While heading out into the woods, bugs are the most common creatures that every camper comes across. They are the inhabitants of nature. So you cannot expect to camp in a bug-free environment. But you can at least reduce the number of flying bugs and crawling critters around you. Besides, bug-biting mosquitoes, ticks, and no-see-ums can be a real nuisance. Apart from that, disease-carrying mosquito bites can eventually be life-threatening. Hence, you should be well aware of how to keep bugs away while camping.
10 Tips To Keep Bugs Away While Camping
Camping is a great way to escape from monotonous life until itchy bumps force you to get back home. To ensure a wonderful camping experience, we have put together 10 effective tips on how to keep bugs away without any painstaking process.
Look For High and Dry Campsites
A wide range of bugs is prevailing in the campsites. But the most hazardous ones are the mosquitoes. They tend to transmit harmful viruses into the human body that can eventually become life-threatening. Find a dry and high area with no hint of stagnant water rather than constricting yourself to enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Since stale water and puddles are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Moreover, you will often find mosquitoes in larger quantities following a rainstorm. Hence, to stay away from mosquitoes, avoid setting camps near wet places like swamps or bogs.
Spread Coffee Grounds On Stagnant Water
Often it becomes challenging to find a perfectly dried-up location for camping. During such crucial situations, you cannot help but camp near puddles. And as I mentioned, still water is the perfect location for breeding mosquitoes. Hence, before the egg hatches in that stagnant water, throw some coffee grounds on it. Surprisingly, the trick works. Coffee grounds even meet the deficiency of nitrogen in plants. So in a way, you are helping nature along with keeping bugs away while camping.
Camping Screen Houses And Mosquito Nets
Screen rooms or houses are generally the larger versions of a tent. They are designed with a tight mesh fabric to keep the bugs out while you can still enjoy the outdoor scenery. The screen room from Luxe Tempo is quite affordable and keeps the bugs out. Make sure to keep the zips closed. However, you can also make your own screen room though purchasing a separate mosquito net. They are affordable, packable, and effective in keeping you away from bugs.
Make Essential Oil Repellent
If you want to avoid chemical bug repellents, then essential oils can work as a great alternative. You can spray on your clothes or even apply directly on your skin. Some of the well-known essential oils that contain bug-repelling properties, include Citronella, Lemongrass, Geranium, Rosemary, and many more. To prepare natural bug repellent, mix 10 to 20 drops of essential oil with a half cup of water.
Furthermore, add a half cup of natural witch hazel with one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Store this mixture in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Most importantly it does not smell bad and even ensures the pesky bugs are under control.
Prepare Repellent With Vinegar
While camping, another natural method to keep bugs away is to spray vinegar on your tent. This trick will let you sleep in peace, knowing the bugs are miles away from your tent. All you require is some small spray bottles full of vinegar before you head out camping. But the strong smell of vinegar can be harsh for people who are sensitive to smells. In such a case, you may have to skip this process and adapt to another way to get rid of pesky bugs.
Cover Your Skin
The more exposed your skin is, the more mosquito bites you get. It may sound absurd but cover your body as much as possible when you head out into the woods. Because the carbon dioxide human exhales is a sweet lure to mosquitoes. Hence, make sure to wear long and light-colored clothes during summer. You can also spray bug repellents on clothes to make them more effective to fight against mosquitoes.
Throw A Sage In The Campfire
The easiest way to reduce bugs buzzing around is to start a campfire. Throwing a single stick of sage on it is like icing on the cake. You may find this hard to believe, but burning one small stick of sage in the campfire can repel mosquitoes in a breeze. Bugs are unable to stand the smell that emits from burning sage in the campfire. That smell lingers even on your clothes. So you can get that extra protection against bug bites. However, if you do not have sage around, then throw some damp twigs to make the campfire extra smokey.
Put on Insect Repellent Clothing
Although you may wear full pants, long sleeves, and light-colored shirts for maximum coverage, some mosquitoes and bugs can even bite you through clothes. Hence, nowadays several garment manufacturers produce scarves and other clothing that constitute insect repellent materials in it. They are safe and reduce the usage of chemical repellents on your skin. However, you may still have to use lotion or spray-based bug repellents on your exposed skin.
Mosquito Coils And Lanterns
Lantern and mosquito coils are a great way to keep bugs away while camping. Lanterns specifically made for repelling mosquitoes use a removable cartridge to emit a smell that mosquitoes can’t stand. For instance, a Thermacell lantern creates an invisible barrier to keep bugs at bay. The only downside about such lanterns is you have to change the cartridge every other day. So you need to carry refill bottles along with you.
Besides, mosquito coils are infused with Pyrethrum, an active ingredient to repel mosquitoes. PIC manufactures some of the best mosquito coils. It can repel bugs for about 5 to 7 hours.
Invest A Few Bucks In Repellents
Finally, if you plan to camp in a heavily infested area, the most effective way to get rid of bugs would be DEET-based repellents. In general terms, DEET is an active ingredient that potently repels a wide range of bugs with just a single application. You will find this ingredient in most of the most effective mosquito and pest repellents.
But you should earnestly follow the precautionary measures while using DEET-based repellents. However, repellents with Picaridin can be a worthy alternative. They are safe to use even for children over three years old. You can also go for electric bug zappers. But they can be a hassle to carry outdoors. Hence, you should invest in lotion or spray-based bug repellents that are light for packing.
Perhaps a clean campsite is far less likely to have such bothersome creatures that you are trying to avoid. However, not all the ways mentioned above may effectively work if you are camping in a heavily infested area. In such cases, you can apply DEET-based mosquito repellents that come in the form of spray, ointment, or cream.
Aside from this, make sure to stay hydrated as bugs are more lured to sweaty skin. And, remember to close the zippers of your tent every time you enter and exit. At the end of the day, don’t sweat it if itchy bumps appear, even after trying all possible methods to keep bugs away while camping. It is all a part of your best outdoor adventure.
Robert Coleman, in one word is a multitasker. He enthusiastically works as an outdoor guide. He also has led large groups for backpacking at Bogota in Columbia. Hours of research and field experiences have helped him to stand as one of the best professional reviewers for anything related to outdoors. He improvises in using the right tool rather than packing tons of unnecessary things while outdoors.