Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.

Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellant

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You know what I hate?

Ticks! They’re small, evil and hard to detect. They’re also the #2 carriers of disease ( second only to mosquitos.) Seems like every time that I’ve hiked in the woods, I’ve had a tick get on me.  There was this one time I remember in particular….


And that’s exactly how it happened..more or less. Keeping ticks off me is a priority, not just killing them when they get on me. So, how do I do that?

Permethrin spray, made by Sawyer Products. The same folks who make my squeeze filter and snake bite kit.

Permethrin is this magical substance, milked from unicorns and carried by sprites to the Sawyer factory, where it’s bottled for use by humans. It’s just as effective as 100% DEET in killing ticks and it kills them as they move across the fabric. So, they likely won’t even have a chance to get to your skin.

In fact, it was invented for the US Military and has been used to treat their uniforms with it for over 20 years.

The permethrin spray comes in 6, 9, 12 and 24 ounce bottles. Sawyer says the 12 ounce bottle is good for treating two complete outfits, which is two shirts, two pants and two pair of socks. Personally, I tend to use the most on treating my pants. They recommend 3 ounces per garment. Although socks are small, I recommend not skimping on them. They’re your first line of defense, since it’s the layer closest to your skin.

You can also use this to treat your backpack , the outside of your tent, or your shoes, but it’s not going to stick well to things that are waterproof.

Be sure you’re in a well ventilated area when you use this, because its a toxin, for crying out loud.  So try not to breathe any or ingest any. It’s not meant for skin.

Also, in its liquid form, it can be deadly to cats and fish.  Dogs are safe, though.  And when it’s dry, its odorless, invisible and only harmful to bugs.  Sawyer says this stuff should stick to your clothing for 6 washings or up to 42 days outdoors.  Once I started using this to treat my clothes, I have had ZERO ticks on me, after dozens of hikes. Normally, I will find at least 8 or 9 crawling on me. So i’d say there was definitely some measure of success.


Boring disclaimer: This product purchased with my very own hard earned cash and nobody held a gun to my head and forced me to say nice things about this product. Also, the comic shown in this review was drawn by me, so I own it like I own my lawnmower. So don’t use it unless you get my permission.


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