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[at-l] Anaphylactic Shock



For: Bob <deer@epix.net>--

Over the years, I've hiked all the sections of the AT from Springer north to
the mid-Smokies and never had a problem  with stinging insects except for
one time.  I hiked from Tesnatee Gap, NC to Unicoi Gap on May 27 thru 29,
1991.  I had planned to go further, but had to quit because I was sick
after having been stung twice on the 28th by bees.  That particular year
they were all over everything during the daylight hours.  If you
stopped for a break, they were all over you and your pack.  At the
shelters they were all over our boots and socks we had taken off, all over
our food, etc.  One sting occurred at lunch break--I was sitting on a log
and braced my hand on my upper leg to get up and there was an unnoticed bee on
my leg, so I got stung on my palm.  The second one was that night as I
knelt streamside to filter water.  A bee flew up the back of my shorts and
even though I held perfectly still, it probably thought it was trapped, and
I got stung again.  People said these were "sweat bees" and that they were
particularly bad that year.  I haven't run in to that problem since then.
But if you put all the responses together, mine and other people's, it
seems to boil down to this:  

  You're going to be outdoors for a long time; there are stinging insects
outdoors; the particular places they're going to be are mostly
unpredictable as they can change from year to year; you just need to be
prepared for the worst that could happen to you.  Which is good sense for
backpacking in general.

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