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Which one first?
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(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Which one first? on 12/29/2006 02:49:45 MST Print View

When applying DWR and Permethrin to soft shell pants, which one goes on first? Does it even matter?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Which one first? on 12/31/2006 00:44:20 MST Print View


I think I would apply DWR first. Let it dry. Then apply Permethrin on top. Here's my rationale:

1. Applying DWR over Permethrin may reduce its bug-killing efficacy (I hate bugs and will do nothing to cover over or otherwise compromise the Permethrin).

2. So long as there's DWR on top of your clothing, it should repel water, regardless of whether it's applied before or after the Permethrin. It probably doesn't hurt to test the DWR's repellancy by sprinkling some water on your clothing before you hit the road.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Re: Which one first? on 12/31/2006 02:45:15 MST Print View

Sounds reasonable to me.

I just wasn't sure what chemical Sawyer uses to suspend the permethrin so it can be spayed on, and if that chemical would degrade the DWR. Or maybe the opposite method would degrade the permethrin.

When I bought my Cloudveil Peak Pants the DWR did not need to be applied (as they were new) so I just sprayed on the permethrin. I didn't notice any ill effects with the DWR, but I would imagine that the factory finish was more hearty than what I could purchase to refresh it.

I'll try it your way, Ben, and just see what happens. Thanks for the help.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
first one on 12/31/2006 02:59:50 MST Print View

Is Permithin (?) a super product I don't know about?
Can you describe its pros.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Permethrin on 12/31/2006 05:12:14 MST Print View


it's a chemical which is produced naturally by some plants, e.g. marigolds - that's why one might see marigolds planted around and in the midst of some home vegetable gardens.

it is toxic to many creatures, including insects and humans. so it is more of a poison than a repellent.

it is a nerve toxin which prevents the formation of and interferes with the action of certain neurotransmitters which form at neural synapses (junctions) and so, the little electrical impulses can't "jump the gap".

common sign of permethrin poisoning in humans is something that is similar to many nerve agents, viz. inability to swallow and foaming at the mouth. There are other more internal systemic effects also.

as far as humans go, there MAY be some who are hypersensitive to it, but supposedly this is rare. for most people, they report no problems. Look,...

in the litigious USofA (a world leader in the area of litigation, IMHO), a company like Ex Officio is comfortable marketing permethrin treated clothing under the tradename "BUZZ OFF". If there was a serious problem with humans contacting permethrin, they would have long ago been sued out of business. Makes sense, right? Well, it does to me at least.

So, what are the potential problems for humans? well, incidental skin contact is probably not an issue. Supposedly, oils and/or sweat on the skin renders permethrin harmless.

The problem (as i learned it over 30yrs ago in an Advanced Entomology course in College, dealing with insect pests) is typically with professional and non-pro (like a home owner) exterminators, and L/UL backpackers, SPRAYING permethrin (to treat homes or clothes) in either a closed environment or where the wind might blow the spray back into the face of the person spraying and a bunch of the chemical is inhaled and some finds its way into the aveoli deep in the lungs.

bottom line: be careful treating your clothes. do so, outside, on a non-windy day (or stay upwind of the spray).

after being educated on the safety of permethrin a couple of years ago by more knowledgeable folks on this website (i had learned it's a 'no-no' in that course i took), i've investigated permethrin further and now even own some permethrin impregnated clothing. i'm comfortable using it in the deer-tick infested forests and meadows of New England. I can report no problems with the clothing or with ticks and other six or eight legged critters. My personal conclusion, for me, at least, it is safe to use. I haven't had to re-treat the clothing yet - it is supposedly good for 20+ washes.

Please be sure to read Richard's and Doug's Posts which follow this one. They both have some very excellent remarks which i, unfortunately, failed to include in this Post.

Thanks guys for coverin' my six!

Edited by pj on 12/31/2006 12:30:41 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Which one first? on 12/31/2006 10:54:00 MST Print View

Don't apply both to the same garment. Use DWR on your outer layer and Permethrin on your base layer (Capilene or wool).

Two years ago I had Montane / Pertex test a Litespeed wind shirt for me to answer this question. They reported that a DWR/Permethrin combination reduced the DWR rating from class 5 to class 2-3 (higher is better). They recommended putting DWR on the wind shirt and Permethrin on the base layer.

This year I asked Ryan J. what he did, relative to DWR and Permethrin, for his Artic 1000 trip. He said he put DWR on his wind shirt and Permethrin on his base layer.

Edited by richard295 on 12/31/2006 11:18:08 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Permethrin on 12/31/2006 11:02:41 MST Print View

>Is Permithin (?) a super product I don't know about?

Just to make it clear (see PJ's post for details), Permethrin is an insecticide applied only to clothing. You still need DEET or something else as an insect repellent to apply to your skin. (DEET should never be applied to clothing.)

Edited by Otter on 12/31/2006 11:31:57 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Permethrin on 12/31/2006 12:29:18 MST Print View

Good catch, Doug. Many thanks for your clarifying remarks.

I'm editing my prev. Post to reference yours.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Permethrin on 12/31/2006 12:29:46 MST Print View

I stopped carrying deet early on after I saw I could use clothing better to avoid mosquitos. The only thing exposed on me is my head and I'd rather cover it with a headnet than put that naksty stuff on me. Certainly not for clothing as you say.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Which one first? on 01/01/2007 09:42:24 MST Print View

"When applying DWR and Permethrin to soft shell pants, which one goes on first? Does it even matter?"

Will the Soft Shell stop insects from piercing the fabric? In the past, I've used a lightweight wind breaker to protect myself from mosquitoes. IF the weave is tight enough, you may not need to use permethrine at all.

BTW, I've used permethrine extensively on warm weather garments and been very pleased with them, but in cooler weather where I would wear a softshell, mosquitoes have not usually been a problem. Are you heading to Alaska perhaps?

Finally, remember that with spray-on treatments you will typically get only a couple or three weeks of protection before the chemical bonding breaks down. You can supposedly get a much longer lasting effect by "washing" the material in a diluted solution (which is what Ex Officio does) to extend the effect to several months, but I have never tried this technique. Even Ex Officio BUZZOFF products only maintain the permethrine treatment for about a year from the time they are treated in the factory.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Re: Which one first? on 01/02/2007 02:53:56 MST Print View

>>Are you heading to Alaska perhaps?

Not quite, Mt Hood and surrounding area (my prefered stomping grounds).

>>Will the Soft Shell stop insects from piercing the fabric?

Not always. I've had them pierce through the fabric where it was in the closest contact with my skin (my hip). The mosquitoes can be quite mean here, and it seems, sometimes, that nothing will stop them. Maybe thicker soft shells will stop them, but in the dog days of summer, thicker soft shells are just too hot. The Cloudveil Peak pants are really thin (probably the reason the little bugger got through). They also tend to fly or crawl up my pant legs, so I spray the inside of the pant's cuffs and the top of my socks with permethrin.

I wonder if anyone else has had problems with mosquitoes piercing through tight weave fabrics, or am I just an exception to the rule?

>>They reported that a DWR/Permethrin combination reduced the DWR rating from class 5 to class 2-3 (higher is better).

I use soft shell pants for the occasional rain shower, so the lower water resistant rating is OK with me. For outings with sustained rain I usually wear Mountain Hardwear Epic rain pants (old style, new style has no side zips) with the side zips pulled down as far as my poncho tarp will allow. I also unzip the fly on the rain pants to allow for maximum ventilation.

As far as washing in the permethrin, I'm afraid that it will totally kill the DWR so I have not thought to do so.