The Lyme Prevention Checklist
As part of our deep dive into some of the complexities of Lyme disease, we turned to Heather Hearst, the founder and now president of Project Lyme, a global advocacy organization focused on prevention and early detection. Hearst outlines their prevention guidelines below—essential for staying as safe as we can in the first place—and we’re also sharing EWG’s tips on choosing an insect repellent, which we learned via their senior scientist, David Andrews, Ph.D.
Heather Hearst on Preventing Lyme Disease
The bacteria that causes Lyme is carried by ticks, specifically black-legged or deer ticks. Ticks transmit Lyme disease by biting you and entering your skin through the bite. If you can avoid tick bites entirely, or remove a tick that has bitten you right away, you can largely protect yourself from this debilitating disease. The sooner you remove the tick, the better off you will be.
Bigger picture: We need more funding to solve this epidemic: most importantly, for a better test and better treatments for patients who do not fully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. There is still so much we don’t know about ticks and tick borne diseases, and there are also some studies looking at other potential carriers and ways the bacteria is transmitted to humans. (For research donations, I recommend Bay Area Lyme Foundation, and Project Lyme for awareness and education.)
Project Lyme’s Checklist
Prep Yourself First
- Wear light-colored clothing.
- Cover wrists and ankles. Tuck pants into socks and opt for long-sleeves.
- Spray with insect repellant. [See goop tips below.]
- Know your surroundings. Avoid tall grasses and humid, wooded, leaf-littered areas.
- If hiking, stay on trails.
- Do not sit on logs.
- Remember: Ticks aren’t just in the woods, they’re also in backyards and in parks.
When You Get Inside
- Shower after being outdoors to wash off ticks that have not attached.
- Put clothing into the dryer on high heat for 10-15 minutes—heat kills ticks.
Continue learning more about Lyme Disease and the prevention methods here.
May 19, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.
Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.
But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.