Outdoors: time to escape this season | Local Sports

By Jarrod Spilger

Dealing with insects is an unfortunate reality when spending time outdoors. This is especially true in the warmer months.

Ticks and mosquitoes are generally associated with warm-weather activities, like spring turkey hunting or summer fishing, but these same bugs—especially mosquitoes—can still be a problem when hunting deer with early-season archery.

Other insects can also pose a problem. If you’ve never had little gnats biting your eyes while you sat by a storage tank waiting for pigeons, or by a pond waiting for early autumn ducks, then you haven’t spent much time chasing these birds.

Anglers are all too familiar with these hateful little buggers, as are chiggers and a variety of other biting, stinging insects. Of all, however, ticks are the worst.

I’ve been on the warpath against ticks for years. My search for a tick free turkey hunt led me to Elimitick’s tick repellent clothing. I bought a jacket and pants a few years ago and they work. I’ve never had a tic when wearing Elimitick clothing.

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But I think I’ve found something even better now.

Last spring, Sitka introduced its new line of insect-repellent clothing, Equinox Guard, which consists of pants, a hoodie, and gloves.

What makes Sitka’s Equinox Guard clothing “better” than the Elimitick gear I have is that it’s lighter and better suited to wearing in hot weather. My Elimitick pants must be worn over other pants while Sitka’s pants can be worn alone. Likewise, the Sitka hoodie is lighter than my Elimitick jacket.

To be fair, Elimitick also offers lightweight t-shirts and pants, as well as socks and a range of other clothing options. Hopefully Sitka will offer an Equinox Guard t-shirt in the near future, but right now the line is a bit limited.

Although it was too cold to wear my Equinox Guard outfit when I shot my turkeys last spring, I wore the hoodie and pants fishing this summer. I watched as swarms of mosquitoes that would otherwise have been busy annoying me completely avoided my path. Oh, and I didn’t get any ticks either.

The key is the Insect Shield Permethrin treatment that every Equinox Guard garment receives. Insect Shield is designed to repel mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, ants, flies and other insects. The treatment is said to last 70 washes or the approximate life of the garment.

Spring turkey hunters could probably buy just the pants to avoid ticks, but archer hunters might want the entire outfit to combat mosquitoes and gnats.

Equinox Guard clothing comes in three different camouflage patterns – Subalpine, Timber and Elevated II. The first two patterns are suitable for spring turkeys, the latter for fall whitetails.

Visit sitkagear.com/collection/turkey/equinox-guard or gamehide.com/collections/elimitick for more information.

Sawyer offers another option in the ongoing fight against bugs. Instead of buying special insect repellent clothing, Sawyer products allow you to turn any piece of clothing into insect repellent gear.

I’ve used Sawyer’s Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray on my pants and lotion on my neck while clearing rifle ranges this summer in preparation for game season and have had no problems with insects.

After that, when I took off my cap, flies started bothering my head and ears, but not my neck, which had been treated. Next time I will apply the lotion more generously.

And of course no ticks were found on me or my clothes. I plan to have Sawyer’s sprays and lotions on hand this fall. The lotion is also available in individual packs that can be conveniently stowed in a pigeon bucket, vest pocket or backpack.

For more information on Sawyer’s picaridin and permethrin insect repellents and various other products, visit sawyer.com.

Finally, earlier this year, Thermacell introduced a new multi-insect repellent formulation that not only repels mosquitoes, but also black flies and other small insects. The protection zone is 15 feet for mosquitoes and 10 feet for other insects.

Best of all, Multi-Insect is compatible with all current Thermacell insect repellents. Refill packs are available with 18 Multi-Insect mats, each lasting four hours, and six fuel cartridges, each lasting 12 hours.

So far I have experienced good results with Multi-Insect. Being odorless, it is also suitable for early-season bowhunting. Visit thermacell.com for more information.

Forget this season and take in the great outdoors of Nebraska to the fullest.

Jarrod Spilger writes the Outdoors for The Independent.

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