Do folks out there look at either clothing or gear that already has an insect repellent (i.e., Permethrin) applied? Or, do folks apply it to their gear? I met on person from Backpacker magazine that would apply Permethrin to his gear ( I believe he applied it to his clothing tent and sleeping bag). I have a pair or two of Socks that come with Permethrin already applied. However, this practice does not seem to be used a lot. What do folks think about the use or application of insect repellent (like Permethrin) to their items?
I have applied Sawyer Permethrin myself to shirts, pants, hats, sun gloves and socks and mesh tent inners (aka bodies). Not sure I see the point of applying it to a sleeping bag and I would not apply it to the inside or to underwear. I think it is a fairly common practice. It works variously well but well enough to be worth the effort if you will be traveling through places where mosquitoes can be a problem. Self applied it supposedly is effective through several washes where clothing that comes pre-treated supposedly is effective for longer.
Permethrin is actually an insecticide rather than a repellent...It kills the mosquitoes that come into contact with it which is why it can be worth applying to a tent inner to stop those that accumulate under the fly from being annoying..
You still need to use bug repellent (eg: DEET or Picaridin) on exposed skin when you get to the buggy areas but it makes you a much smaller target and reduces the immediate population so should make it less likely you will be bitten or bothered.
True. I mis-stated and mentioned repellent. Permethrin is an insecticide. I have it on some sock and will likely put it on other gear. From what I was reading back in 2015 is that it is pretty good against insects. and, some folks were complaining that it did not work on skin. What I read about on skin is that it evaporates from the skin. It was noted that it is good on fabrics and such. I have Permethrin on some gear and use Deet on exposed skin. I have heard of Picaridin but have not used it.
I figured I would post this because I was watching a few VLOGs and folks were using netted gear. There seemed to be no discussion about Permethrin (and others). Also, there does not appear to be many manufacturers of outdoor gear and apparel that applies insecticides. Just seemed puzzling.
Glad to hear some folks think it is worth the effort.
I also apply Sawyer’s Permethrin to my clothes and gear. The ticks were really bad this year and I was not taking any chances.
I applied it to my shoes, socks, pants, and shirt as well as my hat. I also applied it to the outside of my pack and my tent’s footprint.
Just make sure it dries completely before letting it come into contact with your skin and keep your pets (particularly cats) away from it.
I use permethrin (not Sawyers) to soak my pants, outer socks, and shirts. I don't use it on liner socks/baselayers/underwear. I also spray it on the tent fly/body/footprint, as well as boots and pack. I use it around the house to get rid of ants/ladybugs/stinkbugs etc. I usually only treat gear and clothes once per year.
I use picaridin lotion on exposed skin, the lotion seems to last longer and I usually only have to reapply once through the day.
I forgot to mention but @SILHiker said it - I also use Picardin lotion on exposed skin.
Thanks for the replies. It is curious that we don't see a lot of manufacturers treating gear with any kind of insect treatment. Also, it is interesting that we do not see a lot of discussion on this topic. I know the US military has been using permethrin in the fatigues (not the dress uniform) for probably some 40 years. And, I was aware that others have treated their gear. Thus, my curiosity on the topic.
I have applied Sawyer Permethrin myself. Even if you buy the clothing with it, you have to spray them over time to keep them effective, might as well start with it 🙂