Mosquitoes or “mozzies” are one of the biggest complaints hikers have about summertime hiking. These little critters will stop at nothing before they nibble you to little itchy pieces. People, therefore, have been coming up with the best possible ways to repel mosquitoes for years. Fortunately, getting these guys off of you has become easier as innovators have put together a mix of old and new techniques for mosquito repellent options.
1. DEET or Picaridin Repellent on Your Skin
Bug spray is of course the most common solution for getting rid of mosquitoes. While DEET and Picaridin aren’t the only chemicals that be can used to fight off mosquitoes, they are the ones that last the longest. Most bug sprays can be found with DEET in it, but just check the bottle to make sure. For those who prefer natural sprays, those are just as effective. However, you will just need to reapply frequently.
2. Repellent Sticks and Citronella Candles
If you want some extra protection or you’re a little iffy about putting bug spray on your skin, then try repellent sticks or citronella candles. Repellent sticks, or stakes, are made with ingredients like citronella, thyme, rosemary, and others to repel mosquitoes. Just burn it like incense, and let it do it’s thing. Same goes for citronella candles, which continue to release citronella oil as it’s burning. Just light it!
3. Insect Repellent Clothing and Permethrin
Yes, there are clothes that repel mosquitoes, and you should definitely get on them. (Or rather, in them.) Luckily, in North America, there aren’t too many dangerous bugs to worry about. Though, being safe from everything down to your clothing certainly doesn’t hurt. REI has tons of insect repellent clothing that are actually quite stylish. But, if you’re not so into the idea, then just buy the permethrin spray and spray it onto the clothes you already have.
4. Mosquito Nets
A mosquito net might not be a top priority on your packing list. However, if you’re one of the lucky few with “sweet blood,” then you should probably consider bringing one. The Hikers Mosquito Net by Coghlans is a great option. Hang it from the top of your tent and tuck it under your sleeping bag or mattress pad. There are also sleeping bags you can buy which come with mosquito nets attached.
5. Mosquito Repellent Lanterns
Everyone needs a lantern when they go camping, so why not trade yours in for one that’s mosquito repellent? The Scout Mosquito Repeller Camp Lantern by Thermacell is cheap and super easy to bring along. It creates a 15 x 15-foot zone of protection around you, plotting against a variety of backcountry-creepy crawlies. The best part of all? No need to pack a flashlight AND bug repellent. This gadget helps you kill two birds with one stone, and lighten the load in your bag.
A simple solution for repelling mosquitoes is a clip-on device. These are great for day hikes, when you don’t want to lug around the spray or lanterns. OFF! Clip-ons basically provide an invisible repellent dome around your body, which lasts up to 12 hours. You can also try Thermacell’s holster repellents.
7. The Backpacker Repeller
From the same guys who give you the mosquito repellent lantern, Thermacell, comes the Backpacker Repeller. This device just goes into your bag, and as long as you have your backpack, it will repel everything around you. Go on about your business outside, sit back and relax, and let this thing do the work for you.
Sadly, this awesome invention isn’t out on the market just yet. But, when it is, it will be great to have while backpacking, canoeing, or just sitting by your campsite. After all, it’s a hands-free, easy option. The Backpacker Repeller won’t be available until 2017, but keep your eyes out. It’ll probably be sold out quickly!
Slapping away mosquitoes all day and night can really take away from the relaxation of hiking and camping. Luckily, there are a lot of new alternatives to repelling mosquitoes you can try. Especially if you don’t want to smell like chemicals all day!