- Walk with a partner or tell someone where you are going and take a cell phone with you.
- Check the weather. Oklahoma weather can change quicky.
- Carry water and snacks with you, especially if you plan to take a long hike.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat.
- Bring a change of clothes to wear home.
- Wear light-colored clothing and appropriate footwear.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks when going into wooded or grassy areas.
- Use insecticide containing DEET, to protect from mosquitos and ticks.
- Stay on the trails. Ticks hang out in high vegetation, waiting for a passing host.
- Be on the lookout for snakes - do not approach or try to touch any wildlife.
- Poison ivy has three leaves. Don’t touch... let it be. If you are exposed to poison ivy, wash with cold water for two minutes before using any soap.
- Leave no trace. Please pack all your trash out with you and help us keep the trails clean and wildlife safe.
BONUS TIPS FROM BIOLOGISTS IN THE FIELD
Repel Bugs From the Inside: If you choose to use repellent, you can not only spray the outside of your clothes, but also the inside. Don’t forget your shoes!
Duct Tape Bracelets: Create inside-out bracelet with duct tape and use sticky side of duct tape to remove seed ticks or other small ticks without having to use your hands.
Duct Tape Gators: Tape your pant legs closed to make gators and keep ticks and grasshoppers, etc. from climbing up your leg – definitely not a fashion statement, but neither are tick bites!
Stay on the Trail: Ticks hang out in high vegetation, waiting for a passing host. When your leg brushes through the vegetation, the tick transfers to your body. Walk on designated trails, and avoid blazing your own through meadows or other high vegetation areas. You'll avoid ticks and leave a minimal impact on the wild places we love. Avoid blackberry bushes… chiggers love them!
Don’t Touch! Although it's especially toxic in spring and summer, poison ivy is bad year-around in Oklahoma. “Vines with legs or are hairy, are poison ivy. Visible rootlets – can get it from touching the vine.”
Change Your Clothes. There’s nothing like itching all the way home from an outdoor adventure. Take a change of clothes and trash bag so that you can swap out the exposed, itchy clothes for some dry, non-tick infested, comfy clothes. Put the clothes you hiked in, into the trash bag. Tie up and put in the trunk, bed of truck or back of car.
15 Minutes in the Dryer: De-tick clothes by throwing everything into a hot dryer for 15 minutes, even before washing.
“SECRET” TIP: Got Chiggers? A mysterious women’s solid deodorant original scent: it’s not just for women, it’s for chiggers. Apply as needed. Aids itching and inflammation. Better than other popular alternatives containing harsh chemicals If you're outside for a while and can't wash the chiggers off any time soon, use a damp or wet cloth to regularly wipe your arms and any other exposed skin down before they can bite you.