Ticks live in many areas outside, including hiking trails. So how do you protect yourself from ticks while hiking? You will need to wear the proper clothing, use insect repellent on yourself and your gear, and you will need to know what to do if you ever do have to remove a tick from your body.
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How to Protect Yourself from Ticks
Protecting yourself from ticks while hiking, and even when spending time outside in general, is very important. Ticks can spread many diseases, but there are also many ways that you can protect yourself from ticks.
If you are hiking in a park or forest, make sure you research ahead of time if there will be ticks so you can take the proper steps to keep yourself safe.
If you are hiking in an area with ticks, you may want to leave pets at home since ticks can attach to them as well. This way, you will only need to protect yourself from ticks, which is easier than protecting pets.
Ticks will attach to skin and clothing with direct contact, so you will need to make contact with them to let them stick to you since they cannot fly.
If you can stay in the center of any hiking trails away from trees and bushes, you are less likely to come in contact with ticks. This includes keeping your head away from any low-hanging branches since ticks can attach to your hair.
If you know that you will be in an area with ticks, wear clothing that covers all of your skin, so if you come in contact with ticks, they will attach to your clothing and not your skin. Clothing that protects your skin includes long sleeve shirts, high socks, long pants, and even gloves and a hat.
The more skin you can cover, the less skin you have exposed to ticks. If you need some boots with a high ankle to protect your skin, Red Wing Boots have many options that are great for hiking.
Another way to protect yourself from ticks is to stay in bright, sunny areas. Ticks like dark, wet places, so they are unlikely to be found on sunny trails. However, if you are in the sun, you will need to keep yourself dry, so ticks are not attracted to your skin in areas like armpits, socks, and any other dark, wet areas from sweat.
What’s the Best Tick Repellent for Humans?
There are different types of repellents that work great for keeping ticks away. Some of the repellents can go on your skin, and some can not so be sure to follow the directions to keep your skin safe.
The first type of repellent is permethrin. Permethrin will protect your clothing and gear only; you should not spray it on your skin. Popular brands like Off! sell permethrin spray at most major stores, and you can also find the repellent at outdoor stores like REI.
Another kind of repellent is DEET. Deet is a common type of insect repellent that works on ticks and other insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. You can spray Deet on both skin and clothing, but you should not overuse it on your skin.
Use permethrin on your clothing before you go outside and deet on any exposed skin before and during your time outdoors. If you can use both types of repellent, you will be well protected from ticks.
What Color Should you Wear to Avoid Ticks?
Other than using tick repellent, one way to avoid ticks is by wearing specific colors of clothing. Ticks are attracted to light color clothing, so ticks will not be as attracted to you if you wear dark-colored clothing.
However, dark-colored clothing will make ticks harder to spot. Since you will need to remove ticks immediately, you will want to spot any on your clothing. Wearing light-colored clothing will make them easy to spot, so it is recommended that you wear lighter clothing in tick-infested areas.
In addition to ticks being easy to spot on light clothing, light clothing will keep you cool and dry on hot days outside. Staying cool and dry is important because ticks like living in wet, dark places like armpits, shoes, and behind your knees. If you can keep these places dry, ticks will be less likely to attach to you.
How to Remove a Tick
If you find a tick on your body, you will want to remove it as soon as possible. You will need tweezers, soap or rubbing alcohol, and a sealed bag or tape for disposal. You can keep these items with you in your hiking bag in case you do need to remove a tick out on the trail.
Use the tweezers to grab the tick, pull it straight off the skin with a steady hand and enough pressure to get it to detach. Do not twist the tick; otherwise, it may break into multiple pieces, making it harder to remove. Once you remove the tick, wash your skin and hands with soap or alcohol.
To dispose of the tick, fill a sealed bag with alcohol and place it in there. Or you can tape it up tightly and flush it down the toilet. Make sure not to crush the tick in your bare hands. The tick will die in the bag of alcohol, or it will die as it is flushed.
What to do after being in an area with ticks
When you return from being outside where ticks live, you will need to take steps to make sure you have no ticks stuck to you or your clothing so you do not bring ticks into your home.
Remove your clothes immediately, and take a shower. While showering will not remove any attached ticks, you will be able to check your skin for any quickly. You can also wash off any tickets that have not been attached to your skin yet.
After you shower, wash all clothing immediately. You should also wash your gear if possible, including your backpack, shoes, and any other equipment that you had outside. Washing your clothes and gear in hot water and drying on high heat is best for killing ticks.
Having an easy-to-wash jacket will be vital if you need to wash your clothes after being outside with ticks. Many of these stylish, lightweight jackets for women are machine washable, so you will have no trouble washing them to remove any ticks.
Ticks can spread many diseases, some of which are deadly, so taking precautions against ticks is essential.
Ensure to wear the proper clothing, which includes clothing that covers your skin, clothing that keeps you dry, and light-colored clothing to make spotting ticks easy. If you find a tick on your skin, do not panic, but remove it immediately with tweezers.
You can protect yourself and your clothing and gear from ticks with repellents. If you take the proper precautions, you should avoid any issues with ticks and enjoy your time outside.