Plan for the little vicious things too!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by X-wing fighter, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    You've traveled thousands of miles on your machine. The weather has been great, the roads have been dry, everyone is friendly, and the wildlife has kept it's distance. It's a perfect day, you don't want to stop..... because they will come! The most perfect day of your life and you fear making camp. Why didn't anyone warn you?



    “How bad can it really be?“ You thought to yourself before leaving.



    Horror! Fear! I should have prepared myself better! They come in clouds up here!



    Mosquitoes!



    A female mosquito must feed on blood before she can lay eggs.



    Except Arctic Mosquitoes! They can lay only half as many eggs without feeding on blood.



    They can divert the largest caribou herd in the world from it's migration route.



    Prepare!



    Read the directions and proper use guides on the products I shall discuss…...these are dangerous chemicals!



    And I am a Dual-sport rider, so there are deeper reasons for everything I use and how its used.



    Permethrin spray for your riding gear....and chair, and tent, and hammock. Permethrin will last a couple of washes, or a short Alaskan riding season. Put it on cloth items that don’t touch your skin. Spray way before you go and it will be there when you need it.
    1617051705436_peremethrin.jpeg




    Thermacell for a nice mosquito free bubble. I use the backpacker now because of the gas. I can use the same gas on my stove as the Thermacell. It creates a nice 15’ mostly mosquito free bubble.

    backpacker.jpg 1617051673757_thermacell 1.jpg



    I use Bens 100% DEET. Try what you want, Bens works. The Repel works too. The highest DEET works best. DEET is a horrible carcinogen and it will damage plastic and rubber. I’ve used OFF, skin-so-soft, cutter, and quite a few others with varying results in different areas.

    1617051702959_bens.jpg 1617051697165_1617051687870_repel.jpg



    Usage!



    You’ve prepared and you are on your journey. You must now follow two important guidelines from Douglas Adam’s “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”



    Don't panic!



    Know where your towel is!

    shemagh close.jpg

    “A towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.” -The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy


    shemagh close.jpg


    I have used towels in the past, a little heavy and bulky for this purpose. I use a shemagh these days. Cotton and breathable. This is key to my recommend usage. You shall see!

    shemagh close.jpg

    First thing in the morning, grab your towel (or shemagh, scarf, bandanna, cravat) before getting out of your sleeping bag.

    shemagh close.jpg

    Get up, find your Bens, spray about 4- 5 spritz’ on your towel. Shuffle it around rub it together, ring it, give it a nice shake, and use it like you're drying off for the shower. You are now getting full body coverage! You aren't spraying the repellent on you or your clothing, just the towel. Anytime during the day when you feel you need a little more repellent, just rub your towel around where you want increased protection.

    I grew up with the off aerosol cans. It gets in your nose and mouth. It's hard to get full coverage. I started doing it this way and I have never picked up an off aerosol can again.
    1617054171553_IMG_20190614_195151_6.jpg
    When you're done, fold it and tie it around your neck. You can now relax. You now are emanating repellent. Basically the towel becomes a very strong passive repellent you wear around your neck.

    IMG_20190619_134207_1.jpg

    I wear long sleeve light weight fishing shirts and pants. They pack small, breath well, dry quick and block the sun. They are a bit cool on brisk mornings, but don’t overheat you under your riding gear. When you rub your treated towel over these light clothes, they pick up enough repellent to be useful, but not enough to be a hazard.

    IMG_20190617_125944_5.jpg

    As you are setting up camp, light the thermacell to make a mosquito free bubble. With the thermacell going, you can do your hygiene and wash the repellent and road grime off while staying mosquito free. I usually throw on shorts, a t-shirt, flip plops and my towel around my neck for the rest of the evening. If mosquitoes breach the thermacell bubble, I simply “dry off” with my treated towel and the mosquitoes are gone.

    IMG_20190622_004355_5.jpg

    I turn off my thermacell, hang my towel where I can reach it first thing in the morning. I also try to set up camp for a slight breeze to enter my sleeping area. If I can hang my shemagh up to where the wind blows through it, its now an active mosquito repellent.
    IMG_20190618_221901_3.jpg


    I know, it sounds too easy to actually work. My thermacell quit working on my last night of camping on the Dempster highway. I thought I was in for a long horrible night. My towel kept the wee beasties away so well that I am now considering not taking thermacells with me anymore…...but I do like getting clean and staying clean in the evenings with a nice thermacell bubble.


    Stay safe and mosquito free!

    More towel usage coming in future threads.....it is a very powerful piece of kit.

    Seriously, know where your towel is!
    #1
  2. DukeMButu

    DukeMButu Minister of Culture

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    X Wing, My Man!


    OK, to all the rest of you "would be 's" who think about riding way up North...

    X Wing is "The Man," in my," less than humble opinion."

    In 2019 I rode my Two-Wheeled Magic 12,000 plus miles to Fairbanks ~ and points North.

    In doing so I parked my bike at X-Wing's and bonded with this "Rider/Inmate," which doesn't do this guy full Alaska justice.

    He speaks? We listen!

    My first takeaway to this post, "Thermacell." He turned me on to it and damned if it doesn't work!

    I bought one at the Fred Myer west... on his side of town. I couldn't wear it out and am on my 100th fuel cell. I have it still to use as I sit on my back porch to watch all the magic in my back yard.

    X, I'm thinking seriously about coming back as soon as the disease is under control!

    Duke
    #2
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  3. GotDammitDave

    GotDammitDave Been here awhile

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    I have never even heard of Permathrin before, Im gonna have to give it try! plus 1 on the Bens 100 though. The towel idea is kinda new, I may have been doing something like that already in that I spritz the Bens on a dryer sheet or two and tuck em underneath my hat. Something in the dryer sheets keep the deer flys from biting you...an old golfers trick
    #3
  4. rkover1

    rkover1 doc Supporter

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    Have you tried Picardin as well?
    #4
  5. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
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    The Army used to give me permithrin to treat uniforms. I like the spray on kind vs wash in..... mostly because the wife gave me too much grief over using the washer.

    I've used dryer sheets as well. I know my dad says they work in Texas, but I haven't seen the same results

    I've tried a lot of products. Deep woods Off works great for "southern" mosquitoes, north of the Arctic Circle, Deep wood off seems like an attractant. Products that work in other places don't work in others. I have a cool propane heater that I can heat a house with....as long as the propane stays warm enough to be gas...... December in Alaska, my propane heater is a worthless paperweight.



    Duke,

    You're far too kind. I'm hoping to contribute a little more of my knowledge in the future.
    #5
  6. HellsAlien

    HellsAlien a has-been that never-was Supporter

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    How many mosquitoes are in Alaska? 17 trillion, biologist estimates
    • Ned Rozell, Alaska Science Forum
    • May 16, 2015 Updated Jun 12, 2019
    Mosquito biomass has been calculated at 96 million pounds in Alaska alone.
    #6
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  7. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    Its amazing, considering every mosquito is buried under snow and ice right now. You wouldn't even consider full clouds of the wee beasties today.

    Temps around zero and 6-18 inches of snow in the next 24-36 hours.

    I think I'm going to sit in my garage today and Crank up one of my bikes.... I love my snow machine, but there's nothing quite like wiping a pound of mosquito guts and wings off my visor.... hopefully in the next 6 weeks.
    #7
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  8. DukeMButu

    DukeMButu Minister of Culture

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    X, When we (actually when you ) were changing the oil in my bike, I thought you were burning coils of something to chase skeeters. As I recall it was fairly warm with no wind. We were still doing the "Ester Wave" to one another through the process. What was that stuff? Do you still use it? Is "success" with that product a question of how much you use?

    I guess when it's moderately windy nothing short of a repellent smeared on your skin will repel the biters. Are Black Flies an issue there too?
    #8
  9. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
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    Coils are pretty brilliant. They are bulky and brittle in comparison to the above products and usage. If you have space and can protect them, they are a great barrier as well.

    Because they are brittle and usually only come with 2 stands, not enough are lit to be productive.... hence some of the bad reviews.

    I hate mosquitoes, if you can't tell. I also did 20 years in the Army.(and I'm cheap and a dual sport Rider). That means I defend in depth with overlapping mosquito fighting solutions that don't break the bank.

    In Alaska a box of 4 coils is $2.00. they come in 4,8, And 12 packs.

    I use about 12-24 coils in a week....if I'm using just coils. I usually have 4-8 burning at once. I'm cheap, so I knock off the ember and reuse them.

    HOWEVER! They seem to be ineffective above the Arctic circle. I had 12 going in a very tight area (about 10m diameter, the smoke was pretty dense) and they keep coming.

    At home in Fairbanks, there's the occasional dive bomber in the bubble, but I rarely wear any repellent at home...... except the pole barn, I test products down there.

    My stand alone deck I a 5 meter square with 4 coils and another 4 coils at 10 m. North of the Arctic circle add a thermacell at the center and bring the second square in to just have a 5m circle with 8 coils.

    I love coils! Ill add on yard treatment too. I'm not trying to plug any one product, so if you don't know what coils are most camping sections will have one of these.
    81zBMo4cAOL._AC_SL1500_.jpg off-insect-traps-21817-64_1000.jpg s-l640.jpg 407032.jpeg
    #9
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  10. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    Gnats around campfires, horse flies if you're unlucky, but I haven't had any issues with black flies.

    Maybe because I'm usually pretty covered in mosquito chemicals, there might be an accidental black fly repellent situation going on.
    #10