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Old 06-08-05, 10:20 AM   #1
tom cotter
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lyme disease and stealth camping

I would like to try stealth camping however in my part of the country Lyme disease is a real threat. I know to some that this may sound funny coming from someone who lives in New Jersey afterall, where could we camp? About 1/3 of the state is a protected forest known as the pine barrens. It's the largest patch of undeveloped land between Boston and Cape Hatteras. Unforunately it's infested with deer ticks. The ticks aren't a problem if you stay on trails, but once you go into the bush you are guaranteed to come out with them. High grass is also a prime habitat. The most problematic of these little bugs are the nymphs, which are barely visable to the naked eye but deliver the most potent bite. I know there are tick repelants as well as a Lyme vaccine but was wondering how others deal with this problem. How do you stealth camp in tick country?
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Old 06-08-05, 10:23 AM   #2
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long sleeves & long pants. if you're walking through long grass, tuck your pants into your socks.
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Old 06-08-05, 10:48 AM   #3
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Ticks are the suck. If you spend any time in a wooded area or long grass like halfbiked mentioned, always do a thorough tick check. Especially check your inner thighs, back of your legs, upper calf near the knee, and your ribs. If possible, have someone give your hair a once over. I do a good bit of hiking, and of all the wildlife I come across, ticks are my worst fear. Not a big deal provided you check yourself before you return to civilization.
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Old 06-08-05, 01:10 PM   #4
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I stealth camp in an area where I might contact Lyme disease. I always keep covered and use DEET.

I wouldn't use that as a reason to not get out and enjoy yourself.
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Old 06-08-05, 02:36 PM   #5
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Permathrin (sp?) works well. You spray it on clothes, shoes and stuff (dont spray on your skin!) and it lasts for weeks.

A tick must be on you for a significant period of time for you to contract lyme disease. It must fill itself and regurgitate back into you before you have a significant chance of exposure. This takes about 24 hours. Check yourself daily and you shouldn't have any problems. They do leave a nasty, itchy bump no matter how long they are on. I just pulled one off last night! Little Ba$tards!
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Old 06-08-05, 03:48 PM   #6
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I used to be in the woods a whole lot in NY camping/hiking, never got any ticks, then over the last few years I've gotten 3 ticks just walking around outside on pavement and mown grass, so don't let the woods scare you away, the bastard are everywhere,

and do check for ticks, light colored clothing helps to see them better, from my experience the go for the balls, so watch out!
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Old 06-08-05, 06:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dwightonabike
Permathrin (sp?) works well. You spray it on clothes, shoes and stuff (dont spray on your skin!) and it lasts for weeks...
This stuff is excellent (especially against ticks)! I also spray it on my tent+bag.
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Old 06-08-05, 07:07 PM   #8
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Great topic. I just finished setting up my tent in the back yard. I can use the rain fly separate but not net and no ground cloth. I was just wondering the same thing about lyme disease.

If I use just the rain fly I can get my tent and stakes down to 2lbs. Just the tent without the rain fly is 3.5lbs. The whole thing is about 5.5.

I know someone who had lyme disease. The doctors found it early. He was on meds for about 9 months. Lost lots of weight. Lost lots of hair. Really scary. I hate ticks!
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Old 06-08-05, 11:33 PM   #9
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Lyme disease is my biggest phobia. It's also easy to beat. If you get a tick, watch yourself carefully; if you see a ring develop around the bite site, go to the doc and et antibiotics. A run of antibiotics right away pretty much always ends things before you get any of the really serious complications; without them, you're very likely to have long-term effects.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by brokenrobot
If you get a tick, watch yourself carefully; if you see a ring develop around the bite site, go to the doc and et antibiotics. A run of antibiotics right away pretty much always ends things before you get any of the really serious complications; without them, you're very likely to have long-term effects.

This is very good advice. A hiking buddy thought he had a tick bite one time - but it turned out to be ringworm...
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Old 06-13-05, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightonabike
Permathrin (sp?) works well. You spray it on clothes, shoes and stuff (dont spray on your skin!) and it lasts for weeks.

A tick must be on you for a significant period of time for you to contract lyme disease. It must fill itself and regurgitate back into you before you have a significant chance of exposure. This takes about 24 hours. Check yourself daily and you shouldn't have any problems. They do leave a nasty, itchy bump no matter how long they are on. I just pulled one off last night! Little Ba$tards!
Permathrin? Is this it's comercial name? Where do I buy this?
I've been Canoeing/kayaking in the pine barrens for ten years. Mostly on rivers and streams in the middle of tick country. No problem until two years ago when one of the little suckers got me on the upper inner thigh. Last year I pulled another one off, of all places, my penis. They do seem to like that general area of the body. For the first one I waited about a month, the time necessary for a more accurate detection, to get a lyme test. Last year, no test, just waited for symtoms that never showed. For anyone who suffers a similar indignity of being bitten on their privates, the tell tale bullseye rash can appear on the upper thighs or lower abdomen. Also, a rash doesn't appear in every case, so know and watch for other symptoms. Still trying to figure out how I got bitten while in a canoe?
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Old 06-13-05, 06:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom cotter
Permathrin? Is this it's comercial name? Where do I buy this?
I've been Canoeing/kayaking in the pine barrens for ten years. Mostly on rivers and streams in the middle of tick country. No problem until two years ago when one of the little suckers got me on the upper inner thigh. Last year I pulled another one off, of all places, my penis. They do seem to like that general area of the body. For the first one I waited about a month, the time necessary for a more accurate detection, to get a lyme test. Last year, no test, just waited for symtoms that never showed. For anyone who suffers a similar indignity of being bitten on their privates, the tell tale bullseye rash can appear on the upper thighs or lower abdomen. Also, a rash doesn't appear in every case, so know and watch for other symptoms. Still trying to figure out how I got bitten while in a canoe?
REI carries Sawyer brand spray, this seems a more environmentally friendly refillable version than the canned aerosol type I've used. Other outfitters may carry different types.

Good tip above about the telltale bullseye not allways appearing. Folks should also be aware that (from my recollection), the serological test has a false negative* rate. Therefore if lyme disease is suspect, but the test comes back negative-I'd suggest having the test repeated. [*I may very well be mistaken, there may be a newer test with higher sensitivity/specificity currently in use.]
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Old 06-14-05, 06:31 AM   #13
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For those bikers from Ontario or planning on visiting Ontario, you should check out the Government of Ontario Lyme disease information page.
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/...ease/lyme.html

Medical authorities here are recommending DEET.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:12 AM   #14
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Good tip above about the telltale bullseye not allways appearing. Folks should also be aware that (from my recollection), the serological test has a false negative* rate. Therefore if lyme disease is suspect, but the test comes back negative-I'd suggest having the test repeated. [*I may very well be mistaken, there may be a newer test with higher sensitivity/specificity currently in use.][/QUOTE]

You are right about the false negatives. When i got the results back my doctor told to keep watching for symtoms and that if anything suspicious showed itself he'd test me again.
Another thing to be aware of is the size of these ticks. The adults are less than a pinhead in size. Before feeding the nymphs which can be a whitish color are all but undetectable to all but young perfect vision. Good to use a magnifying glass to give yourself the once over.
Still trying to figure out how you could sleep in their habitat without a problem.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:20 AM   #15
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Medical authorities in the US have recommended DEET for ages; they've just expanded their general (not tick-specific) recommendations to include Picaridin, which might be less toxic for people but lasts less long.

Also:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/prevent.htm
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