Best Bug Repellent For Camping – Stop Them From Biting


mosquito repellent sign and tips

As you settle down for the night of sitting around and enjoying yourself after a hard day of enjoying yourself camping, there is a hazard you want to avoid if you can and that is being eaten alive by bugs. They love some people more than others and are very persistent. They seem to be able to sneak up on you and the first you know you have been bitten is that you start to itch and a red spot is forming on your skin. And they don’t just wait for the night they can get you during the day too.

Or they do a sneak attack at night waiting in your tent until you are just about to drop off to sleep and you hear the buzz of them flying around, know they can’t be spotted in the dark.

But there are things that can be done to repel these annoying visitors.

Here is a selection of the best bug repellent for camping methods I’ve found:

The first of these ways are more prevention than repellent:

Wear light colored long sleeved shirts and trousers to keep as much of you covered as possible. It won’t stop the most determined bugs but will prevent some bites. Make sure they are loose fitting especially in the southern States if you don’t want to cut down on bites from chiggers.

For protecting yourself in the tent you need to as much as possible keep the mesh across the doors and windows to stop them from sneaking in. You don’t want to give them an open invitation.

Mosquitoes and other bugs are apparently attracted by a number of things to humans – they include your breath, BO, perfumes, some skin care products, sweat, moving around and dark colored clothes. Therefore some of the things you can do is wash your clothes, have a shower using non-scented soap and don’t use perfume, deodorant or cologne.

For repelling those bugs some of the effective ways are:

Campfire smoke – they don’t like the smell of the smoke and that will help to keep them away as long as they don’t find a way round it to get to you.

Citronella candles – again they don’t like the smell of these burning but they will find a way round them if they can, but as with the campfire smoke it will deter some of them and you’ll have less to deal with.

Bounce dryer sheets seem to have a good reputation for keep those biting bugs away. Many people have had good results from using them. You can tie them to your belt or have them hanging from your pockets.

Some of the best products that act as a bug repellent are those that contain deet. You can buy sprays lotions and other products. One idea that seems to be used and be effective is spraying deet on your baseball cap to keep those bugs away. However, some people have adverse and allergic reactions to products containing this ingredient. If you or your children or anyone in your group does react badly to these products, stop using them and seek medical advice. You also need to wash your clothes and yourself to remove the chemicals to avoid too much contact with them.

Other products that might contain deet like mosquito bracelets help to make you unattractive to mosquitoes. Some of these products do contain natural ingredients such as citronella oil instead which can make them safer to use.

All these methods of insect repellent only last for a number of hours, so check with the manufacturer’s instructions for how long they last and pre-cautions you may need to take.

There are also a number of natural ways used like rubbing orange or lemon peel on your skin which seems to have some support, but I’ve not used it myself or come across anyone that has actually used it.

These are just some of the methods to keep those blood sucking bugs away from your skin. It seems a combination is the best bug repellent for camping system for minimizing the risk.

5 Responses to “Best Bug Repellent For Camping – Stop Them From Biting”

  • Annie on November 25, 2012

    Great advice here! Mozzies love me, so I always suffer a lot when outdoors.

    What is a chigger though?

    • Paul on November 25, 2012

      Hi Annie,

      Chiggers are “baby” mites. They live in tall grass and weeds. They like to bite your ankles, around your waist and any skin folds. The bites are very itchy and come up in red bumps.

      Have you tried eating vegemite sandwiches? I hear it’s good for keeping the mosquitoes away because they don’t like the smell or taste of people who eat vegemite. I’ve not tried it myself, but thought you might know as it is an Australian favorite.

  • Mo on December 2, 2012

    What I used last summer with great success is the wearable OFF! sprayer…..not really a sprayer but the fan disperses whatever is in the insert and it does work….extremely well. It uses a couple of AAA batteries for the fan and bug repellant inserts. I wore it at my waistband when outside the trailer at the campground and what a difference it made! The trip prior I was being eaten alive and since I don’t like using sprays I tried this instead. I highly recommend trying this handy little thing.

    • Paul on December 2, 2012

      Thanks for commenting Mo. It certainly looks a good device. It’s great when you can repel those insects without spraying your skin with chemicals.

  • Doug on March 10, 2013

    If they do bite, wipe non-scented antiperspirant Ban on the bite and it will stop the itch.

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