Ticks are out and ready to greet early season hikers. We’ve linked to a good article by Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News but, first, the usual advice: Wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat — especially the hat. Also, light colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks. Use insect repellent or, better yet, wear a set of clothes that you’ve pre-treated with permethrin.
[Please note: In the Flathead Forest’s Glacier View Ranger District, the south end of Demers Ridge Trail #266 starting at the Camas Road trailhead, is a very popular and accessible early season trail. It is also heavily infested with ticks.]
Here’s Chris’s article on the subject . . .
A lot of folks are out recreating in the woods during the novel coronavirus outbreak — even with Glacier National Park closed, there are still millions of acres to hike, fish, float, hunt and recreate on while keeping a safe distance.
But as the temperatures warm up there’s another concern out there and it’s far more dangerous than any bear encounter.
It’s wood ticks.
We went on a hike in the Whitefish Range last night and the ticks were out in full force. After the hike, my son and I had about a half-dozen ticks on our clothing and skin, and that was after just a short trip.
Read more . . .
Whitefish Divide Trail (T26) near T3 intersection, July 12, 2017 – W. K. Walker
How many calories do you burn hiking with a backpack? Turns out, there’s an equation for that . . .
Hiking with a backpack is a heck of a lot more work than hiking without one. It feels harder, but also you’re burning more calories—which is important to know as you’re planning your snacks and meals for the trip.
This calculator from Outside Online will tell you how many calories you burn if you tell it your weight, the weight of your pack, how fast you hike, how steep the hills are, and how soft or bumpy the ground is.
Play with the numbers, keeping calories constant, and you can find out more than just how much food to pack. For example, how much faster could you go if you lightened your pack by ten pounds?. Or if you know how fast you hike on flat ground, how many miles can you plan to cover on hilly terrain?
Read more . . .
Deer Tick, Adult Female – UMaine Cooperative Extension-Griffin Dill
Speaking from personal experience, tick season did its usual early April arrival on the North Fork last year and the nasty little critters likely stayed active into September. There’s no reason to think things will be any different this year. Ticks prefer moist, brushy areas, but even seemingly dry, more open landscape like the trail to Glacier View peak have their share of ticks.
Actually, Glacier View has more than its share of ticks. The lower reaches are heavily infested with the little bloodsuckers early in the season.
So, precautions are in order. The basics are long sleeves, long pants, a hat and vigilance. Light colored clothing makes ticks easier to spot.
Pre-treating hiking togs with a permethrin based spray will actually kill ticks that get on your clothing. The treatment lasts through several wash cycles.
Insect repellent will keep flies and mosquitoes away, but won’t discourage ticks from hitching a ride. They’ll simply walk across repellent-treated areas in search of a tastier spot to dig in.
And, of course, check yourself and your gear thoroughly when you get home.
For more information, here are a couple of useful articles:
10 Important Ways to Avoid Summer Tick Bites (LiveScience)
Preventing tick bites (Centers for Disease Control)