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Do you ever catch yourself thinking of mosquitoes and bugs or carrying a mosquito repellent when planning a camping trip? In fact, the first things that come to your mind are visions of sleeping in the tent amidst nature, gazing at the star-lit sky, or enjoying a bonfire night in the middle of nowhere. However, there is also the reality of bugs and insects that can be quite a dampener and ruin any camping trip. Hence, it’s always a good idea to be armed with the best mosquito repellant for camping to keep these dangerous blood-sucking insects at bay and ensure a great outdoor experience for yourself or with friends.
In fact, camping outdoors can be a whole lot of fun and adventurous if you have all the travel-friendly gear such as backpacking tents or sleeping bags, and a sturdy, yet lightweight traveler’s backpack with you. Also, it is equally important to keep yourself safe and protected from deadly mosquito bites and diseases by carrying one of the best repellants for mosquitoes during camping. Here’s before you a list of the 13 best mosquito repellants to choose from for outdoor activities or camping trips.
How To Choose The Best Mosquito Repellent For Camping
When camping, there is always a high chance of being bitten by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas or being troubled by buzzing flies. To keep you protected from these insects, the market has a variety of mosquito repellents for outdoor occasions. However, you must know what works best for you. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting the best-suited mosquito repellent for camping.
Types of Repellents
Mosquito or insect repellents can be lotion-based, oil-based, or just in spray form. Whatever form you use, ensure you use the one that is most convenient or suits you best. Most lotion-based repellents are applied on the skin and are capable of resisting insects for a longer period of time due to a slower evaporation rate.
There are also prefer spray repellents and preferred by many as they are non-greasy or non-messy. Add to that, you only need to spray on the outer clothing surfaces from time to time for a lasting effect. There are also permethrin sprays for clothing and gear that last through multiple washes.
You can even apply a combined effect of sprays on clothing and lotions on the skin for double protection from insects. And if you want to use neither, you can always go for the gadget-based repellents or just use bands or scarves that have in-built repellent ingredients to resist mosquitoes.
There are different types of repellent ingredients to keep away the bugs and insects. It is always good to choose the repellent that is suited to the kind of environment or outdoor activity that you are planning. So, harsher or tougher the outside condition is for camping, stronger should be the insect repellent. For such extreme activities or tough terrains, the market has varieties of insect repellents designed to offer dependable coverage that can last for long.
Consider the length of time you will be outside and choose the repellent with the right active ingredient to cater to your need. Here’s a list of few common ingredients used for making insect or mosquito repellents.
- DEET – DEET-based insect repellents are recommended for outdoor or regions that are heavily infested with insects. This is the most recommended and effective option for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Picaridin – This is also a preferred option for many users. It is effective, odorless and can repel insects for a long duration of time.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus – Derived from the eucalyptus and citriodora trees, this natural plant-based ingredient can repel insects and mosquitoes for as long as 6 hours.
Superbrand Premium Neon – Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
Easy and light to carry, this simple and neon-colored wrist band is a great mosquito repellent for outdoor camping. Featuring four different colors, the Superbrand Premium Neon – Mosquito Repellent Bracelet effectively repels those pesky mosquitoes. So, wear the bracelet and bid goodbye to nightmares of being ridden with mosquito bites or sitting up on all-night vigil to keep them away.
Composed of Citronella oil, geraniol oil, and lemongrass oil, the ingredients effectively mask the human odor. The oil composition emits an aroma that blocks their receptors from detecting the human presence. The easy-to-wear band is favored by many as it avoids the messiness of lotions or does not have that obnoxious smell of the repellent sprays. What’s more, these bands are non-toxic, DEET free, waterproof, and fits people of all sizes and ages and can be even used on pets. Interested in this product? Check out our list of best mosquito repellent bracelets as well!
What We Love
- Can be worn anywhere like a bracelet or band
- Loved by kids for their bright neon colors
- Easy to wear
- Non-toxic and Deet-free
- One size that fits all
- The natural composition of oils makes it an effective repellent
- The smell fades off pretty quickly
Out of the many mosquito repellents for camping, here’s an interesting toy-gun-shaped device to get rid of the bothersome flies and mosquitoes. The unique feature of this Bug-A-Salt 3.0 is that it just shoots a shotgun spray of salt hopper, all the insects are gone! In fact, it can eradicate all kinds of bugs, such as mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, cabbage worms, aphids, stinkbugs, and so on.
There is, of course, a fun element to using this device, and can be a great pass time during outdoor camping. Even better is the fact that it does not need batteries for it to function. On top of that, this mosquito repellent device comes with a free return policy.
What We Love
- Easy to operate
- Patented insect-eradication device
- Updated with Cross Bolt Safety
- No batteries required
- A little pricey
Rechargeable Mosquito, Fly Killer And Bug Zapper Racket
Considered as one of the best mosquito repellent or eradication devices for camping, the Bug Zapper Racket looks like any normal tennis racket. However, be warned as it has the power of 4, 000-Volt grid to down a mosquito within seconds. Of course, your aim should be good and you need to have that razor-sharp eyesight to detect the elusive bugs that can go into hiding the minute you spot them.
Another useful feature is that it leaves no mess or bloody stains. Swat away to your heart’s content and make your surroundings free of any hovering mosquitoes. Just ensure your racket is fully recharged to take the shot and you will breeze through your camping trip without a single mosquito bite. It can be easily plugged into any USB device for recharging. Also, there is a built-in LED light that glows and gives you a clear vision of where you are swatting. Most importantly, there is a triple-layer safety mesh in case you touch the racket accidentally. And better still, it has a 100% lifetime replacement guarantee!
What We Love
- Easy to use with the unique tennis racket design
- Easy to catch or kill mosquitoes through the electrically charged surface of the racket
- Easy recharging through USB charging outlet
- Safety mesh for protection against electric shock
- 100% lifetime replacement guarantee
- Makes a pop sound when it comes in contact with the insect
- Not safe for kids and can give a slight electric shock if made contact with the surface
Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
The Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is one of the best repellents for mosquitoes to carry for camping or outdoor trips. Eucalyptus oil is known to repel bugs and mosquitoes. Also, the spray has a refreshing lemon scent that will not assault your olfactory senses, but will rather have a soothing and refreshing effect on them.
This spray is DEET-free and non-toxic. Additionally, it does not have that sticky or greasy feel when you apply it for protection. What’s more, the repellent’s effect can last a long time, as long as at least six hours. The best feature is that you can use this on children or three-years old and above.
What We Love
- Ideal for outdoor activities
- Easy to carry
- Apply on the go
- Does not have a greasy feel
- Deet-free and non-toxic
- Long-lasting effect
- The strong lemon aroma may not be appealing to all
Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent, Pump Spray
Here is another Repel product that is a well-known mosquito repellent for camping available in the market. Effective against various types of bugs, flies, and killer mosquito strains, such as Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya, this Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent, Pump Spray is widely used for outdoor activities.
The repellent is mainly composed of DEET and can be an impactful shield in regions heavily infested with dangerous disease-carrying bugs and insects. Also, the protection can last for almost a day and is perfectly sized to be carried in your backpack. So, just spray around you and you need not even directly spray on yourself. And you will create an invisible shield around you from all kinds of bugs, fleas, and mosquitoes and enjoy an insect-free camping trip throughout.
What We Love
- Convenient and most effective repellent for camping trips
- Easy to carry
- Can repel any kind of mosquito strain, bugs, flies
- Highly effective during prolonged outdoor activities or in heavily insect-infested regions
- Repugnant odor
- Not safe for kids
Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repellent
Among the many mosquito repellents for camping, the most unique and innovative of the lot is the Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repellent. This portable fuel-powered repellent device emits heat radiation to create a protective barrier against mosquitoes. In fact, it can create a 15-foot protection zone around you. The high-tech device looks straight out of a sci-fi movie to put down enemies, in this case, it is the deadly mosquitoes.
Easy to hold and carry, the repellent device has a rubbery armor suited for all kinds of weather conditions. It works when powered by the Thermacell fuel cartridge and each cartridge lasts as long as 12 hours. Note that there is no open flame when using such a device. There is even a blue LED ZoneCheck feature that alerts you when the fuel runs out. Most importantly, it is chemical-free and odor-free and has been tested by the EPA for safety as well.
What We Love
- Creates an effective zone for mosquito protection
- Lightweight and portable
- Advanced technology for better performance
- Effective and easy to use
- Non-toxic and odor-free
- Not effective when there is any kind of air movement
Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent
Cast your worries of mosquito bites aside while camping, especially when you have the Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent by your side. This mosquito repellent is lotion-based and quite common among campers or hikers. You can easily apply on your skin to protect yourself and kids from mosquito bites, ticks, or buzzing flies. It is known to be effective against the Yellow Fever Mosquito that carries the Zika Virus.
The non-greasy lotion constitutes 20% Picaridin that adds an extra layer to the protection. The repellent is considered even more effective than DEET and provides up to 14 hours of protection against a variety of insects and bugs. Also, the best feature of this repellent is that it is safe to use in a group or family.
What We Love
- Much safer and even more effective than DEET
- Safe to use on a family
- Effective non-greasy lotion that repels flies, mosquitoes, chiggers, and gnats
- Provides protection for up to 14 hours
- Easy to carry
Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard
Compared to other mosquito repellents for camping, the Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard is one of those few products that perform the dual role of being a sunscreen as well as an insect repellent. It is recommended highly for the whole family and considered safe for kids too. However, know that the repellent is not effective in regions with a high density of bugs and flies.
Other than being a good repellent, the non-greasy lotion is great on the skin too. It not only protects the skin from getting tanned, but also moisturizes it well. This repellent in a lotion form is considered a great choice for an outing on the beach or in the woods.
What We Love
- Provides dual protection against sun and bug bites
- Safe to use on kids
- Repels insects and bugs
- Provides sun protection
- Moisturizes the skin well without being greasy
- Fragrant odor
- Not effective in heavily infested areas
Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion
Consistently rated as the best mosquito repellent for camping, the Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion has a unique formulation and more impactful than other mosquito repellents. This repellent uses the advanced 3M technology that offers time-released protection. This indicates a slower evaporation rate of DEET and a greater protection barrier of up to 12 hours against mosquitoes and flies.
Also, being resistant to splashes and sweat, the formidable repellant can ensure consistent protection despite long hours of outdoor activities. To add an interesting note, this formulation is popularly used by the US military to survive in all kinds of adverse outdoor conditions. Add to that, the repellent comes with a five-year guarantee.
What We Love
- The repellent is used by the US military to survive the harshest of outdoor conditions
- Uses advanced 3M technology to repel mosquitoes, biting flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas and deer flies
- Long-lasting protection up to 12 hours
- Time-released protection
- Sweat and splash resistant
- A little sticky till it dries up
- The scent can be a little strong
Off! Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent
As the name suggests, the Off! Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent is one of the top choices of unscented mosquito repellents for families going for camping or hiking. Composed of only 7% DEET, it provides adequate protection against mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Add to that, it is non-greasy and does have a non-offensive smell to mask the DEET odor when applied or sprayed.
Apply this spray on the outer surfaces of clothing to form a protective barrier against nasty mosquito bites. The protective effect can last up to 8 hours. Also, know that this spray does not damage clothes made of cotton, nylon or wool.
What We Love
- Ideal for all outdoor activities
- A perfect choice for families
- Non-offensive fragrance
- Non-greasy application on clothing surfaces
- Provides protection for up to 8 hours against insects and flies
- Comes in a twin pack
- Not recommended for children and can cause minor skin or eye irritations
Tiki Torch Fuel
One of the highly-recommended and well-known mosquito repellents, the Tiki Torch Fuel is a charming light source used for protection in campsites. The potent combination of citronella and cedar formula is bound to repel the bugs and insects when used to light up the camping area.
The torch is quite easy to use and works best with canisters that have a wide mouth. Featuring a multi-piece pole, the torch can be set to any height (up to 65 inches). Also, it can last for at least 5 hours on each 12-ounce fill. Another feature is that there is no strong odor when burning. With this torch fuel, you not only create a nice ambiance in your camping site, but also a protection zone to keep away the biting insects and flies.
What We Love
- Innovative and stylish design that suits any kind of outdoor occasion
- Easy to use
- Offers protection against mosquitoes or flies up to 5 hours
- Does not have any noticeable smell or odor
- Bit on the expensive side
Tickled Pink Women’s Lightweight Summer Insect Shield Scarf
It’s hard to imagine that you can repel mosquitoes with just a scarf wrapped around you. It is indeed very much possible by the Tickled Pink Women’s Lightweight Summer Insect Shield Scarf that has a built-in insect repellent made from 0.52% Permethrin.
Also, lightweight and with a likable design, the polyester scarf is safe and comfortable to wear during the summertime. What’s more, there are a variety of colors to choose from. Though mentioned for women, the scarf can also be used by children and men alike.
What We Love
- Fashionable clothing shield against insects
- Can be used as a shield anywhere anytime
- Odorless and effective
- Can last several washes
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Can tear easily
Ranger Ready Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin Trigger Spray Bottle
Known to be the best mosquito repellent for campsites, the Ranger Ready Insect Repellent is power-packed with the required chemical ingredient to repel insects. The main ingredient is Picaridin that works best to keep the biting insects and flies away from your family.
Also, completely odorless, the spray offers 8 to 12 hours of protection against the troublesome biting mosquitoes, flies, gnats, chiggers, and fleas. Most importantly, being DEET-free, it is safe to be used by all, children and adults alike. Another advantage is that it is non-greasy and does not damage clothing or gear.
What We Love
- Effective and safe protection for an entire day
- Provides sufficient protection coverage against all kinds of insects
- Safe to use
- DEET-free and odorless
- Easy to carry and use
- Slightly expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Which types of repellents are most effective?
Both lotions and sprays types of insect repellents provide adequate protection against mosquitoes and insects. The lotions tend to last longer as they take more time to evaporate. And the sprays applied on clothing last longer than on skins.
Are DEET-based mosquito repellents safe for children?
DEET-based mosquito repellents can be used on young children if the composition percentage is less than 30%.
What is the alternative to DEET-based repellents?
Picaridin is the favored alternative to DEET-based repellents. It is as effective as DEET for repelling mosquitoes. Also, it is safe and easy to use and can offer protection as long as 8 to 12 hours.