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The Hunter’s Guide to Ticks—the Nastiest, Most Disgusting Bloodsuckers in the Woods

The grossest ticks, the diseases they transmit, and how keep them from sucking your blood and making you sick

It’s a good time to be a blood-sucking parasite, and not just as a member of the U.S. Congress. Between 2004 and 2016, reports of tick-borne diseases more than doubled in the U.S., a trend that experts say continues. Ticks are now the number one vector-borne cause of disease in this country. (A “vector-borne” disease is passed from one organism to another.) Further, the geographic ranges of many tick species are expanding, driven both by climate change and changing land-use patterns.

Complicating things right now is the fact that the flu-like symptoms of many tick-borne diseases mimic those of Covid-19. This makes it even more difficult than normal for doctors trying to diagnose and treat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. In this story, we’ll take a look at the five ticks you need to watch out for, the diseases they cause, and how to avoid the little bloodsuckers in the first place.

Head here for the complete guide on ticks written by Bill Heavey


May 7, 2022

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Field + Stream

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Field & Stream is the soul of the total outdoorsman, and has been publishing hunting and fishing content since 1895.


My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick


Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz


The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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