Tuck in your Pants to avoid Ticks 🕷

I cycle, run and/or hike every day while on Vancouver Island, Canada.

The risk of tick-borne disease here is low. But I’m still tucking in my pants before going out.

Mine are very light weight, slippery nylon. (Light coloured clothing would be better as it’s easier to spot ticks.)

The biggest danger in my neck of the woods is the western black-legged tick. It can transfer Lyme disease.

Western Black-Legged Tick

Fortunately for me, in order for a human to be infected by the bacterium, the tick must be attached for approximately 36 to 48 hours. I shower and check after each workout.

There is a report of one hiker who contracted Lyme on the nearby West Coast Trail. On that week long hike you may not be washing or checking regularly.  😐

Check the tick risk where you are adventuring. There are about 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year in the States. The number seems to be increasing with global warming. New species of ticks are becoming known.

Check your pets for ticks.

If you get one, gently remove a tick embedded in your skin with tweezers. Firmly grasp the tick’s head without squeezing and pull upwards.  Save it in a plastic sealed bag.  Use a felt pen to write the date, name and address of person bitten.  I’ve only ever found one once.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Wikipedia – Lyme disease

popular gear on the Continental Divide Trail

With “social distancing” being recommended around the world, I’m personally looking at doing even more hiking than usual in 2020.

The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission …

One of the earliest references to social distancing dates to the seventh century BC in the Book of Leviticus, 13:46: “And the leper in whom the plague is…he shall dwell alone; [outside] the camp shall his habitation be.”

Mac annually posts a Continental Divide Trail Thru-hiker Survey.

Click through to find out what gear was most popular in 2019.

For example … SHOES:

Merrell Moab 2 Vent
  1. Merrell Moab 2 Vent (Hiker Rating: 5/5)
  2. La Sportiva Wildcat (4.80/5)
  3. Salomon XA Pro 3D (4.64/5)
  4. Altra Timp (4.29/5)
  5. Altra Lone Peak (4.28/5)

I wear various Moab shoes as I find them so much more durable than trail runners. Merrell comes in very wide sizes, as well, which I need due to bunions.

best hiking gear on the PCT 2019

Mac posted his 7th annual survey — this year 846 Pacific Crest Trail hikers were interviewed.

The Altra Lone Peak was the most popular shoe on the PCT this year – used by nearly a third of PCT hikers. It’s a zero-drop shoe and, on average, hikers who completed the trail used 4.65 pairs – nearly $600 in shoes (at full retail price).

On the other hand, there were plenty of complaints about Lone Peaks.

Personally, I prefer sturdier Merrell Moabs.

FAVORITE PCT GEAR

MOST COMMON PCT GEAR

Read more:

The Pacific Crest Trail Gear Guide: Class of 2019 Survey

Khopra Ridge trek, Nepal – day 5

Naya Pul to Ghandruk trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles. 

day 1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6/7

Nov 4, 2019 – Khopra Ridge tenting 3640m  to Tadapani 

It was a cold night in the tent. I had to mummify myself in my ultralight sleeping bag and wear all my layers.

I only slept a couple of hours, the rest of the time listening to an excellent audio book.

At first light I packed up the frozen Hubba quickly (no coffee!) and got moving to warm-up.

n about 90 minutes I made it to Bayeli Guest House for breakfast. The sun was out and it looked a beautiful morning. I was happy to get there.

The Annapurna massif includes one peak over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft), thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft), and sixteen more over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). It’s 55 kilometres (34 mi) long. A monster.

I was a tiny ant climbing up and down ridges at around 3000m.

It clouded up early today. Unusual. November normally brings day-after-day of clear skies. Nepalis told me this was atypical weather. Yet this turned out to be one of my favourite days. Different. The autumn colours brightest.

Walking alone through these high grasslands was wonderful.

I’ll be recommending the Khopra Ridge trek to those who want to get away from roads and development. Most is wilderness, well above farms.

Loads are still brought up by horse or porter.

I heard they sometimes carry up to 90kg !

As clouds descended and I descended some vistas reminded me of the Pacific N.W.

There is still much accessible wilderness within the Annapurna Conservation Area.

Without a guide, I accidentally took a different trail than most. My lower track was empty. Quiet. Tranquil.

At this unusual shelter I left a Summit Stone.

Stopping for milk coffee at Isharu, I really enjoyed chatting with the lodge owner. He’d seen Himalayan Black Bear up here.

Everyone expects the Khopra Ridge trek to continue to grow in popularity. It’s part of a trend launched by one man — Mahabir Pun — who was educated at University of Nebraska. 

Mahabir is helping mountain communities to promote new trails close to Annapurna & Dhaulagiri. To build eco-friendly lodges. Some distance from traditional villages. The idea is that Income from lodges goes to support schools and local health clinics.

Trails like Khopra Ridge will replace some existing hikes that have been degraded by road building.

Another nice touch in this section are trash bags at regular intervals on the trail. (Those are for locals, not tourists. Hikers don’t litter here.)

I also liked this day in that it was mostly downhill. 😋

I checked into a good room in Tadapani (2710m). My batteries needed recharged. And I needed a bed. It was only 2pm.

When I awoke from siesta the power had gone out. It was pouring rain.

It’s not supposed to rain here in November. Monsoon arrived late this year. Perhaps everything was pushed later.

As Warren often points out, weather should not be a problem for a hiker properly equipped.

Many were not prepared.

I wandered Tadapani in the rain. Yes, I was carrying good wet weather clothing.

Paint cans with different plants.

Tadapani is not a particularly nice village. Yet it’s a super popular stop — a crossroads for many different hikes. In fact, it’s the official end point for the Khopra Ridge trek. From here I have options.

BEST would be starting up to the Annapurna Sanctuary, an amphitheatre of huge Himalayan peaks.

I’ve done that trip before so will head down — instead — to Ghandruk.

day 1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6/7

Matador Freefly16 packable daypack

Kraig and Dave on The Adventure Podcast frequently recommend Matador products.

As I travel much of each year, I use packable daypacks nearly every day on those trips. Often it carries my laptop and other essentials for short trips.

Often I use it to carry my daily groceries.

The Matador Freefly16 has replaced my my Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil® Dry Day Pack. The Matador is slightly heavier and bulkier, but much more robust and full-featured.

This 16 liter backpack is built from waterproof Cordura® with sealed internal seams and sealing zippers.  Incredibly light and seriously equipped, Freefly16 is ready for whatever’s ahead.

Dimensions:

  • Unpacked 17in x 11in x 8in
  • Packed 4.75in x 2.75in diameter
  • 4.8 oz

details 

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.