Summer. It’s a word that rolls off your tongue and conjures images of long days out cragging until dark, endless rolling trails, sliced watermelon, adventure. It pairs well with things like electric summer sunsets, mountain lakes and ice-cold beer. But for all the delectable images summer inspires, it inevitably means the onset of the dreaded bug season. “The only thing better than watching a late-summer sunset over an alpine lake in the Wallowa Mountains is probably watching a late-summer sunset over an alpine lake in the Wallowa Mountains without swatting your arms, face and legs every 10 seconds,” says Brendan Leonard, Outdoor Research Ambassador. The unwelcomed stamp of summertime heat – tiny, itchy insects can do more than just pester. Ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers or midges (also known as no-see-ums) can also be hazardous to your health. One bite can be enough to contract insect-borne illnesses like West Nile virus, dengue fever or malaria, which can cause serious sickness or, in worst-case scenarios, death according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For some, keeping bugs away is a precise cocktail of one part experiment, one part imagination. “Many of the boat captains and deck hands [I worked with on an oil spill cleanup] touted Victoria’s Secret’s Amber Rose scent for keeping away no-see-ums and biting kind,” says Heath Bailey, Outdoor Research Ambassador. “You can imagine my reaction at hearing this from some of the surliest dudes I’ve had chance to work with.” These type of experimental elixirs might work for some, but for those who want field-tested and approved protection, at Outdoor Research we use two highly effective types of bug protection within select pieces of gear. First, we partnered with Insect Shield®. Insect Shield® is a post-production treatment applied to finished apparel and gear that is tightly bonded to the fibers giving the garment long-lasting, effective insect protection. The first-ever EPA-registered insect-repellent clothing, the treatment guards you from pesky or dangerous insects and lasts up to 70 washings – around the length of a typical garment’s life. The technology is simple: Insect Shield® uses a patent-pending bonding process to treat fabric with a proprietary formula of permethrin. Insect Shield® is applied to finished products much like a UV finish or moisture-wicking finish. It doesn’t interfere with wicking properties of technical clothing and rarely irritates the skin.
“Insect Shield® is an alternative solution for people that don’t want to put on bug spray,” says Janine Robertson, public relations manager of Insect Shield®. “You don’t have to reapply it, and it’s appropriate for the entire family.” Insect Shield® is applied to popular Outdoor Research pieces like our favorite trail crews, the Men’s Echo Sentinel Long Sleeved Crew and the Women’s Echo Sentinel Long Sleeved Crew. We have also incorporated Insect Shield® into casual, travel-friendly shirts, the Men’s Wayward Sentinel Long Sleeve Shirt™ and the Women’s Reflection Sentinel Long Sleeve Shirt™, as well as technical trail pants like the Men’s Treadway Convert Sentinel Pants™ and the Women’s Treadway Convert Sentinel Pants™ that thrive on mountain terrain or the bug-laden crags of Rumney in early June. In addition, we incorporated Insect Shield® into select accessories like the BugOut Gaiters™ or the Sentinel Brim Hat™. The second type of bug protection we use is a chemical-free netting. Our tightly woven netting is mega lightweight and is incorporated into items like the Bug Net Cap™. This cap has netting built in that can be pulled out to cover the entire head and doesn’t interfere with visibility.
In addition to hats, netting is incorporated into some of our sleeping set-ups: the Bug Bivy™ has chemical-free netting and is perfect for warm-weather bug protection during minimalistic camping, like a solo weekend missions on the AT. Our waterproof Highland Bivy has built-in netting at the opening for fast and light camping during burly buggy or wet conditions. Other items, like the Sentinel Headnet™, combine netting and Insect Shield® for double protection. Be sure to check out the full collection with Bug Protection, tune into our Bug Protection video and take a few easy steps to protect yourself outside this summer: - Mosquitoes are most active around dusk and dawn. Try to be extra vigilant during these hours and make sure to cover up exposed skin. - Check you body, especially your head and around clothing lines, for ticks after you are outside or every night before you retire to the tent. - Be aware that standing water is a breeding site for mosquitoes. - Familiarize yourself with common insect-borne illness and telltale symptoms by visiting the CDC Website. See some of our bug protection products below: SHIRTS Men’s Wayward Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/mens-wayward-sentinel-l-s-shirt.html Women’s Reflection Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/womens-reflection-sentinel-l-s-shirt.html Men’s Echo Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/mens-echo-sentinel-l-s-crew.html Women’s Echo Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/womens-echo-sentinel-l-s-tee.html PANTS Men’s Treadway Convert Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/mens/mens-treadway-convert-sentinel-pants.html Women’s Treadway Convert Sentinel: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/womens-treadway-convert-sentinel-pants.html HATS Deluxe Spring Ring Headnet: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/deluxe-spring-ring-headnet.html Sentinel Deluxe Spring Ring Headnet: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/sentinel-deluxe-spring-ring-headnet.html Bug Bucket: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/bug-bucket.html Bug Net Cap: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/bug-net-cap.html Sentinel Headnet: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/sentinel-headnet.html Sentinel Brim Hat: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/sentinel-brim-hat.html Kids’ Sentinel Hat: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/kids-sentinel-hat.html Sentinel Ubertube: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/sentinel-ubertube.html GAITERS Bugout Gaiter: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/gaiters/bugout-gaiter.html Kids’ Bugout Gaiter: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/gaiters/kids-bugout-gaiters.html SHELTER Bug Bivy: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/bivy-sacks/bug-bivy.html GLOVES Sentinel Sun Sleeves: http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/accessories/gloves/sentinel-sun-sleeves.html