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Best Bug Spray: Great Insect Repellents for Outdoor Adventure

Whether you're hiking, camping, or spending time on the water, bugs are unavoidable in the outdoors. And there's no surer way to ruin an outdoor adventure than being eaten alive by insects. Who among us hasn't been swarmed while camping or backpacking?

Bug bites are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes carry everything from the West Nile virus to Malaria, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease.

To keep the bugs from biting, you need an effective bug repellent. We've done the research for you, rounding up the best bug sprays and lotions on the market. Here you'll find everything from the best all-around bug spray to our favorite mosquito repellent. We compare the pros and cons of each repellent to help you make an informed decision.

Next time you're planning an outdoor adventure, add one of these tick and insect repellents to your packing list. It could make or break your trip!

Read all of the top bug spray picks, written by Brandon Fralic here.

LAST UPDATED

January 9, 2023

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Brandon Fralic

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MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team