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Permethrin treatment of gear?


J-Squared
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J-Squared

I have used permethrin to treat my hiking clothes and boots but was just reading elsewhere about people treating tents, sleeping bags, ground cloths, etc.  I guess I never thought about doing that and was wondering if it would hurt the tent or interfere with waterproofing?  What about backpacks?  We are hiking in a few weeks and the ticks are likely going to bad.  Thanks for any feedback!

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I got on a permethrin kick sometime last year and I ended up coating pretty much all of my outdoor gear. In hindsite, a total waste (in my opinion). 

If the bugs are going to be bad you will likely be using a canopy in your tent or some other form of bug protection other than just spray, and unless the bugs are ON the treated materials it doesn't really effect them.

I finished up 164 miles in Arkansas last week and the tics down there were insane. I suspect that all bugs will be bad this year, at least in the Midwest and South where we didn't get a winter. So while I find it wasteful to coat all your gear, I am a big advocate of going over cloths, boots and gaiters: the things that will actually be on your body, and maybe your ground sheet if you are tarp camping. The stuff works when used in the right places, but it's too expensive to spray everything. 

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I have treated my socks and T-shirts in the past, but I switched to factory treated clothing, which I think is better. My main concern is ticks and chiggers, not flying insects. Since I started wearing the treated socks, I've not had a chigger bite. Permethrin is an insecticide, not a repellent and I think that it works better on crawling insects. I don't think that Permethrin is worthless, but it's not the one answer. I don't think that home Permethrin treatment works very well on synthetic fabrics, but it's not a bad insecticide.

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