From bug spray to bug netting, you’ll be ready to hit the great outdoors with our tips to keep the bugs away.
Camping is a fun activity for the whole family. You get to spend time in nature, and do all sorts of fun stuff like biking, swimming and sitting around the campfire. The only problem? Bugs! The pesky insects are everywhere, no matter where you’re camping. We have some surefire ways to keep the bugs away so you can enjoy your camping trip.
There are a few preventative measures you can take before getting out the bug spray and mosquito netting. Bugs are attracted to strong scents, such as food and scented hygiene products. Opt for unscented bathroom products.
Cleaning up after you’re done eating is a must. Wash any dishes right away, and wipe off your camping tables after you eat. It’s also important to dispose of trash properly to keep bugs away (along with other, larger wildlife). Also make sure to properly pack and store your food.
You should also try to avoid setting up camp near wet areas, such as stagnant water or meadow areas. Bugs are attracted to damp areas. If this isn’t possible, there are lots of other ways to help keep the bugs away.
There are a few natural remedies you can try if you don’t want to reach for the bug spray. Burning sage can help keep the bugs away. Using citronella oil is also popular. There are also several homemade recipes for bug spray. They typically involve essential oils and witch hazel. Stronger recipes will also include apple cider vinegar.
One of the most popular recipes is the Vinegar of the Four Thieves recipe. Legend has it that it was used during the Black Death to keep away the plague. The recipe has become popular as a modern, homemade bug spray. With help from WellnessMama, you can make your own!
Vinegar of Four Thieves Recipe
- 2 tbsp dried Sage
- 2 tbsp dried Rosemary
- 2 tbsp dried Lavender
- 2 tbsp dried Thyme
- 2 tbsp dried Mint
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh garlic (optional)
- 2 quarts of apple cider vinegar
- Mix the dried ingredients and garlic in a large jar.
- Pour the vinegar over the mixture and tightly seal the lid. Due to the strength of the vinegar, it’s a good idea to put plastic wrap over the jar and then put the lid on.
- Store the mixture in a dark, cool place for six to eight weeks. Shake the mixture daily if you can.
- After six to eight weeks, strain the herbs and store the mixture in smaller jars or spray bottles.
If you don’t want to make your own bug spray, you can always buy insect repellent. Think about what kind of activities you’ll be doing. If you plan on being in the water, look for a waterproof bug spray. Not only will waterproof bug spray work when you’re in the water, but also if you’re sweaty. Bugs are also attracted to sweat. It’s best to reapply throughout the day, as recommended on the spray bottle.
There are bug spray options that are DEET-free if you have sensitive skin. While bug spray containing DEET is the most powerful kind, it can cause skin irritation when overly used. Always follow the bottle’s directions when you apply bug spray.
Insect Repellent Candles, Torches & More
Directly applying bug spray is your best bet to keep the bugs away, but there are other options. You can burn citronella candles or citronella torches to keep the bugs away. Just be careful to keep a close eye on any open flames while you’re camping. Mosquito coils are another option. You can put them on your picnic table for some relief from the pesky bugs. Mosquito sticks are another option. They’re essentially repellent-infused sticks that slowly burn to keep the bugs away. Repellent lanterns are perfect for camping. You not only have a light source, but you’ll also have a bug repellent.
When you’ve run out of options, you can always use bug netting. You can wear bug netting on your head to keep bugs away from your face. You can also put it up around your hammock or tent. It’s best to use this in combination with bug spray or other repellent products.