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I have a few more trivial questions that are pestering my brain late a 

Boots and swollen feet

For those past hikers who wore boots, how much did you feet swell? 
 How did you compensate for this?  Did you start out with boots of 
several different sizes?  If so, were you able to break them in 
properly ahead of time, or were you forced wait until the trail?

Ticks and other unwelcome lodgers

How bad are tick?  I think this is the creepiest thing on the trail 
for me.  How often did you find ticks had latched on to you, if ever? 
 What areas are the worst?  While I'm on the subject, has anyone had 
problems with other live-in parasites (fleas, lice, etc.) ?

Flying Evil Incarnate (biting flies and mosquitoes)
Has anyone tried homemade bug repellents.  I've been working on a 
Citronella / Lavender / Eucalyptus (with a hint of DEET) mixture. 
 I've had a bit of success.  I'm concerned about the debate over 
DEET's toxicity.  It also tastes like crap if you get any on you lips 
or food. :(  All the posts I seen recommend ditching the tarp for a 
tent around Kennedy Meadows.  Has anyone tried using a large bug net? 
 I've seen some prefab ones that weight as little as 8 oz. with enough 
room for two people.