November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
ticks in your gear while you're in the bug bivy?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
ticks in your gear while you're in the bug bivy? on 04/02/2012 20:00:51 MDT Print View

In bug season many people sleep in a bug tent or bivy under their tarp. Usually these bug-free havens have little room for your gear, so your stuff lays under the tarp but outside the bug tent. I have a MLD solo bug bivy that I plan to start using on my next overnighter.

In tick country, do you guys worry about ticks getting into your gear as it lays unprotected, then after you pack up in the morning getting into your packed clothes, quilt, etc? I wonder because Ray J. describes getting ticks on his pack after laying it down during a break.

Tick season has arrived in the Southeast USA. I was dayhiking this weekend and even on a good trail without brush, I caught a monster tick crawling up my calf with all the gusto of an alien facehugger ( It got me to thinking about battling them as the weather continues to warm up.

Edited by El_Canyon on 04/02/2012 20:05:34 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: ticks in your gear while you're in the bug bivy? on 04/02/2012 20:21:55 MDT Print View

That's why I bring my gear inside, but then I worry that there might be ticks on it that I've brought inside for the night.

I got a tick on my pack after putting it down for a short moment on the side of the trail. I was going to make camp there until I saw the tick crawling up my pack. I hiked another mile and slept in the middle of the trail. Last month I encountered lots of ticks, and again decided to sleep in the middle of the trail.

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Ticks Suck! on 04/02/2012 20:45:11 MDT Print View

I hate ticks...

I just bring my gear in my tent with me.

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Permethrin is your friend in bug country. on 04/03/2012 06:43:24 MDT Print View

I spray Sawyer's Permethrin on my gear before heading out into the back country. It just plain works, as far as my experience goes.

During my Ocala National Forest hike last summer, I found six ticks on my legs in three days despite 100% DEET applied to them after each meal break. I'd sprayed my gear and my clothing before leaving home. I did not find a single tick underneath my clothing, in my hammock, or on my pack the entire time.

YMMV, and you may not be an insecticide fan. But, if you don't mind a chrysanthemum-derived compound, Permethrin seems to work better than anything else I've tried.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: "ticks in your gear while you're in the bug bivy?" on 04/03/2012 07:19:27 MDT Print View

Can you spray permethrin directly on cuben and other technical fabrics?

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Ticks! on 04/03/2012 09:05:32 MDT Print View

While building trail in Northern Minnesota this past summer I pulled 133 ticks off me (we had a running count). I don't really worry about them anymore.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Permethrin on technical fabrics? on 04/03/2012 09:30:26 MDT Print View

John asked, "Can you spray permethrin directly on cuben and other technical fabrics?"
My guess is that it should be safe, but I don't know how long it will last. It should work OK on packs. What about ground cloths or bivys? It would be nice to keep ticks from crawling across my ground cloth onto me.
I guess we'll have to do some experiments:
Event (so expensive, will it harm the breathability? )

Does anybody have ideas on how to do the experiments on efficacy and durability of treatments?

My only idea is to spray a small sample with permethrin and find some bugs to see if they die on the fabric; repeat over time.

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Re: Technical Fabrics on 04/03/2012 15:28:23 MDT Print View

The emulsion that the Permethrin is suspended in is petroleum-based. So, if petrol products will harm the material, I'd steer clear.

It works just fine on regular old nylon, polyester, wool, and spandex, though.

Will Webster
Re: Re: Technical Fabrics on 04/03/2012 15:43:01 MDT Print View

This would be an excellent project for an MYOG'er or cottage industry manufacturer who has scraps of these projects.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Crawling Ticks on 04/03/2012 16:13:23 MDT Print View

Ticks tend to not crawl into your gear. They usually hitch rides on passing animals.

It is not so common for them to crawl into your shelter. More likely to hitch a ride when you walk through foliage or set your gear down in grass/duff.

I don't worry about ticks on my gear. I worry about them on me.
I treat all my hiking clothing with permethrin, so am usually confident.

I have had them on my bare hiking legs, but they are usually easy to spot there and can be removed before Lyme is an issue.
It usually takes many hours of them being attached for Lyme to infect. So don't worry unless it has been attached for a while.

I have had Lyme, in fact an advanced case, but that was before treating my clothing.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 04/04/2012 21:25:54 MDT Print View

Great idea on the permethrin, I will follow up on that one.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Ticks on 04/04/2012 21:47:16 MDT Print View

" I don't really worry about them anymore."

You should. The Lyme disease is not always so easily diagnosed, and if it progresses for a while, may leave you permanently disabled. Finis, BP.

The prevalence of Lyme in deer ticks is very high here in NH, although the studies run all the way from 20% to 50%. Fortunately, they can still be avoided by going north of the Whites to the Cohos Trail, but they move further north every year.

It would make sense to do a little research and find out how prevalent Deer Ticks, as opposed to other types, are in your area; and if so, how infectious they are. State health departments can be very helpful with this type of info.

Hiking here around Chocorua in the warmer seasons, I stick to the hardened trails below 2000' and spray Permethrin on boots and clothing, but not directly on skin. You're right, the ticks aren't fazed much by DEET, and won't let it keep them from a happy meal. Were I camping here, I would spray the gear, all of it, without hesitation. My dogs have lyme shots, and are treated regularly with Frontline, but still get dog ticks. The Deer ticks are much harder to detect.

Wish a new human vaccine for Lyme would be reintroduced.

Edited by scfhome on 04/04/2012 21:50:31 MDT.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Ticks on 04/04/2012 22:58:13 MDT Print View

Just to be clear, that area I was in had pretty much only dog ticks, wich are not known carriers of Lyme.

I know how to distinguish between the two and we had resources to test any tick that was embedded for lyme.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Ticks on 04/05/2012 09:48:53 MDT Print View

Ticks must be different back east because out west they appear to be really clumsy and unable to grip slippery fabrics very well. They'd much prefer to climb up a piece of grass and wait for a meal than hang out on your backpack where they can barely manage to keep from flipping over onto their backs and falling off into the dirt. Anyway, I use a tent because I hate worrying about my gear being out there in the wind blowing away while I sleep.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Ticks Suck! on 05/25/2012 09:19:14 MDT Print View

Okay so I had a total nightmare tick situation last weekend. Pulled at least 25 off of me and 20 off my girlfriend. Then while driving home they were crawling out from my shirts sleeves. Found 1 each day on me after returning for the next 3 days. It was terrifying. Even found a deer tick crawling through my partners hair.

So I now have a dilemma. I left my gear in my car and I found a live tick a week later inside. My gear must be crawling with them. I just read that washing machines don't kill ticks and after an hour on high in the dryer still half are alive.

Anyone have any ideas? Wash all clothes with a little permethrin? What about my tent and sleep pads.

I am just seriously freaked out and spooked. I have never seen this many ticks in minnesota.


Edited by justaddfuel on 05/25/2012 09:22:44 MDT.

Karple T

Locale: Mid-Alantic
TICKS on 05/25/2012 10:21:15 MDT Print View

Ticks don't drown.

Check out this stuff - I use it on me my stuff and my dog.

I spray it in my yard and so does my neighbor and we are flea & tick free.

Developed for use in Iraq to kill sand flees.

Organic Pesticide - no harm to pets or people.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
@ James on 05/25/2012 10:30:25 MDT Print View

For your clothes and gear, soak them in a permetherin solution - ticks die on contact. You can buy concentrated permetherin at livestock/farm stores and on Amazon. Dilute to your desired level. Dip clothes, gear, wring out, and dry (not in a clothes drier, on a line, etc.).

For the car, get a spray bottle of permetherin, and spray down the interior. Even if ticks are hiding, they contact the permetherin when they crawl out towards you, and die.

In the future, treat ypur clothes with permetherin before you hike, and you won't have a problem.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: TICKS on 05/25/2012 10:33:42 MDT Print View

I've heard about Cedarcide from radio ads on Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller who swear by it but since they're getting paid for it I'm a bit skeptical

Does it work?

Have you tried it when there were Mosquitoes biting?

What about flies? I find that's the worst pest. DEET only barely works.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: @ James on 05/25/2012 10:36:56 MDT Print View

Permethrin is a bad ass poison. I sometimes use it on the outside of my pants, gaiters, and boots. They say not to let it touch your skin.

If you spray it on your car interior or soak your clothes in it, make sure and let it dry out completely. Maybe let them air out for a few days?

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: TICKS on 05/25/2012 10:38:15 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great advice, good thing I have a whole bottle of permethrin already! I will go the cedarcide route if I am still having problems.

Oh and Jerry, I have worked with permethrin before and although it is toxic right away, It quickly degrades via sunlight and air. I do not drive often so this is a pretty easy one for me.


Edited by justaddfuel on 05/25/2012 10:41:56 MDT.