Effective repellents contain the
chemicals DEET, Indalone, Rutgers
612, dimethyl phthalate (aka DMP)
clothing or a head net, the mesh size should
be less than 0.3 millimeter.
Apply repellent to the skin (
liquid) and clothing (spray). Reapply it after
you swim, bathe or perspire excessively. If
you are being bitten, apply the repellent
again. In windy conditions, repellents
evaporate and may need to be reapplied.
• The best repellent is permethrin
applied to clothing, not to skin, because
it can be absorbed or irritating. DEET is
also effective on skin or clothing; take
care to not apply it to acetate, rayon,
spandex and other synthetics.
Preventing infectious diarrhea
Kids under 2 years old should not have
insect repellent applied to the skin more
than once in 24 hours and should have it
carefully applied to the face (avoiding the
mouth and eyes). Also, don’t use repeated
applications or concentrations greater
than 15 percent on children under 6 years.
• Wash hands and use disinfectant gel
before handling food, during preparation
and before eating.
• Avoid casseroles and other foods that
are prepared in advance and served at
eyeglasses with single-distance focus to
decrease the incidence of falls. Organize
safety and first-aid supplies so that they
can be quickly located.
If applying both sunscreen and insect
repellent, apply the sunscreen first, so that
it can be absorbed; wait 30 minutes, then
apply the insect repellent.
•Maintain cold foods below 40 F.
Maintain hot foods above 145 F.
• Don’t eat food from a leaking or swollen can. Inspect all food prior to eating for
signs of obvious spoilage or contamination.
Prepare a trip plan and leave it in a
place (e.g., at the trailhead) where someone will recognize when a person or
party is overdue and potentially lost
or in trouble. Determine beforehand
a plan for getting help in an emergency.
•Properly wash camp dishes and
implements for eating.
• Cover the head and neck
with a full-brimmed hat
and a scarf (temperature
• Tap water and ice are risky. Stick to
boiled or properly disinfected water, as
well as carbonated beverages in sealed
bottles or cans.
Washing dishes and utensils
Eating and drinking
To avoid dehydration and
exhaustion, take adequate
time to eat, drink and rest.
permitting). Light-colored clothing is
less attractive to biting
insects than dark clothing; bright colors,
particularly yellow and blue, are attractive
to bees and wasps.
Most adult men require
3,500 to 5,000 calories and women
require 2,000 to
• Nylon (particularly double-layered)
and sailcloth are more difficult for insects
to hang on to and are preferable to loosely
3,500 per day to sustain heavy physical
frequent rest stops and water breaks. Have
access to at least a 48-hour supply of water.
Supplement water with electrolytes. Carry
supplies for water disinfection.
•Check clothing often and brush it
free of insects; this can be done with the
sticky side of adhesive tape.
One effective washing-up system is
removal of most food residue with 1 teaspoon of detergent in the water in a bowl
containing a gallon of water, followed by a
finishing wash (scrub until clean) with 2
teaspoons of 4 percent chlorine bleach in a
gallon of water in a second bowl, followed
by a final rinse in a gallon of drinkable
water in a third bowl. C
Dr. Paul Auerbach is the Redlich Family
Professor of Emergency Medicine at
Stanford University School of Medicine,
and author of several books, including
Medicine for the Outdoors (Elsevier, 2016;
not available at Costco).
Sprains and strains
The most common sprain is of an
ankle. Wear supportive footgear; use one
or two walking sticks; show extra caution
on uneven rocky trails, slippery surfaces,
rafts and river crossings; and wear properly fitted and balanced packs.
Overestimate the protection necessary and use a strong
sunscreen. Apply sunscreen
liberally one hour before exposure, and keep the skin dry for
at least two hours after application. Applying insect repellent
at the same time reduces the effectiveness of the sunscreen. In dry conditions,
reapply sunscreen every few hours.
• Inspect the body (particularly hair-covered areas) for ticks daily. Have a
companion check areas of your body that
you cannot see.
• Wear smooth, tightly woven fabrics.
Keep shirts tucked into pants and trouser
cuffs tucked into socks. If you wear mesh
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