containing 20% Deet*. Apply to the neck, face, and ears, and any exposed skin.
4. Use Permethrin* on clothing, hiking boots, and even camping essentials like chairs, tents, tarps, and backpacks.
3. Long pants should be tucked into your socks. Also, tuck loose shirts into your pants if you’re in an area abundant with ticks. Rubber boots could also aid in defending off ticks, click here for more info.
2. Wear light-coloured clothing when you’re outdoors – it’s easier to spot any ticks that might be crawling on you or your family.
1. Wash and dry all family camping clothing on high heat to kill any unwanted ticks that might have hitched a ride home with you.
Although ticks may seem like one of today’s serious risks, with the right precautions, you don’t have to worry about your family’s safety. So, get outside and enjoy your time with family and friends!
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