During Spring, Summer, and Fall, many families love to plan camping trips! There’s something magical about getting back to nature and sleeping in the wilderness—except when the mosquitoes invade your campsite. Whenever you choose to get outside and connect with nature, here are our tips on how to keep mosquitoes away while camping.

Backyard Campout by Kevin Smith via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Backyard Campout by Kevin Smith via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping

Get the right camping gear

Before you hit the road, be sure to do your research and find the right gear to keep you protected from the bad bugs. Of course you’ll want a quality tent, but also consider a few add-ons that will let you enjoy the fresh air without getting eaten alive. A screened enclosure—either one that zips on to your tent or a freestanding unit—will serve as a lovely escape from the buzzing bugs. If you prefer sleeping in a hammock instead of a tent, be sure to get a good bug net to cover yourself at night. Whichever you choose, find something that’s easy to assemble so you don’t have to spend hours setting up camp.

Wear protective clothing

When you’re not in the safety of your tent or net, make sure you have the right clothing to keep your skin protected. As a general rule, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothing, so it’s a good idea to wear light colored clothing. Long sleeves and pants are also key. If you’re worried about the heat, invest in some light weight, loose-fitting shirts and pants from an outdoor outfitter. For an additional line of defense, check out clothing that is made with insect repellent in the fabric itself. With this gear, you might even be able to get away with not wearing bug spray. If you’ll be in a highly-concentrated mosquito area, a head net would also be a great accessory to have.

Make sure your scent doesn’t attract mosquitoes

Unfortunately, certain people are just more attractive to mosquitoes based on their genetics. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to combat that. Don’t make the problem worse by using floral or fragrant soaps, deodorants, colognes, and perfumes. Unscented products will help you keep a low profile so the mosquitoes can’t find you as easily. Also, avoid drinking alcohol or exercising during peak mosquito times (dawn and dusk). Drinking or exercising raises your metabolic rate and body temperature, making you a mosquito magnet. Exercising also releases lactic acid and makes you sweat—two more things mosquitoes love.

Use waterproof mosquito repellent

You’ll obviously want to bring an effective mosquito repellent on your camping trip, but check to make sure it’s waterproof. Between sweating and splashing in the nearby creek, most repellents will wash right off. Waterproof products will have staying power to last longer in between applications. Choose the repellent that works for you, whether it’s a DEET-based product or a natural alternative. You can also spray the repellent on your clothes, shoes, hat, or tent to help improve the effectiveness.

Pick a dry camping site

When choosing a campsite, it’s important to consider your surroundings. Since mosquitoes love standing water, find a site that is on high ground and removed from any stagnant water sources, like ponds or swampy land.

Make a campfire

A campfire is a staple of any camping trip, but it’s also a great way to keep mosquitoes away, since most bugs don’t like fire and smoke. Throw some s’mores on there while you’re at it!

Keep your tent doors shut

You wouldn’t do it at home, so don’t leave the doors open while you’re camping! Keep your tent or screen securely zipped up at all times, even if you’re just stepping out for a moment.

Be careful with flashlights and lanterns

While bugs don’t like fire, they are attracted to other forms of light. When you’re using lanterns and flashlights at night this can be hard to avoid. Be sure to have any lights turned off as you enter and exit your tent so you don’t draw the skeeters inside.

Although mosquitoes can be a nuisance while camping, we know many people combat mosquitoes in the daily battleground of their own backyard. If you have questions about mosquito control or need professional help at home, contact DC Mosquito Squad today.

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