I haven’t ever met someone who loved mosquitoes. I think if I ever did meet someone who loved those annoying flying biters, I would never speak with that person again! Pretty much every hiker, backpacker, camper, and outdoors loving person has had their battle with mosquitoes. While there have been some great chemicals created to combat the winged pests, a lot of those great chemicals are harmful to your precious and expensive backpacking/camping gear.
Deet is a common chemical found in many insect repellants but it is extremely harmful to your gear that has synthetic materials. The deet eats away at the fibers of your sleeping bags, tents, and anything else it comes into contact with. A great alternative that gets along with your gear is Picardin. I have found it work very well in the backcountry and it feels great knowing that I can climb into my sleeping bag without ruining it.
Something most people don’t think about much are ticks. They are freakin gross. Not only are they gross, they can do some serious damage to us humans with Lyme disease. The CDC has said that since 2002 the amount of Americans who have contracted diseases from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks has tripled. There is no need to take this risk while hiking. A product I recommend is Permethrin. This wonderful product can be sprayed on your clothes, socks, boots, and gear and will last up to 5-6 washes! Do NOT spray Permethrin on your skin, it is only for gear/clothing.
Sawyer makes a great line of Permethrin and Picardin and they are a company that we have used for many products including the bug fighting compounds. Pick some up so you can treat yo self and your gear!
- Chris Duarte