Rynoskin anti-bug armor:
Field Test by: Mike Skelly
The general discomfort from ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, ants, and others critters make avoiding them highly desirable. But no matter where you hunt, fish, or hike you are probably concerned with the increasing threats of tick borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Typhus. You can get more info on tick borne diseases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/list_tickborne.htm. I’ve seen the tick population in New York’s Adirondack mountains steadily increase over the past decade.
Ten years ago I had never encountered a tick. Then I began to see them on the dogs. Although I hesitated to put a collar of toxins around my pet’s neck I tried flea collars. They didn’t work. I followed the usual advice of wearing long pants and long sleeves and socks, but as the tick population increased I found more and more of them on our pets and under my clothes. I consulted my vet and began to treat the dogs with topical insecticide. Somehow it seemed wrong to put poison directly on their skin but it was the only protection we had against the growing threat. One of my dogs was diagnosed with Lyme in 2006. The vet explained that even the best products on the market for pets only killed the ticks after they had bitten. In an effort to protect myself from a similar fate I began treating my hunting clothes with permethrin (an insecticide that kills bugs on contact). It is considered safe to use on clothing but unsuitable to use on your skin (though I wonder how much contact I get with it wearing the treated clothing). I resorted to DEET for defense against ticks, gnats, mosquitoes and the dreaded annual plague of black flies. But DEET will actually melt some fabrics, plastics, and furniture finishes (so how safe can it really be?) Medical information about the active ingredients in insect repellents is available from the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at (800) 858-7378.
Even while using permethrin and DEET it was only a matter of time before the odds of 10 million bugs to one of me played out in their favor. In June of 2008 I suffered flu-like symptoms and sported the tell tale bull’s-eye rash of Lyme. A regime of doxycycline helped me to get back on my feet but it was a miserable couple of days that I don’t want to repeat, or subject my family to.
Then I saw an advertisement for a new product called Rynoskin (www.rynoskin.com) claiming chemical free protection against ticks, chiggers, ants, biting flies, gnats, and other insects. Just like traditional screen head nets and the old fashioned mesh “bug suits” have protected outdoorsmen from biting insects for decades, Rynoskin creates a barrier of protection between you and the vermin seeking to chew on you. Best yet – the folks at Har-Son, Inc. back their products with a 100% satisfaction guaranty.
This was the solution I had been looking for. If this product worked as advertised, I could protect myself and my family from the insects without repeated self poisonings of pesticide on our skin and clothes.
The Rynoskin shirt and pants arrived quickly. They are light weight (really light weight at 9 oz.) and form fitting, but with the ability to stretch to your body shape. The fabric is both flexible and breathable. I’m not a tights wearing kind of guy, but I felt like I had snuck into a superhero’s closet when I put on the Rynoskin shirt. I found them downright comfortable, so comfortable that I found myself sitting around watching TV in them. They are designed to be worn under your clothes as a second skin with form fitting cuffs at your wrists and ankles and a long shirt tail to keep those multi-legged infiltrators from creeping in to reach the sensitive areas that they attach themselves to.
It was 40 degrees Fahrenheit when I left the house at sunrise to go goose hunting. With the extra layer of Rynoskins under my camo jeans and sweatshirt I was comfortable. When I arrived at the pond where I hoped to bag my first waterfowl of the year. God was kind and there were a couple dozen birds on the far side of the water. This meant that I had to hike through a half mile of brush choked swamp and woods to get close to them. It was perfect tick habitat.
During the stalk the Rynoskins not only remained comfortable without restricting my movement as I negotiated the rough terrain, they were quiet. There was no fabric on fabric noise as I snuck into position for my shot. I jumped and dropped a goose and hiked back through the brush choked swamp and woods to the car as the temperatures climbed into the mid fifties. I would have been much too warm in two layers of any traditional clothing. But removing the sweatshirt allowed me to remain comfortable in the full set of Rynoskins plus my jeans and hat.
My son and I returned to the pond a half hour before sunset and dropped two more geese. The only trouble was that they fell farther from shore than I could reach (even with my line brought along just for that purpose).
This gave me an opportunity to give the Rynoskins a field test that their makers never intended.
My pair of my geese fell into the pond and I had neither boat nor dog to retrieve them. So, as soon as legal shooting light was done, I stripped down to my Rynoskins and went in up to my chest to retrieve the closest one. We joked about leeches and snapping turtles as I negotiated sunken logs and deep bottom muck to bring the nearest goose to shore. While not exactly balmy I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable I was in the Rynoskins both while in the water and when I got out. I was MUCH warmer than I would have been going into the 55 degree water with bare skin. The second goose had drifted into deeper water and appeared to be in a slow moving current that would eventually bring it to shore. I decided to let the current do the work.
Even while soaking wet the Rynoskins did not restrict my movement or chafe. In fact, they were so comfortable that I took time for a photo with the retrieved goose before getting out of them.
After photos with the first goose, I showered, changed into dry clothes, and had dinner before returning to retrieve the second goose. I threw my muck splattered Rynoskins in the washing machine and hung them up to dry. By the time I returned home from retrieving the second goose they were dry. During my shower I had checked myself for ticks and any other parasites that I may have picked up throughout the day. I was delighted to see not a single one. But the second goose was not so lucky.
When I returned to the pond, the goose had drifted to shore. But it was absolutely covered in repulsive blood sucking leeches. There were dozens of them clustered at every wound. It was disgusting! It was only then that I realized that the swamp was in fact HEAVILY infested with blood sucking leeches!
The Rynoskins had protected me not only from ticks and teeth chattering cold, but also from hordes of slimy blood suckers!
Between saving my butt from ticks and worse, and saving me from the slow poison of wearing insecticide on my skin and clothes for years to come, I am sold on Rynoskins. I’m already looking forward to using them as I sit in ground blinds hunting turkey and deer this fall. I won’t have to worry about ticks and I won’t be afraid that the deer will smell my insect repellant.
I’m taking the money I’ll no longer need to spend year after year on permethrin and DEET and investing in Rynoskin for my family so that we can enjoy the outdoors together and in comfort.
If you wish to contact me regarding this review, you can reach me at Mssgn@hotmail.com If you wish to try a set of Rynoskin, contact the folks at Rynoskin toll free at: 1-866-934-7546 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do, please tell them that you saw my review.