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Re: [pct-l] Skeeters and trips

Hi Dave,

On 02/05/98 10:43:19 you wrote:
>Re mosquitos on the trail (especially Sierra section):
>1.  Did you see any mosquitos at any place that you were sure was far from
>any water?  Or was there water everywhere or ???

We encountered mosquitos almost everywhere, including the high passes! Since 
you walk on snow or ice in most of the passes and around glaciar lakes or 
alongside raging stream most of the time, it is hard to find a place where 
they aren't. Walt thought mosquitos must have mated and then laid their eggs 
in the snow where the sun warmed the eggs so they hatched making for a 
continual cycle of mosquitos!  We ate and pitched camp as high and far away 
from water and snow as possible -- not always easy.  Most of the time we 
slept with both of our packs in the tent.  We would eat breakfast in the 
tent (or mix up an instant breakfast to drink as we hiked) and then pack 
everything up so we could rush out and get the tent packed quickly.

>2.  In my experience (with the exception of a rain forest walk on St. John,
>USVI) I have not seen many mosquitos except between 6PM-9PM.  In USVI it's
>a 24 hour a day (and night) problem.   Do the Sierra mosquitos prefer the
>evening hours?   How strongly?

  It didn't make any difference what time we left or pitched our tent, the 
mosquitos didn't seem to mind the cold early mornings or late nights -- they 
were a constant annoyance!  

>Re great trips:

Buy good netting or a netted hat that goes below your neck!  We tried a bug 
shirt from Camphmoor but it was too scratchy.  Found a softer weave netting 
in Tulomne and sent the shirt back.  Even a call to nature became a chore-- 
wearing a poncho to cut down the number was hard and not too successful -- 
very awkward!  Wear supplex shirts (long sleeved) and pants, their weave is 
tighter and the bugs may land but can't bite.  Citronella oil in an ahloa 
vera lotion worked very well -- Skin-So-Soft doesn't have enough citronella, 
but we added more and this worked much better too (our hat rims weren't big 
enough and our ears got sunburned.  Make sure your ears and neck are 
covered-- chin too -- snow reflects the sun!  Bug hats were great but during 
dawn and dusk the netting limited or obstructed our vision.  We learned to 
drink and eat with our hats on and while on the go (standing still or going 
slow seemed to invite them to land) -- mosquitos don't taste bad, it's their 
swarming and trying to get into eyes, nose, mouth and ears that is so 
frustrating.  Walt and I wished we had the netted hats even in the desert 
because of the "no-seeums" ( they got in our nose, ears, eyes and mouth -- 
we called them orafus bugs) and flies --they bit hard and left welts! We 
didn't have that many mosquito bites, but they were extremely annoying and 
drove lots of us crazy and hating the hike!

Happy Trails -- Pat

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