Best Bug Repellent Plug In – Mosquitoes suck, but your camping trip doesn’t have to last long with one of these repellents.
Mosquitoes don’t just suck blood, they also suck the fun out of camping, and if you want to prevent both, you need camping mosquito repellent. Repellent comes in a variety of forms and formulas, from natural essential oils to harsh chemicals and lotions to aerosol sprays. If you need help separating the hype from the fake stuff, this is the review for you. I tested the best mosquito repellents for camping in my jungle truck to find products that really work, and here are my picks.
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Mosquitoes detect humans by first seeing the carbon dioxide we emit and then by looking at our smell. Finally, body heat is their last signal before arriving when they use their feet to probe our skin to find a place to bite. Most mosquito repellents work by interfering with the mosquito’s sense of smell. The repellent evaporates from our skin and the vapor does not allow them to find our place.
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When choosing a mosquito repellent for camping, the first thing to consider is the product’s performance. The best way to tell, other than reading reviews, is to look at the ingredients.
Products with at least 20 percent DEET will prevent mosquito bites. You’ll typically see 70 percent or more DEET in mosquito repellents. Although DEET is very effective, it can have side effects such as rash, irritation and vomiting, nausea and stomach upset if ingested. DEET is not the only option, however, and there are other natural ingredients and chemicals that repel mosquitoes with fewer side effects. A 2015 study found that products containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or permethrin were effective in repelling mosquitoes.
Once you have decided on the active ingredient you want to use, think about how you will apply the repellent. If you’re wearing shorts and a shirt, you’ll want a shower that can cover a wide area. However, if you are wearing long pants and a long shirt, especially if they are treated with permethrin, you should only cover a small area. In this case, a lotion or a small pump bottle is suitable.
The active ingredient in Coleman SkinSafe is IR3535, which is very close to DEET in effectiveness, but with a weaker odor and according to the WHO, oral or dermal exposure of IR3535 is less toxic than DEET. It is still a chemical that will irritate your eyes and degrade plastic. In my testing, I’ve found that SkinSafe works best for about three hours, after which the effectiveness wears off. The aerosol spray is easy to use to apply all over the body, but you have to shake it well or you’ll have temporary dry sprays where nothing but aerosol comes out. The scent was mild and didn’t leave an unpleasant mark on my skin.
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The small bottles fit well in a side pocket or belt pouch, and the 98 percent DEET formula is a proven mosquito repellent.
If you’re traveling to tick and mosquito country, you’ll want to remove heavy protection and reapply as needed. This is where I recommend bringing Repel 100. It’s a small bottle that uses a pump applicator to spray a 98 percent DEET formula. Just a light spritz on your exposed skin will keep biting insects at bay for hours.
There are two big problems with Repellent 100. First, the pump applicator releases a small amount of repellent, so it’s not good for full body coverage. Second, some campers do not want to use DEET because it is not a natural product and has a very strong smell. However, if you don’t mind a little DEET, this is one of the best mosquito repellents you can keep in your pocket to keep the little things away.
Savier Mosquito Repellent Lotion lasts longer than sprays and won’t leave a greasy residue on your skin.
Best Natural Bug Repellents In 2022
We usually think of mosquito repellent as something that comes in a bottle, usually an aerosol, and is sprayed onto our clothes and skin. However, repellent lotions are another effective alternative, which I find suitable for use on the ears and neck. Use Savier Picaridin lotion as a sunscreen and it doesn’t leave a film on your skin. It is odorless and long lasting. A long one, in fact, if my eight-hour testing day wasn’t long enough to hit the high-security window. However, it is not easy to use it all over the body. And while this repellent lotion isn’t a complete solution, it fills a niche in your mosquito repellent arsenal.
If you’re camping and traveling in cold or disease prone areas, there’s no better way to protect your skin than to treat your clothing with permethrin. However, it is also an effective mosquito repellent. The caveats are that permethrin only travels through clothing, so you must wear long pants and sleeves treated with a repellent for it to work. And you’ll need to hit areas that aren’t covered by clothing, like your arms, neck, and ears, with a skin-safe repellent.
As long as you spray your gear well before you go, Savier’s Permethrin will cover you in most cases. Scott Ainsman
Permethrin is not like regular insect repellent because you don’t apply it right before you go outside. You should apply it to your clothes beforehand and let it dry. Sawyer claims that once treated it lasts for six weeks or six washes. If you put on your best walking shoes, hiking shirt, hiking pants, and tent before you go hiking, you’ll be protected from mosquitoes and gnats for the rest of the week.
Best Mosquito Repellent (buying Guide) In 2022
I’ve spent hours in some of the best swamps in the country, and the ThermaCell MR450 made those visits more enjoyable than terrifying.
ThermaCells do not require spraying or using repellents on your skin or clothing. It is a device with a heating element and a repellent mat that heats the surface. The concept is similar to the citronella candle, but ThermaCell is much more effective. They are so effective that I will not hunt or camp in front of mosquitoes without one of these devices.
You have to refuel and repellent mats, which add up over time. And it also doesn’t work in strong winds because the smoke it creates is pushed away from you. However, for camping or enjoying a meal in nature, this is a great choice.
One of the issues with the ThermaCell MR450 is that it requires butane fuel cartridges and repellent mats. The EKS90 solves them with a rechargeable battery and rechargeable batteries. Although the EKS90 is not ideal for backpacking or hiking due to its size, it is a great choice for RVing, car camping and backyard camping.
Repel Insect Repellent Sportsmen Max Formula 40% Deet, Aerosol, 6.5 Ounce (pack Of 6)
I tested two natural mosquito repellents and a repellent bracelet that failed. They were cut from my best camping repellent because they didn’t effectively repel mosquitoes. The bracelet only protected the area around the band and did not provide full protection without using a lot of product. And natural repellants did not stop the bites. However, I am continuing to research natural products and will update this review when I find more effective alternatives.
This was a simple test and the product had to pass that quota to be included in my list of the best mosquito repellents for camping. I had a warm and rainy spring which was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Despite the lack of test studies, I applied each mosquito repellent and went to a shady, damp, mosquito-free area in my area to see how each repellent worked to prevent bites.
I know for a fact that 100% DEET is effective in preventing mosquito bites. However, it also smells incredibly strong. There’s nothing pretty about crawling into a sleeping bag with bug spray or trying to enjoy one of the best camping meals of your life while getting whiffs of bug juice. So while smell is a key part of how mosquito repellent works, there are varying degrees of offensiveness to smell. I ranked each repellent on a scale of 1 to 5 for smell, with 5 being the strongest smell and 1 being the nicest.
I tested the comfort and compatibility of each product. I look for ones that are easy to use and don’t leave a memorable film on your skin.
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In the field: using the product while walking, hunting and fishing was an important part of my protocol, as it depended on the elements, sweat and different places.
100% DEET is still the most effective long-lasting mosquito repellent, but picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and permethrin are also effective in repelling mosquitoes.
The best way to keep mosquitoes away from camping is to use a mosquito repellent such as a thermocell.
Mosquito repellents for camping start at around $10