Ticks and trail food

Weird tick fact

During my recent 450 mile backpacking trip, I had more trouble from ticks while wearing long trousers with gaiters than I did while wearing shorts.

I don’t know what route the ticks used to get to my calves when I was wearing long trousers as the gaiters were closing off my trouser bottoms but, in the evening, when I finally got to remove my trousers, I often found ticks embedded between my knees and the top of my socks.

While wearing shorts, I was able to check my legs after each sit down and immediately after brushing through vegetation.  Ticks don’t seem to like the sparse hairs on the lower part of my legs as they take time to settle.  They head upwards for my shorts and can be removed before they embed themselves.  Any which reached my stone-coloured Rohan Essential shorts stood out and could be crushed before they had a chance to suck my blood.

Some tiny ticks escaped my scrutiny during the day.  These ticks were smaller than the size given by Wikipedia for sheep tick larvae and were incapable of penetrating the dead cells of my epidermis.  Perhaps they were vole ticks.  Apparently three types of Ixodes tick live in Britain: sheep ticks, dog ticks and vole ticks.  All have a taste for human blood.

Cheap trail food

Lidl stocks some low price food items with such a high calory density that I only eat them while backpacking.  Eating them at home would guarantee weight gain.  I’m referring to biscuits made my Tower Gate.  Their shortbread fingers taste buttery, which is hardly surprising as they contain 32% butter for an excellent 533 kcal per 100g.  They are a bit harder than McVitie shortbread but highly tolerable.  The other Tower Gate biscuits welcome in my backpack are Chunky Chocolate Bars.  A bit sweet, these chocolate biscuits offer 526 kcal per 100g.  The chocolate layer over the biscuit middle is thicker than the chocolate found on better known bars, hence the high calory density.  I can only eat food this sweet out of doors but you young folks will probably love them.


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