Quick first aid kit question

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Quick first aid kit question

Postby Zzoe » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 2:03 pm

Hi All

We do most of our hiking in Western Australia, with two kids who tend to occupy places cosy enough for kangaroos (and their accompanying ticks). We usually pack a small cylinder of freeze-off wart spray to blast ticks before tweezering them out. The freeze-off has proved to be an essential part of the first aid kit!

But I'm not sure if we'll encounter ticks on our upcoming Overland Track hike; starting next weekend.

Are ticks a problem?

Thanks in advance,

Zoe
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Mark F » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 5:57 pm

I am not aware of ticks being a particular problem on the olt but you could take the spray and try it out on leaches :lol:
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Zzoe » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 10:45 pm

Thanks Mark... that's a few grams saved!
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby weeds » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 7:01 am

Didn’t experience ticks or leech’s when we dId the OLT


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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Tortoise » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 6:22 pm

weeds wrote:Didn’t experience ticks or leech’s when we dId the OLT

I've seen a few hundred leeches on the OLT, maybe more. It just depends on the conditions. A friend got a tick on a side trip from the OLT. Can't remember exactly where. I take the 2 little tick removers you can buy from the vet. Different sizes. Total weight = 3 grams. I just keep them in my first aid kit.
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby benoloughlin » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 9:16 pm

I've never encountered ticks on the overland track and I work up in Cradle Valley nearly every day.
Also, keep in mind you are coming into the cooler months when insects are becoming less active.
As for leeches - I tend to tuck my trouser legs into my socks (double layer of socks this time of year) and I wear gaiters. It wards off most leeches.
In fact in a recent visit to the Walls of Jerusalem, while some of my bare-legged companions got leeches, I had none.
On the odd occassion when a leech does find somewhere to get itself attached - I leave them attached until they drop off naturally and consider it a good deed/blood donation. There are worse things than leeches.
All the best,
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Orion » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 9:23 pm

Tweezers with a fine tip is the tool recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. I added a pair to my kit after finding a tick on my arm on the SW Cape track. Fortunately my partner had good tweezers that I could borrow. You probably already have a pair in your first aid kit.

Freezing leeches sounds like fun. I'll bet it wouldn't kill them like my bic lighter does.
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Orion » Sat 06 Apr, 2019 9:45 pm

benoloughlin wrote:On the odd occassion when a leech does find somewhere to get itself attached - I leave them attached until they drop off naturally and consider it a good deed/blood donation.


On the OLT I found one attached to my... well I'd rather not say. But there was no way I was going to leave it there until it had had its fill.
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Re: Quick first aid kit question

Postby Zzoe » Sun 07 Apr, 2019 12:59 am

Thanks for all the replies!

Yes, we always have a pair of needle nosed tweezers... but if the chaces of tick bombardment are few then we'll leave the freeze option at home. It's useful here because our youngest gets a reaction to ticks if they're removed just using tweezers (itchy, swollen, red); but none of us ever get any reaction if we blast them with the freeze stuff first. Sounds like overkill but in spring in the jarrah forest here we have had to deal with sixteen on one child in one day! (In all the worst places, too :shock: ).
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