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Spray Your Shoes With Permethrin This Summer

Spraying permethrin on your shoes, clothes, and camping gear will repel ticks and doesn't wash off.

If you’re grossed out by the idea that you might be bitten by a tick this summer (chances are good, to be honest), now is the time to get yourself a bottle of permethrin spray. Permethrin-treating your shoes is one of the simplest ways to set up a barrier between hungry ticks and your delicious, blood-filled flesh.

Ticks need to spend time in dirt or leaf litter to avoid drying out, so they hang out close to the ground. They find us by climbing a stalk of grass and reaching out with their little legs when we walk by. (They do the same for deer, rabbits, and other creatures they consider tasty.) Once they find a warm body, they crawl upwards.

What this means for you: If you want to avoid tick bites, the most important places to protect yourself are roughly from the knees down. You probably only have one or two pairs of shoes that you tend to wear in tall grass (hiking boots, sneakers, maybe work boots), so applying a long-lasting layer of permethrin to your shoes will go a long way toward protecting you all summer.

You can add to that protection by using permethrin on your socks, pants, and other clothing and gear—like tents and backpacks, if you go camping. Bug spray for your skin (containing an effective active ingredient like DEET) is a separate item, but it’s a good defense, too. Bonus: permethrin and DEET also protect against mosquitoes.

Learn more about Permethrin written by Beth Skwarecki here.

LAST UPDATED

June 4, 2022

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MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

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
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team