Saturday, April 28, 2018

Tick Hack #2 - Gaiters

I realized this past winter preparing for snow shoeing that gaiters might just have an anti tick application. Typically they quest for hosts in low shrub and tall grasses which means they attach on your lower legs. Gaiters usually cover the lower legs from knees to footwear with some styles having heel straps that secure them in place.

Gaiters could provide protection in two ways; first by covering up the gap between footware and pant hem that allow ticks to get under the pant leg and gain access to skin. The first line of defense is keeping them on the outside of your clothing. Secondly any gaiter made from a light color fabric would facilitate one being able to see the critters before they have an opportunity to climb upward looking for a gap in your clothes.

With that in mind I picked up a pair of former East European military gaiters on EBay. Made of khaki cotton with snug elasticized hems they are both light weight and breathable. Long enough to cover ankles to knees I can either leave them outside my hiking boots on top of the laces in a lower threat environment or tucked under my heel and inside my boots to create a near impregnable seal in certain tick country. Being made of cotton, as opposed to typical winter polyester gaiters, I can apply my essential oil tick repellent that will soak into the fabric and not shed off a water resistant fabric.

Yes you could tuck your pant legs into socks. You could also tape your pant legs snug but neither is a good look and can be restraining in function.

Gaiters,puttees, leg wraps, half chaps and windings have been used historically for protection, warmth and comfort.  For us in tick country they also offer another preventive yet retro fashionable anti tick option. Matched to light colored trousers you will see the little bastards before they get a chance to find a chink in your apparel.

No comments: