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There’s a New Best Bug Spray in Town

Picaridin hit the US market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s more, unlike DEET, picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics—all significant advantages compared to its stinky, greasy, gear-damaging competitor.

Since 2012 several studies have looked at or tested different insect repellents to determine which ones are indeed the most effective at repelling mosquitoes. The basic upshot of these most recent studies? Picaridin is indeed as good as DEET, though concentration matters. In particular, for maximum and longest-lasting coverage you’ll want to look for products with 20 percent picaridin, the highest concentration currently available for sale in the US.

Full article and recommendations from Matt Heid on Appalachian Mountain Club's website.


May 9, 2022

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Appalachian Mountain Club

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Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is the oldest conservation & recreation group in the U.S. The outdoors is calling, join us!


My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick


Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz


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
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