How to Avoid Tick Bites while Hiking and Camping?

How to Avoid Tick Bites while Hiking and Camping?

(Last Updated: April 25, 2019)

Believe it all not, ticks are everywhere. However, it is well known that they prefer areas such as long grassy trails, shrubs, warm moist ground, and the woody areas. If you are not careful enough, these tiny, bloodsucking beings can ruin your whole camping experience. This article comes to your rescue: we will equip you with all the info and tips you need on how to avoid tick bites when hiking or camping.

How to protect oneself from ticks while outside?

how to avoid tick bites

1. Plan ahead

Where do you plan to go camping or hiking? What season of the year will it be? Ticks are known to be most active during late spring and summer seasons. Also, some areas have higher ticks infestation than others. Do your research right. Or, contact the park staff to get more insights into the levels of tick infestation in that area. As you plan and pack for your camp, remember to pack in a few items that you can use to manage ticks infestation and bites. These include:

  • Duct tape
  • Antiseptic cream and
  • A pair of pointed tweezers

2. Stick to the set path trails

Ticks love tall grass, bushes, and shrubs. Thus, avoid walking in these areas. Always walk in the middle of the set trails to avoid brushing against ticks from the bushes on the edges.

3. Repel them

Another tip on how to avoid ticks when camping and hiking are by repelling them. You can do this by using chemical repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or permethrin on your skin. Also, remember to treat your clothes, tents, and camping gear with the tick repellent. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is a well-known tick and insect repellent which can be used for your clothes, camping gear, or tent.

4. Dress accordingly

Choosing the right kind of clothes will play a major role in keeping the ticks away. Here are a few tips.

  • Wear brightly colored clothes such as whites. They will enable you to quickly notice a tick on you.
  • Go for long sleeved attire, that is, long sleeve shirts and blouses and long pants. Cover as much skin as possible to prevent any possible tick bites.
  • Wearing a hat will discourage ticks from hiding in your hair.
  • Tuck in your pants into your socks and/or your hiking boots. The point here is, try as much as possible to cover up. Ticks will have no access point to your skin.
  • Consider buying a few clothes that are already treated using tick repellent. Consider investing in a good pair of pretreated socks such as the Insect Shield Sport Crew Socks. Remember that ticks will most find their way up to your body from the ground. With a good pair of tick repellent socks, you can be confident that ticks from the ground will be kept away. An advantage of having pretreated clothes is that the repellent is long-lasting – you can wash them a few times and the repellent will still work effectively.
  • Do not forget to apply tick repellent on your hiking boots. Remember, ticks crawl from ground up.

5. Take quick action

Always remove any ticks that may be present immediately and with the highest level of precision. Note that, squeezing ticks increases chances of contracting an illness.

6. Apply these camping tips

Choose a camping site that is dry and clear of long grass and shrubs. Also, avoid wooded areas. They are a perfect habitat for ticks. Instead, pitch tents on sunny, dry areas where ticks are less likely to stay. Pack in camping chairs rather than directly sitting on the ground and sleep on camping cots instead of mats. This is because being elevated from the ground keeps you further away from the ticks.

7. Take regular showers

It takes a tick about 24 to 48 hours after landing on your skin to begin feeding. Taking regular showers presents an ideal opportunity for you to inspect your body for ticks thus preventing possible bites.



8. Have well-maintained backyard

Keep your own backyard free from ticks by ensuring the lawns and plants are well taken care of. Also, cut off all plants that may attract deer ticks which transmit Lyme disease.

9. Inspect your body and clothes often

Regularly inspect your body, your children’s and pets bodies and clothes for any ticks at an interval of two to three hours.

10. Remember to treat your pets too

Ticks present on your pets may transfer to humans too.

11. Beware of the signs of tick bites

A tick bite and possibly tick infestations will be indicated by one or more signs below.

  • Pain or swelling at the bite site
  • A rash
  • A burning sensation at the bite site
  • Blisters
  • Difficulty breathing, if severe

12. Inspect all your belongings before packing them in from a camp or hike

Inspect your clothes, hiking or camping gear, sleeping bags, tents, and backpacks to prevent you from bringing home any ticks that may still be clinging on them.

More tips

  • Wondering on how to prevent ticks on humans naturally? Although not yet scientifically proven, a majority swear by the use of Garlic 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil on yards and skin. Others claim that using both natural oils and permethrin repellents will offer maximum protection against ticks.
  • Ladies are advised to tie or braid long hair to avoid it from brushing in trees or shrubs that may be infested with ticks. Also, tick inspection is easier on braided hair.

How to remove a tick?

How to remove a tick

What if you, your child, or pet gets beaten by a tick, what should you do? The tick should be removed as soon as possible. Here is a guide on how to remove a tick?

You will need:

  • A tick removal device such as pointed tweezers
  • Soap and water or rubbing alcohol

Procedure

  1. Using your pointed pair of tweezers hold the tick firmly and as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Be careful not to squeeze the tick—squeezing the tick may trigger the spread of diseases.
  2. By applying even pressure, and maintaining the firm hold, pull the tick upwards. Care should be taken so as you do not move the tick side to side—mouth parts may break off and remain in the skin.
  3. Once you have removed the tick, clean the area and your hands thoroughly using soap and water or with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Dispose of live a tick either by:
    • Putting it in a sealed container or bag to dispose of later
    • Flushing it down the toilet
    • Putting it inside rubbing alcohol
    • Wrapping the tick very tightly using a duct tape

How to prevent ticks on pets?

prevent ticks on pets

Regularly inspect your pets for ticks and tick bites by gently rubbing your pet’s coat and checking for any bumps. Ticks like hiding around the ears, tail, eyes, armpit, and between the toes of the animals. Follow the procedure outlined above to remove any ticks found on your pets.

A tip on how to avoid ticks while hiking with your dog is ensuring they also maintain the trails too. You can also tie a bandana or collar around its neck that has been pretreated with tick repellent. Note that your dog is more susceptible to tick bites than you are. And if your pet is beaten by the ticks, it will most likely carry the tick home. This may lead to a tick infestation in your compound and backyard. Worse, the ticks can spread from your pets to your clothes and skin.

How to protect the kids from tick bites?

protect kids from tick bites

  • Ensure your children walk in the middle of the set path trails. Also, warn them against getting close to the edges of those paths. (They are more likely to get tick bites when walking near the edges.)
  • Remember that kids love to play around, be it the woods or grasslands. But, when hiking or camping, always caution them against playing in these areas.
  • Additionally, each day, inspect your kids to check for any ticks and/or tick bites. Ticks mostly hide in areas such as in and around the hair, in and behind the ears, the armpits, behind the knees, and in the groin area.
  • Always treat your children’s clothes and gear with tick repellent.
  • Or, you can invest in a few pretreated clothes for your children.
  • Bathe your child immediately you are back indoors and insect their clothes and gear for any ticks.
  • Wash the clothes in hot water to kill any ticks that were unnoticed.

Conclusion

Hikes and camps should be memorable experiences. Thus, do not let ticks and tick bites spoil these wonderful memories. By planning ahead and following all the other prevention tips provided above, ticks bites will be less likely. It is our hope that the information provided above will be a useful resource for your outdoor endeavors. This article comes to your rescue: we will equip you with all the info and tips you need on how to avoid tick bites when hiking or camping.


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