Camping Tips and Tricks: Dealing with Ticks

Springtime has finally arrived and if you think the way we do, the thought of going for a nice trip to my favorite campsite is more than enough motivation to get your Little Guy Trailer ready for the road ahead.

A walk in the woods on a nice spring day can be a very refreshing and rewarding experience after a long, cold winter, however there are some things you will certainly want to avoid if you plan on enjoying this year’s camping season. Specifically, one of these being those tiny, pesky, disease-carrying, burrowing pests we have all come to know and fear: Ticks.

Here are few facts and Safety tips to keep ticks from ruining your camping:

When is tick season?

Humans are most at risk of getting a tick bite during the spring and summer months; specifically, April through September.

Do ticks tend to populate in your area of the country?

Ticks need warm, humid conditions to undergo metamorphosis and to flourish. The most common places you will find ticks is in woody areas, swamp/damp ground with standing water and in areas of high vegetation.

What Preventative Safety Precautions can I take to avoid tick bites:

  • Wear Insect Repellent. Deet is the ideal ingredient to look for, as it is capable of protecting both skin and clothing. When applying skin repellent, be sure to pay particular attention to areas of your body and clothing that are close to the ground such as your legs and your socks.
  • Protect your clothing with Permethrin.
  • Stay in the Middle of Trails. Avoid areas of thick brush and low hanging branches. Using a stick to shake-up branches before you walk under them will keep ticks at bay.
  • Wear taller hiking boots to allow for pant legs to be tucked in. This will prevent ticks from finding pathways under your clothes.
  • Wear snug, light-colored clothing. Doing so will ensure the ability to see ticks that attach to your clothing.
  • Do a Tick Check after Hiking. Have a buddy check your skin and clothing for ticks. Be sure to pay close attention to areas behind the knee, in the crook of the elbow, in the armpit, the waistband, collar, hairline, behind the ears, and in your belly button.

How to remove a tick that has embedded itself into your skin:

  • Have fine-tipped (non hair-plucking) tweezers on hand to ensure the correct removal of an embedded tick.
  • Grasp the tick’s embedded head as close to the skin as possible. Be careful not to pull on the tick’s body, as this may cause the tick to spit bacteria into the affected area.
  • Pull straight out, being careful to get the ticks entire body at the head removed from the affected area.

Taking these small preventative steps will help you enjoy the great outdoors and your future camping trips this season.

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