Tip #1: Original Listerine :D
A couple weeks ago I went for a walk with an elder wise man of sorts. He plays a founding and ongoing role in local land preservation. We met at a conference promoting collective collaboration for non-profits and all sectors really. We bonded on Quaker spirituality, akin to themes and processes the conference was highlighting for secular application. My new elder friend emerged from his car with a large unmarked spray bottle full of a urine-looking liquid. "Here, try this. Its Listerine, the original kind. It does the job." Even though I'd already sprayed down in my favorite Buzz-Away, it seemed impolite to refuse. Ah, the smell of nursing homes and my favorite old people came to mind.
Halfway into our walk we met two groups of hikers. They each ranted caution of the ticks. Many spoke of having pulled off tens of them from their clothes since being on the wide paths within just thirty minutes! The elder and I had been walking on narrower paths. We had not a one tick for the entire walk. #ListerineLymePrevention, #eldersbemadwokeyo! Its been a minute since I've used, believed in, or promoted anything remotely mainstream. I don't know any dirt on them as a company but for lyme prevention, Listerine (yellow kind) is a new favorite.
Tip #2: Wear light colors on hikes
Many of you know the drill. Put all fashion sense aside. Wear light colors that are long sleeved and long legged. Tuck pants into socks. You could take it up a notch and duct tape the ends of sleeves and pant legs. I don't do that. If I had a kid I might do that to the wee one. Wrap/secure/protect hair/dreadlocks under large scarf. Then tip #1.
Tip #3: Check and bag hiking cloths upon return to house
My Lord, my lord. Yesterday I did my usual tips 1 and 2. I checked my cloths for ticks. I found a tiny one that was easy to find due to my white outerwear. Must have missed a spot during spray time! Whenever I find a tick, I place it in a plastic bag and freeze it. You can send to UMass's lab. I immediately removed all cloths and set aside by the door as usual but this day I didn't check all the clothes as thoroughly. When I went to bed that night, I was dumbfounded at what I saw on my pillow. A large tick! It was crawling on my light colored pillowcase. What? How? Theres no way! By some divine grace it was crawling in a place I couldn't miss and exactly the right time! Good God. After my garden time this morning, the clothes get immediately checked and placed into a large plastic bag.
Tip #4: Plant lavender :D
Neither ticks nor deer like the smell. Plant in the yard and garden.
Tip #5: Have herbal antibiotic prophylactics handy
If you've been bitten and the tick has had a meal, or if you feel unusually tired, achy, feverish, or just really off in a significant way and have been spending time outdoors, consider keeping herbal antibiotics handy. My favorites are Cat's Claw, Resveratrol (the substance in the invasive Japanese Knotweed), Allicin (the substance in garlic that makes it antimicrobial). Take the recommended dosage for a week or few knock out any beginnings of infection. Some doctors now taking Lyme more seriously would even say take for a month or two.
Tip #6: Simplest route? Daily eat a few cloves of raw garlic
Chow on a few cloves of raw garlic (if you can stomach it) if you suspect early infection or make them a regular part of your diet pre-hike for general prevention. You'll sweat it out as a natural repellent.
Tip #7: Amp up the probiotics
Include extra kimchi, krauts, kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, miso into the diet. According to the wisdom that played a significant practical role in my healing and sustained healing, probiotics alone could bring enough balance to the system without antibiotics at all. Its an extreme method to comprehend. Meditate on it (and consult your medical caregiver).
Tip #8: Amp up (or surrender into) your spiritual practice/trust
Remember God/Love/Christ-Consciousness intends only good for you. Relax, listen, share, trust in the divine flow. Should you get sick as I did (I wish it not for anyone), for a short or extended period, continue to give it over to the Love that created you. No matter what happens, you're God's child. You're Love's child, growing into full-grown love itself.
And slightly more woo-woo, have a conversation with the forest as a living being. Let it know you respect it and want to experience its wisdom consciously without the experience of disease. Try it out. I may be crazy, but life's more fun that way, deeply respecting all of our brothers and sisters, small, large, and diversely shaped and oriented.
Lets grow together. Happy trails.
(Note: The information offered here does not replace medical advice:)