How to keep the bugs out of your camping trip

By Marion Fernandez
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How to keep the bugs out of your camping trip

Marion Fernandez
 
 
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Being outdoors is invigorating, refreshing, and something that just about anyone can enjoy. But no matter what type of outdoor activity you enjoy, something we can all agree on is that bugs are obnoxious. From irritating itches to constant buzzing, the nuisances can cause trouble for any outdoor adventurer or leave their marks for days after.

However, there are some methods that you can use that may help keep the bugs out of your camping adventures. Here are some you should try out.

1. Avoid a lot of scents

Try to avoid smells that attract insects
Try to avoid smells that attract insects

Perfumes, lotions, soaps, and even some foods will draw the unwanted bugs right over to you. Mosquitoes are attracted to salt and potassium, so eating bananas, avocados, and other potassium-rich foods will drive them to you. Meats will attract wasps, so make sure to keep your food area at your campsite clean.

2. Stay away from standing water

Ponds and stagnant water bodies are a favorite place for bugs hang to around
Ponds and stagnant water bodies are a favorite place for bugs hang to around

Mosquitoes especially like to breed in bodies of still or stagnant water. If you are camping by a lake, for example, you will have more mosquitoes the closer to the lake you are. Areas that have fishing holes or ponds will also have an abundance of the pests so staying near water is a great way to be burdened.

3. Check out your gear

Make sure there are no holes to let little critters into your sleeping area
Make sure there are no holes to let little critters into your sleeping area

If you are being bitten while you are asleep, you should check out your tent and see if there are any openings that would allow the bugs to get in. Most tents have a kind of netting of some sort, but if it has any holes in it, then you are bound to have intruders. Make sure your seams are still together as well and repair any holes that could be letting the tiny invaders in while you are sleeping.

4. Citronella is helpful

The smell of citronella is pleasant to most people – but many bugs hate it
The smell of citronella is pleasant to most people – but many bugs hate it

Citronella puts off a nice scent that will keep the pests away. You can purchase candles, torches, and incense infused with citronella, all of which can help keep them away. The smell is also rather pleasant, giving your campsite a nice aroma while keeping those annoying bugs away from you.

5. Invest in an electric bug zapper

There are various electronic gadgets for bug-zapping
There are various electronic gadgets for bug-zapping

If you don’t mind killing the pests, there is another way to deal with them. As we all know, bugs are attracted to light, so having an electric bug zapper can draw them to it where it will in turn zap them. There are also battery-operated fly swatters now that allow you to get rid of any insects that are close by and within your reach. Of course, being in nature means there are essentially endless bugs out there, but it may cut down on the numbers a bit.

6. Use the bug spray

If you are in an area where insect-borne disease is common then bug repellent is a must
If you are in an area where insect-borne disease is common then bug repellent is a must

While DEET is not the most popular product that is out on the market, the truth of the matter is that DEET is incredibly effective. It masks your own bodily scent and puts off an odor that bugs cannot stand, keeping them far away from your skin and anything near you. When all else fails, rest assured that the most powerful bug spray will do the job.

7. Grin and bear it

Bring some antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream along, just in case
Bring some antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream along, just in case

As irritating as they are, bugs are really just part of being in nature. Most of us expect to be pestered and bitten and go home with the bite marks as badges of courage. While you should still do all you can to prevent being bitten, you should also understand that nearly everyone gets bitten when they spend any amount of time in nature. Keep some anti-itch cream with you and get out there and enjoy yourself.

 
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