Mosquito Control - Tips for Backpacking
By Steven Gillman
Mosquito control when backpacking isn't a minor
issue. At one time mosquitoes were a nuisance more than anything. If
you backpacked and camped in areas that had a lot of these pesky
insects, you expected to be bothered. You expected to lose sleep
even. But now mosquitoes in many areas of the United States also
carry diseases that are potentially deadly. You need to be prepared.
Mosquito control, then, is important, and starts
with a little planning before the trip. For example, bring a
mosquito head net if you will be in an area with a lot of
mosquitoes. The lightest ones are about one ounce - light enough
even for those of us who like to go really light. What else can you
do to avoid mosquitoes or prevent their bites? Here are a few tips.
1. Always carry insect repellent with DEET in it.
Others may work okay, but so far DEET has the best record for
repelling mosquitoes and preventing bites. It does cause damage to
nylon and other synthetic materials, however, so be careful to apply
it to your skin, without getting any on that rain jacket or those
synthetic shirts or pants.
2. Wear neutral colors. Mosquitoes seem to be
attracted to blue and to contrasts of light and dark clothing. Stick
to tan, light brown and beige colors as much as possible.
3. Cover your skin. Tuck pants into your socks and
wear long-sleeved shirts in areas that have a lot of mosquitoes.
Generally, they'll have a hard time biting through nylon materials
that are tightly woven. Avoid fishnet t-shirts and other
4. Set up camp in breezy locations. Set up camp in
areas that get a breeze and you'll have a lot fewer problems with
mosquitoes. Face your tent into the wind and you'll avoid allowing
insects inside when you climb in and out.
5. Timing matters. Mosquitoes are more active at
dawn and dusk, so avoid them by setting up camp before dusk and
leaving by dawn.
6. Keep clean. Personal hygiene is an important
part of mosquito control. Mosquitoes and other insects are drawn to
the ammonia in your sweat, and the odor of your feet. Wash yourself
regularly (in lakes and streams if necessary) and you'll attract
7. Use fire. A small fire that produces a fair
amount of smoke will keep many insects away. Use a few live branches
from spruce or fir trees to produce more strongly scented smoke.
Copyright Steve Gillman. To get the ebook "Ultralight
Backpacking Secrets (And Wilderness Survival Tips)" for FREE, as
well as photos, gear recommendations, and a new wilderness survival
section, visit: http://www.The-Ultralight-Site.com
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