The Best Mosquito Repellents for Camping in 2022
Mosquitoes suck, but your camping trip doesn’t have to as long as you have one of these repellents
Mosquitoes don’t just suck blood, they also suck the fun out of camping, and if you want to prevent both, you’ll need a mosquito repellent for camping. Repellent comes in various forms and formulas from natural essential oils to harsh chemicals and lotions to aerosol sprays. If you need help separating the hype from the ineffective, this is the review for you. I tested the best mosquito repellents for camping in my buggy woods to find products that actually work, and here are my picks.
- Best Overall: Coleman Insect Repellent SkinSmart
- Best for Your Pack: Repel 100
- Best Lotion: Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion
- Best for Treating Clothing: Sawyer Permethrin
- Best Device: ThermaCell MR450 Armored Mosquito Repeller
- Best for RVs: ThermaCell EX90
Choosing a Mosquito Repellent for Camping
Mosquitoes find humans by first detecting the carbon dioxide we exhale, then they cue on our odor. Finally, body heat is their final signal before landing when they use their feet to taste our skin to find a bite location. Most mosquito repellents work by disrupting the mosquito’s ability to smell. The repellent evaporates off our skin and the vapor doesn’t allow them to pinpoint our location.
When you’re choosing a mosquito repellent for camping, the first consideration is the product’s effectiveness. The best way to determine that, beyond reading this review, is looking at the ingredients.
Ingredients: DEET vs. No DEET
Products with at least 20 percent DEET effectively deter mosquito bites. Most commonly, you’ll see 70 or more percent DEET in mosquito repellents. While DEET is highly effective it can have side effects such as rash, irritation, as well as vomiting, nausea, and upset stomach if swallowed. DEET isn’t the only option though, and there are other natural and chemical ingredients that repel mosquitoes with fewer side effects. A 2015 study found products with Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or Permethrin effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Continue learning about the best mosquito repellents fro camping here.
September 24, 2021
If you're looking for an insect repellent that uses CDC-recommended ingredients,3 reach for a can of Sawyer Insect Repellent.
If minimal size and weight is a priority—like for extended camping or hiking trips where you’ll be carrying all your gear on your back—this 3.2-ounce Sawyer filter could be just what you’re looking for.
A good mosquito repellent for camping weather as a spray or using a mosquito repellent device is an essential part of your gear. The right repellent can keep a wide variety of bugs away, protecting you and your family from bites and making your camping experience a whole lot more enjoyable.