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Thread: Lyme question.

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    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Lyme question.

    Not sure where to post this. I will be going to N. Wisconsin soon to ride some trails and I would like to camp out. If I stay away from the weeds would I have trouble with ticks? I'll spray my tent, shoes, and socks with permethrin and I'll camp in groomed areas.
    Just how bad is the problem up there? I talked to someone from Duluth and he said he knows lots of people who've had it, and some who've had it twice.
    Anyone camp in Lyme infested areas?
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

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    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    Plan on a daily tick check, bring a close friend. Beyond that enjoy the day.
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Life happens, don't be a spectator.

  3. #3
    Bike touring webrarian
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    You might find this old thread about ticks and lyme disease useful: Stealth camping NJ- The locals are happy to have you
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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    jwa
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    Plan on a daily tick check, bring a close friend. Beyond that enjoy the day.
    Right. They can be hard to find on hairy areas (and really repulsive when found attached. Trust me on that one. )

    CDC says a tick must be attached for 36-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, so a thorough check before hitting the sack and upon arising in the morning should suffice.

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    In my experience, ticks abound on higher shrubbery to hitch a ride on passing mammals. Brush against the wrong bush and you might get dozens at once.

    Permethrin on clothing seems to work for me, along with constant checks on exposed skin and nightly checks elsewhere. I carry long lightweight trousers for camping, and walking in the bush. A few years ago I hiked the AT and didn't have to remove a single tick. Clothing, chemicals, and care.

    I've never applied permethrin to my shelter, but I suppose it couldn't hurt. I don't think ticks crawl on the ground much looking for prey, but I'm not sure about that.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    I've never applied permethrin to my shelter, but I suppose it couldn't hurt. I don't think ticks crawl on the ground much looking for prey, but I'm not sure about that.

    I'd know of folks who claim that they got ticks at night while in their tent, but I seriously doubt that. I suspect that they have ticks that they picked up during the day on their clothing that then crawled onto their skin later.

    I advise using permethrin sparingly since it does have some risks an dangers:
    1. Permethrin is extremely toxic to fish and aquatic life in general, so extreme care must be taken when using products containing permethrin near water sources.
    2. Permethrin is also highly toxic to cats, and flea and tick-repellent formulas intended and labeled for (the more resistant) dogs may contain permethrin and cause feline permethrin toxicosis in cats.
    3. Very high doses have tangible neurotoxic effects on mammals and birds, including human beings.

    Basically it is pretty nasty stuff and the decision to use it should be well thought out, done only when/where really needed, and used only in the smallest quantity to do the job.

    I hiked often and trail ran daily in a location with a lot of ticks and picked ticks off pretty frequently, but despite having toured fairly extensively I don't ever recall finding ticks on me when on tour.

    I have had Lyme disease twice back in the early days when it was just coming on to the scene and people were just becoming aware of it. I still have problems that I blame on LD, so I do take ticks seriously, but going overboard with toxic chemicals is still bad news.

    In high risk area, the first line of defense is to avoid brushing against brush, tall grasses, or shrubs. That is pretty easy to do on a road tour, off road is harder but not always impossible. The second is to carefully check for and remove any ticks on your body. I reserve using permethrin as a third option for only those cases when those steps are insufficient. Then I'd suggest using it only on your clothing, not on your tent and definitely never on your skin.

    After living in tick and prime Lyme Disease country for many years, I decided that I am better off with bare legs as I can feel and see the ticks on my legs. With long pants I find that I am just as likely to pick them up, but less likely to feel or see them. So with long pants I am more likely to carry them into the tent or into the car or house when at home. They also seem more likely to make their way farther up my body to the area around my pants waist band or up to my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    Not sure where to post this. I will be going to N. Wisconsin soon to ride some trails and I would like to camp out. If I stay away from the weeds would I have trouble with ticks? I'll spray my tent, shoes, and socks with permethrin and I'll camp in groomed areas.
    Just how bad is the problem up there? I talked to someone from Duluth and he said he knows lots of people who've had it, and some who've had it twice.
    Anyone camp in Lyme infested areas?

    I've done local hiking thru woodsy areas with lots of underbrush plus gardening activities & can't recall ever getting a tick. Poison ivy, yes. Local area has lots of deer too. Sometimes dogs get ticks--incidence quite variable. One November my dog was getting frequent ticks; past couple of years only 1 or 2. Dogs like to rub past shrubs/weeds/undergrowth. Maybe for trail riding long pants/tights could give an extra margin of protection. North Wisconsin weather should make that fairly comfortable I'd presume. Lately I'm using long sleeves/pants to do yard work despite hot DC-area temps. Protection from bugs, sun & scratchy plants far outweighs added heat.

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    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    And may I also recommend that you bone up on the all the symptoms/signs of Lyme disease so assuming you begin developing symptoms, you'll be prompted much more quickly to seek appropriate medical care and always always let your health care professional know that you have spent time in the great outdoors and to consider Lyme as a potential diagnosis. Believe me when I tell you that the Dx gets missed way too often because the symptoms can be so vague and variable among individuals.

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    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm back from my trip. It's surprising to me how casual the locals are to this issue. Everybody I talked to knows people who have/had Lyme, but they do things I consider risky. I saw people pitching tents in leaf litter, kids playing in tall grass, people fishing in tall grass. Most people said they checked themselves at night or used DEET. I sprayed my tent, shoes and socks with permethrin and I stayed out of the weeds. Never saw a tick. But I know from experience that there are times when they are abundant and times when they are scarce.
    I had a wonderful time riding the Old Abe Trail and fishing in the Chippewa River. Definitely look forward to going again. I think the main thing is to be aware of it and take some precautions. I didn't do any wild berry picking and probably won't.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

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