There’s a long list of benefits from getting out into the wilderness or travelling to exotic, tropical locations. There are a few tiny annoyances, as well, including mosquitos, ticks, sandflies and midges. While these insects may seem small, they can also spread life-threatening diseases, such as Malaria, Lyme disease and Dengue Fever. Prevention comes in a number of forms from medication to vaccinations and topical sprays. The UK’s Craghoppers, an outdoor and travel clothing company, advocates wearing the appropriate apparel to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Along these lines, Craghoppers has created NosiLife, an insect repellent infused into the fibres of its clothing, providing it with 90% protection against biting insects over a lifetime of wear.
Craghoppers NosiLife is made from a synthetic chemical called Permethrin, widely used as an insecticide in agriculture and to kill parasites on livestock, and as an insect repellent in clothing and in pet flea collars. Topical applications are also used on mosquito nets. For humans, Permethrin is used as a medicine to treat head lice and scabies in products such as Johnson & Johnson’s Lyclear.
Permethrin’s toxic effect on humans is considered minimal, except in very high doses. It is a known neurotoxin, which slows down the nervous system, but is negatively correlated to temperature and thus is highly toxic to cold-blooded animals, such as insects and fish, and considered safe to warm-blooded animals, such as humans, other mammals, and birds, with the exception of cats. Permethrin is also poorly absorbed by the skin, making it a potential alternative to DEET.
Craghoppers has a large range of outdoor adventure and travel clothing impregnated with NosiLife, including trousers, shirts and tops, hoodies, dresses, skirts, scarves, hats and socks. Craghoppers also has an association with Bear Grylls, whose line of tough, adventure-ready clothing has a number of pieces treated with NosiLife.
Craghoppers NosiLife is distributed in Australia by the Phoenix Leisure Group, which also owns brands such as Black Wolf and Vigilante, and by Allsports Distribution Limited in New Zealand. Retail outlets include Anaconda, as well as online e-tailers, such as Hiking.com.au and kellysbasecamp.com.au. Prices range from A$70 for cargo shorts to A$110 for convertible trousers. Be aware when searching Google, for example, that some retailers also consider NosiLife as a brand name, as opposed to simply a technology within the Craghoppers range of apparel.