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Camping is favorite pastime for millions of people across the globe. In fact, many people refer to camping as their “Happy Place”. It gives us a chance to get away from the fast paces of everyday life and reconnect with ourselves, our loved ones, and Mother Nature.
While some people believe camping can be considered to be something equivalent to paradise, there is always something hiding in the shadows that wants to wreak havoc on your chill time.
No, I’m not talking about bears or any other kind of wild animal, although wild animals can definitely spoil your mood. I’m talking about a blood-sucking, insanely aggravating insect that attacks millions of people every single day. Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?
Mosquitos are the worst, especially when you are camping. How many times have you been peacefully sleeping or relaxing with your family when you hear that ever familiar buzz in your ear? Or you feel these pesky insects biting you, only to leave you itching and scratching for hours afterward?
In this article we are going to cover 8 useful tips for controlling mosquitos while camping and in turn, keep your sanity intact.
Let’s jump in…
8 Useful Tips For Controlling Mosquitos While Camping
It doesn’t matter if you are tent camping, backyard camping, or RV camping, controlling mosquitos can greatly increase your comfort level while you’re outside. Being prepared is your first line of defense against a constant onslaught of pesky mosquitos.
We spend a great deal of our time outside. And, living on the Texas Gulf Coast, we know a thing or two about controlling mosquitos.
But what can YOU do to be better prepared? Let’s find out.
When it comes to controlling mosquitos at your campsite, having the right gear can make the difference between relaxation and peace, or constantly swatting and scratching.
If you are going to be tent camping, look for a tent that not only keeps insects out, but also allows for fresh air to circulate. In addition, find a tent that is easy to set up so you’re not spending the entire afternoon setting up camp. For more information on choosing the right tent, check out our Ultimate Tent Buyers Guide.
Another great way to keep mosquitos at bay while your camping is to set up a screened enclosure, or a wraparound bug screen for your RV awning.
Did you know that mosquitos can be more attracted to certain colors of clothing? According to mosquitosquad.com, “As a general rule, mosquitos are more attracted to dark clothing, so it’s a good idea to wear light colored clothing.”
For me, it really doesn’t matter what color I am wearing. I am the ultimate mosquito magnet, especially when we are camping.
In addition to the color of your clothes, wearing long sleeves and long pants can also help prevent mosquitos bites.
Build A Campfire
One of the best parts of camping is sitting around an amazing campfire, especially in the cooler months. There is just something mesmerizing about watching the flames and listening to the pops and cracks of the fire.
In addition to the campfire being a must for most campers, it can also help repel mosquitos.
According to an article by outdoorsmecca.com, “A campfire keeps mosquitos away because smoke is a natural repellant for most bugs.” They go on to mention that you can also add aromatic scents like lavender and mint to help keep mosquitos away.
If you’re not sure how to build a campfire, check out our article, Ultimate Guide To Building The Perfect Campfire for tips on choosing the right wood to different ways to stack the wood.
If the campground you are at does not allow campfires, burning citronella candles can help keep mosquitos away while you’re camping.
There are several different companies that make a wide variety of products from candles to coils, and even personal clip-on repellants.
I wouldn’t advise using a flame producing product in an area that could possibly ignite dry foliage or any other combustible material.
The most popular method of keeping mosquitos away while camping, or doing anything outdoors, is to apply mosquito repellant directly to your skin. (The green can of Deep Woods OFF is my preferred product, 25% DEET)
If you choose this option, look for a spray that contains DEET. Many insect repellants use DEET to ward off mosquitos and other bugs. If you are sensitive to DEET, an alternative would be a bug spray containing picaridin.
Is picaridin as effective as DEET? In an article by rangerready.com, “Picaridin 20% has been proven to provide equal protection against mosquitos and superior protection against ticks in similar concentrations without the same health concerns.”
They go on to conclude that a 30% concentration of a mosquito repellant containing DEET will only provide up to 10 hours of protection as compared to 12-hour protection with picaridin.
If spraying chemicals on your body or burning candles like you’re performing a seance doesn’t sound like your idea of a good camping trip, a Therma Cell mosquito repellant might be a better choice for you. Unlike some of the options above, a Therma Cell is smoke-less and chemical free.
Their main claim is that these devices produce a scent-free, invisible “zone” of protection from mosquitos.
The main drawback I found with these is the cost of replacement mats and fuel cartridges.
Yard Treatment Spray
Using a yard treatment spray to repel mosquitos while camping is more suitable for RV and backyard camping. If you are planning to use one of these products in a State or National Park, be sure to check with the park authorities before doing so.
State and National Parks are well known for keeping the natural ecosystem in place and killing, or repelling, certain insects can be detrimental to these efforts.
The Natural Approach To Repelling Mosquitos
A more natural way of repelling mosquitos while you’re camping is by using certain essential oils. These oils eliminate the use of chemicals, smoke, and any other method that might be considered harmful to you or the environment.
According to an article from wowskinscience.com, “Peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, cedarwood, geranium, citronella, lavender, and cinnamon essential oils all have properties that can effectively repel mosquitos.”
Stop Mosquito Bite From Itching
In the likely event that you will be tagged by one of these flying hypodermic needles, there are some things you can do to stop the itch.
Keep in mind that for most of the home remedies you can find online, there is a slim chance you will have these products at hand while you’re camping. For instance, it is said that putting a drop of honey on the affected area can reduce any inflammation caused by a mosquito bite.
RV campers will more likely have things like honey or baking soda in their rig than a tent camper would have in their backpack.
For us, we simply rub a bit of alcohol (alcohol wipes) on the mosquito bite or use The Bug Bite Thing to stop the constant itching. For us, both have proven to be very effective.
Another common remedy for a mosquito bite is to rub ice on the affected area. An ice pack, or anything cold, can help reduce any inflammation and swelling and provide some comfort from the constant itch.
At the end of the day, no matter what you do to prevent mosquitos from entering your campsite, nothing is going to be 100% effective. It’s all about having fun, relaxing, and spending quality time with our loved ones. That’s really the only thing that matters in the end.
What are some things you use to deal with mosquitos when you go camping? Do you use any of the methods above? Leave us a comment I the section below and let us know.
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