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Archive for August, 2017

Ways to Watch the Eclipse Away from the World

August 15th, 2017 No comments

We are just one week away from the Great North American Eclipse, when the moon crosses in front of the sun for about two and a half minutes casting a shadow on the earth. You got your *approved* glasses and  you want to witness this momentous occasion, but if you are anywhere near the path of totality, you’ve heard word that drove of people will be traveling nearby and you are not ready to deal withe crowds. So what can you do to have your eclipse and watch it too? We have a few ideas:


1. Go Camping

We can’t imagine a more magical place to stand in the moon’s shadow than out in the woods. Gather your pals, furry or otherwise, and take your camping gear just deep enough into the woods to get a little seclusion. Not only is the weather perfect this time of year for a cool night of camping, but  if you’re keen enough to score a spot in the woods with a clearing of trees, you can get a (solo) front row seat to an incredible natural phenomenon. If you go the camping route, we recommend you head out at least a couple of days beforehand to ensure finding a spot, and keeping out of the traffic.


2. Paddling Day Trip

While heading out the day of won’t save you completely from the traffic and throngs of people that go along with the GNAE, if you head out early enough in the morning you can still steal a bit of tranquility on the day. If you’re watching in the Southeast, why not take the day from work, grab your paddling gear and head out on your favorite body of water for a day long paddling trip. Depending on where you’re planning on watching the eclipse from, you can time it just right and catch the full shadow while you’re out on the water. You’re sure to remember exactly where you were when you saw it, and hopefully get a little peace to enjoy the moment.


3. Hike an Awesome Trail

If you’re not ready or able to go on an all out camping trip, consider taking one of your favorite nearby trails a few hours before the eclipse and great ready for the show of a lifetime. Being on your favorite trail has more than a few perks. On a Monday, you’re likely to have the trail to yourself, but it can also be a really special place to remember this moment in history. Especially if it’s a trail you already love in the path of totality, you can set yourself up to turn a special event into an incredible day.


4. Stay Home

If you’re really unsure about what the traffic and crowds are going to look like in your area, your safest bet is just staying home. Yes, there will probably activities and festivals happening in your area, but if you are worried about getting stuck in your car and missing the whole thing, it’s best just to kick back at your humble abode. Think about it, your favorite chair is there, some of the people that you like the most, and all of the snacks!

The eclipse will be awesome no matter where you are, you just need to give yourself enough time and space to enjoy it your way! Where will you be for  GNAE 2017?

How to Be Tick Smart

August 3rd, 2017 No comments

Every summer we deal with these nasty little nuisances, and every summer we seem to find they bring a little more trouble than the last. But for some reason, summer 2017 has brought more tick fears and anxieties than summers before. Due to their tiny size, ticks can seem unavoidable, but the best thing that you can do to try to keep the end of summer tick-free is to educate yourself on prevention and treatment.


1. Know your Species

Ticks come in a all sizes and species. Educating yourself on the different types of ticks that are out there and which ticks carry certain types of diseases can give you a better idea of what types of ticks to look for in the woods and after you’ve exited. For example, all ticks have the potential to carry disease, but the blacklegged tick, the deer tick and the western blacklegged tick all carry Lyme disease. Knowing the difference can help you prepare and react appropriately.


2. Ticks and Where They Stay

Once you figure out what ticks are looking for, you need to learn about where they stay and how they attach to hosts. That being said, ticks can be found in a number of places. They tend to be found in outdoor areas of high grass, forested areas and woodpiles. Certain types of ticks can even thrive indoors for the entirety of their life cycles. A common misconception about ticks is that they fall from trees, fly, or “jump” from bushes onto their hosts.  Actually, ticks don’t have wings, nor jump from bushes, but they tend to rest in a position known as questing. When questing, ticks grip leaves and trees with their lower legs, and raise a pair of upper legs in an outward position in order to attach themselves onto hosts as they brush against them.

3. Prevention

When considering tick prevention and your camping, hiking or gardening gear, treat your clothing and gear with products containing permethrin to repel ticks. As for your skin, use EPA registered products containing DEET, picaradin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or 2-undecanon. Many products can be found in your local convenience store and are successful in repelling ticks. There are also natural insect repellents that are made without the inclusion of DEET and are free of other chemicals.

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4. Checking for Ticks

After spending time outdoors, especially in areas that you could be exposed to ticks you should always check your clothes and body for ticks. Remove any ticks that you have found, and if you are still unsure you can place the clothes or gear in the dryer for 10 minutes. The heat should kill any ticks that you may have carried indoors. Once you have removed and addressed your clothing, you should then check your body and your pets for ticks. It’s also an idea to take a shower within two hours of being outdoors: the combination of heat and water can help remove any ticks that haven’t attached themselves and reduce your chances of contracting Lyme disease should you have been bitten.


5. Tick Removal

Should you find a tick, remove it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Grab a pair of fine tipped tweezers and grasp the back of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull with steady and even pressure. Grasping the tick too tightly or attempting to twist the tick out could cause the mouth of the tick to break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, attempt to remove the mouth as well, but if it’s not possible let the skin heal on its own. Once removed, clean the area and your hands thoroughly with alcohol, soap and water.


Ticks are all over, but the aim of the game is to know how to take care of them if they do use you for a snack! What are your tick prevention tips?