Orientation topics includes: field preparation and tick bite prevention.
Quality Parks Master Naturalist Orientation
What to Wear & Carry Outdoors (Suggestions)
- For personal safety, always assess your situation and prepare with appropriate gear.
- keep track of time in and time out
- remain hydrated, bring food - mayonnaise goes bad in heat, bring nuts, and energy snacks
- keep your eye on the weather
- dress in layers in colder weather, and in summer bring hats, sunglasses, suntan lotion and a light shirt (if it gets buggy).
- dress for the outdoor activity, if you will be standing and listening to a naturalist talk then dress warmer
- change of clothes and socks that you can leave in car
- wear comfortable closed sneakers or lightweight hiking boots (good for rain)
- snacks, be mindful of what can spoil on hot summer days
- wear layers, avoid cotton in cold weather, as it steals heat from your body).
- silk and wool are provide excellent insulation even when wet.
- for rainy days - wear 100 waterproof and breathable rain gear as needed
- carry sort of backpack to carry gear; varies depending upon activity
- bring assortment of field guides (Peterson or Newcomb) - good to flip through.
- carry binoculars, hand magnifying lens, pocket ruler, compass, GPS unit, cellular phone, relevant apps (for field identification, compass), camera, lens, composition book for notes and sketching, pens, pencils, cell phone
- bring Poison Ivy Remover or similar product is good to have around at home if you come in contact with poison ivy in the field
- bring Tick Twister - if you don't want to pick the ticks off with your hand and they are visible, used to pick tick off dogs.
Tick Bite Prevention (Suggestions)
- Overall, be aware and protect yourself
- Remember to know field conditions, tick cycles, and your risk tolerance.
- some protection - wear light colored clothing, use duct tape or pull socks over pant legs
- moderate protection - apply tick and insect repellant prior to event arrival
- high protection - purchase permethrin treated clothing, etc. Permethrin applied on clothing (bonded to clothing or sprayed the night before) can still get into drinking water after washings, and on lawn (gets into drinking water). There are alternative options to permethrin, but depends on your risk tolerance
- highest protection - avoid going to the field on high risk days
- When you go home check yourself, change clothes. Put field clothes in dryer for 10-15 minutes and should kill ticks. Seek medical care if you develop fever, chills, rash, headache, body aches altered mental status, or other signs and symptoms of tick-borne illness after doing outdoor activities in these areas.
Tick Bite Prevention
- Suffolk County - Final Report of the Tick and Vector Borne Diseases Task Force
- Tick bite prevention - Tickencounter.org
- Suffolk County Health Department - Ticks
- Ken Kindler on Ticks