Insect Shield technology, as used on many Keela garments, converts clothing to give long-lasting, effective and convenient insect protection, writes Mike Gormley.
If you are in the northern hemisphere just now and heading out to wilder places, such as say Northwest Scotland, it is likely you may encounter dreaded midges or other biting and very bothersome insects. Not only are these extremely annoying, and can put the spoilers on any outdoor activity, but they can also be dangerous. Dependent on the part of the World you are in, insects can carry a range of nasty infections from Malaria and Dengue Fever through to Lyme Disease and so on.
However, this is not a lesson in diseases transmitted by biting insects. I am certainly no expert in this field and there is plenty of good info out there but I have, without doubt, been on the receiving end of many of these nasty little biters; a canoe / camp trip in Canada, various Scottish trips and even summer camping on Dartmoor spring immediately to mind. I am sure most readers will not have to be reminded just how unpleasant insect bites can be.
Options? Not to be there during insect season – a good plan, but very often not within our control. So, assuming we are there in-season, what can be done? Clearly there are a raft full of potions and lotions all claiming to be the ultimate fix to keep you free of bites. I have tried many, and I have to say some help, but so far I have yet to find that ultimate fix. So the next option is a physical barrier, as in clothing, and better still are garments such as these from Keela that are treated with an insect repellent – in this case their aptly named Insect Shield Technology. This process uses a long-known and nature-based ingredient called Permethrin which occurs naturally in plants such as the Chrysanthemums. This is bonded to the material used in the clothing and will stay effective over many washes(quoted by Keela as over 70) and probably over the life of the garment; it should perhaps be said this is for normal washing and not if special proofing treatments are used.
From my point of view it is important that if there are bugs about you should cover up. Leave the short sleeved tops and shorts in your pack. Long sleeves and long trousers are a must if insect bite risk is high; when your skin is covered that’s a good part of the battle won. If these garments are suitably treated with Insect Shield then those insects that land on you will have their nervous system interfered with, so yours can stay comfortable. No more frantic Highland Flings in the woods!
As I write this I hope many are now at last able to ‘get out there’ or perhaps your work will take you outside. Sadly, I have not yet been able to resume my travels yet so will have to trust my past experiences with Insect Shield Technology garments, and not bring first-hand field testing of the garments shown (which I normally try to achieve for my reviews).
Those Keela garments seen here are intended to protect you in a warm environment. The Machu Trousers are light, stretchy, quick drying and comfortable to wear in warm conditions and the Insect Shield T-Shirt makes a good a base layer, or perhaps a top if willing to risk having your arms exposed; this is also in a stretch fabric and comfort fit for warmer conditions. Perhaps for more complete protection the IS Ider long-sleeved shirt, not illustrated, would be a better top garment. This is also made from stretch fabric and is a good all round shirt for travel and trekking.
When in ‘bug central’ it is important to look after your feet as well, so no sandals. To protect that gap below the trousers Keela produce IS Socks; I guess you probably could wear these with sandals… so long as no one is looking! Like the other IS garments these are light and suitable for warm conditions.
There are a number of other IS items in the Keela range, from hats right through to blankets, which are worth a look if you are heading out to places where you are likely to encounter those nasty biters. Now we are able to get out and about more, don’t let it be spoilt by those bugs!
[images © Jean Gormley]