Today we hiked a 7.4 mile section of the mountains to sea trail, and let me tell you . . . I am SO glad it had rained the days before, because we opted to not bring Gus with us – and good thing.
This section of trail unlike any of the other ones we have done was grassy every other section. Some of the sections were overgrown with blackberry bushes and prickly vines, and full of ticks.
Every time we went through a section with tall grass, we had to do a tick check – which drastically slowed down our pace. I was smart since ticks seem to like me – I sprayed myself before we started on the trail so I (unlike past times) had none that I can recall on me. Gary on the other hand, had several each time we did a tick check, and our friend Elissa had one or two each time.
By the time we got to spraying Gary, the spray didn’t stick because of all the sweat.
We have decided that we are not bringing Gus on any hikes until tick season is over and the weather is cooler (beach or neighbourhood walks only for now) and I have decided that we are spraying before we start the trails and bringing the big can of spray in my pack.
Tips for Hiking During Tick Season
- check for ticks right after the hike if there were no grassy areas check for ticks after each section if you are walking through grassy or overgrown areas
- always have a tick extractor of some sort on a carribeaner easy to access. Mine now lives on the outside of my pack and my Patagonia Atom Sling Bag/Purse. I wrote about it earlier on a previous blog post (Tick Season Has Begun) and it has been SO GOOD to have on me and easily accessable.
- I wear a headband for sweat, but it’s not a bad idea to have something for your head
- spray yourself for bugs before you start the hike so the spray has time to dry. I wear long pants, so I don’t feel too bad about spraying the Off deep woods with deet on since it’s not touching my skin much
- check your pack and your boots after hiking! we found a tick on the shoes – good to find them before they get in your car
- this is a general tip for hiking (another post later about hiking tips to come) bring a spare change of clothes for after the hike and check yourself , your pack, and your shoes before they go in a plastic bag in the car. We found one on Gary’s boots, and Elissa had found one on her pack and her boots.
- make sure you check for the tiny ones! the almost microscopic itty bitty ones that are just as bad if not worse as the larger ones you can see more.
- check your back, your hair, your neck, everywhere!
So after the long hike, we had brunch, and then Gary and I went to the Farmer’s Market to pick up my venus flytrap plants that I had been wanting, and I also got another plant called a Drosera (sundew) plant that has little drops of sticky dew on the leaves, and when a bug lands on it, it cant get off.
So yay! I was able to put them in my terrarium and I think one of the traps has captured a fungus gnatt so far 🙂