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Everything you need for a bug-free summer outdoors

While summer is usually the time for backyard gatherings, there always seems to be one uninvited guest that shows up and causes a scene.

Creepy, crawly and well, quite annoying, bugs can turn your outdoor oasis into a nightmare … fast. And with more humid conditions inside, they may make their way to your kitchen, bathrooms and anywhere that’s dark and damp.

Various sprays and repellents are useful for keeping mosquitoes, ants and other critters away, but there are so many, it’s tough to figure out what’s really worth it. We spoke with experts and looked through customer reviews to figure out which repellents could save your time outdoors this summer.

Try an odorless repellent

Rather than applying a repellent directly to your skin, you can use a diffuser to fight bugs without the grease. Interior designer Lisa Queen recommends choosing an odorless repellant you can nest somewhere outside and then camouflage. In one client’s backyard, she placed a repellent diffuser inside a stylish, tarnished pitcher with a cloth napkin. This added both color and pattern while being effective.

“Set these as a centerpiece or on a table near where you are working or enjoying your set up, and they do the work of keeping mosquitoes and annoying summer bugs at bay,” she recommends. “They magically use allethrin insect repellent, which is the synthetic form of a natural repellent found in chrysanthemum plants.”

No wonder they’re a favorite of Instagram influencers, too.

Continue reading tips for a bug-free summer here.


May 5, 2022

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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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