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Bugs bugs go away!

January 03, 2020

Bugs bugs go away!

 Photo by Weronika Marcińczyk on Unsplash  

Outdoor camping in the wild, amongst woods, beach side, at private camping spots, and so on is fun and exciting, but the great outdoors is filled insects, bugs and other organisms. Insects, bugs, wasps and other flies are part of the outdoor camping experience and there is no way to completely eliminate them; but, you can certainly follow certain precautionary measures to keep the bugs away.

Camping behavior is one of the main solutions for the problem of insect infestation, and similarly, there are many products out in the market to keep insects away from your camping site from natural insect repellent to DEET-based products, bug-resistant clothing, and screen rooms. Here are various methods you could use to avoid insects while camping outdoors.

Camping Climate

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The easiest and most important way you could avoid coming in contact with insects to a great extent would be by checking the weather before heading out in the wild.  Camping in damp and wet conditions is not advisable, so try going out on an outdoor trip immediately after the winter or rainy conditions. Damp, low lying areas are home for some of the deadly insects and bugs, so it is best to avoid such areas.

It is always better to avoid camping in low-lying areas, next to stagnant water, and also on wet grass or in damp conditions. Make sure to setup your camp on an uphill in order to stay clear of all the dangerous insects. Camping at an uphill spot will be best even when it rains because you can be rest assured that the water will drain quickly.

Appropriate Clothing

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In any outdoor retail store or e-commerce site you can find many outdoor specific clothing and accessories that are designed to keep insects and bugs away to a certain extent. As soon as you think of outdoor camping, you’d probably think of shorts and T-shirt, which is not exactly the right option. Long sleeved T-shirts, shirts and long trousers would be the ideal choice for campers. Be sure to treat all the edges of your clothing, like the neck, sleeves, etc. with insect repellant sprays. The insect repellant that you apply for your skin will also do the work.  You can also soak or treat all your existing outdoor gear with such repellants.

Tent Protection

Another important form of insect protection is to secure your tent completely. The inner door of your tent should be kept shut round the clock to keep insects from crawling inside the tent and mosquitoes sneaking in especially at night. Make sure that you teach this habit to your kids as well.

Some tents may not come with an inner mesh partition, and for those, a mosquito net would be more than enough. You can place the net over your bed to protect yourself from the mosquitoes. Make sure to carry enough nets for all your family members. Some of the mosquito nets available in the market come with repellent treatments, which is good. If you are camping with your little ones and pets, then you can make use of free standing insect net tents, which will provide enough protection by giving them a spot to play outdoors.

Sealed Foods

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All your food items, even if it is a candy or wrapper foods, should be tightly sealed so that it does not attract any insects and bugs. Bugs are attracted to smelly things like scented lotion and food. Air tight containers, zip lock bags and even vacuum containers can be used to store food items for the outdoors. For drinks and cans, you can use cool boxes, which keep your drinks cold as well as away from insects. Certain food items are found to attract insects a lot, so better keep them in your car or in a concealed space to avoid any sort of contamination.

Waste Disposal

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All your food waste, wrappers, candy covers, etc. should be disposed carefully without attracting bugs and insects. An air tight waste bin can be chosen for storing all the wastes before disposal. A plastic zip lock bag or container may sometimes not be enough to prevent insects from getting hold of the waste. If you are camping in a private campsite, then you can easily dispose this waste every night before going to bed at the enclosed bins in your campsite. Always keep a clean kitchen; wipe down the campground table upon arrival and after each meal, wash your dishes immediately after cooking, and store trash and food appropriately.

Insect Repellents

This particular option is the first thing that will come to your mind when you think of ways to avoid insects, bugs and wasps while camping. Chemical insect repellents are one of the popular items you’d find in a pro camper’s bag. Repellents applied to your skin will provide enough protection. DEET chemical compound-based insect repellents are the most effective. This chemical is very strong and is also found to have adverse effects on your skin if used for a long period of time. By following the instructions given on the repellent you can prevent any such effects on your skin.

Apply a reasonable amount of repellent on your skin and remember to never apply too much. Any excess chemical on your skin should be removed using water or soap. If you are worried about the adverse effects of DEET on your skin, then you can buy a repellant with a low concentration of this chemical. Many low concentrated solutions are available in the market. The location of your camping site will eventually determine the repellent concentration you must buy. In some locations, even a 25% DEET concentrated repellant will be more than enough.

Natural Repellents

If you are not interested in using any form of chemical repellents, then you can use other natural alternatives. Citronella oil is one of the best all-natural insect repellants. You can apply it on all your outdoor gear to stay rid of insects. Some of you may not like applying repellents on your skin and if you are having a skin condition, then skin repellents will not do any good. Both natural and chemical wristbands and ankle bands are also available in the market.

Insect Repellent Bracelets

An insect repellent bracelet is the best option if you are camping with kids, and also perfectly suitable for hikers and long-term campers. They are super comfortable, convenient and very easy to carry along anywhere you go, which is one of the best features all outdoor enthusiasts would appreciate. Adjustable bracelets and bands mean it will be suitable for all sizes. All-natural mosquito repellent bracelets are quite popular these days and you must definitely have one.

Most of these wrist bands and bracelets do not use DEET chemicals, and therefore is found to be the most sensible option for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you love wearing short sleeves and shorts for your outdoor trips, then this is the only best solution available at the moment.

Campfire / Candles

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Burning campfire, candles and even coils will help you keep insects away. The smoke that emanates from burning is an all-natural repellent. Even burning citronella or sage leaves will keep the insects, bugs and wasps away. If the wind is not too strong, you can also burn citronella candles.

Avoid Fragrances

Body odors, fragrances, lotions and other beauty and skin products should be avoided because such fragrances are known to attract insects. If you are going to apply insect repellents on a lotion applied skin, it will only reduce the effectiveness of the repellant.

Camping Lights

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Bugs, mosquitoes, wasps and other insects will be attracted by any bright light source. Keep this bright light source in a perfect spot like your pitch perimeter to bring all the insects in one place and you can enjoy a relaxed sleep. You can also place such a light source outside your tent to wade off insects and bugs away from your tent.

Bug Zappers

We have discussed in general about all the different ways to avoid insects while camping outdoors. Kids, pets and infant carrying campers should be extra careful and should avoid taking them out during winter, snow and rainy conditions.

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