Nature. The great outdoors. The organic world around us is unequivocally a magnificent and wonderful thing. However, just as a coin possesses an intrinsic duality, so too does the environment contain elements which (from the human perspective, particularly that of a citizen from a post-industrial society) can be construed as negative or “bad”. At the very least, we can settle on “icky”. I speak, of course, of ticks and other blood-sucking species indigenous to the forests and woods frequented by the Boy Scouts of America.
There are many types and varieties of ticks. Take the time: educate yourself. It is crucial to know what to expect when you’re out there. The essence is this: ticks bite, suck blood, and potentially spread disease. Lyme disease is pretty serious business, but the good news is there’s something you can do about it.
Prevention is the best cure (some clichés exist because they are extremely appropriate and accurate). When outdoors in the rough (or any grass or foliage of reasonable length), wear long socks. long pants, and everything tucked in. Ticks are jumpers, and baggy clothes provide opportunities for them to latch onto you. Bug sprays and repellents have been known to be effective . Apply the recommended amount to exposed skin. It may also be prudent to get some on or around the openings of your pant legs or sleeves, or on your socks, as a preventative measure against the buggers crawling inside your clothing. Check yourself frequently, and shower as soon as you can.
Above all, the important thing to remember is this: if you are in the right environment, ticks are an inevitability. They are part of nature, it will happen, but that’s okay. Worst case scenario: a tick gets on and bites you, and is a carrier of a disease. We live in an age where medicine and miracle are nigh-interchangeable. Modern treatments are able to completely remove the fangs of illnesses that once were considered inevitably catastrophic. If you get bit, relax. It really is going to be okay.
In the words of Douglas Adams, don’t panic.