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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.


May 20, 2022

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Outdoor Life

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Outdoor Life is America's source for hunting and fishing information, new gun reviews and gear tests.


In the end, I go to the woods to discover myself, to find out more about who I am and who I want to be.

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Hiker, Speaker, Author


Sawyer Picaridin Continuous Spray is our pick for the best all-around bug spray. This long-lasting product repels mosquitoes and ticks for up to 12 hours while warding off biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies for up to eight hours.

Brandon Fralic


Gear is a necessity for a thru-hike (historically, my ancestors traveled the trails with less, but nowadays equipment is vital).

The Trek
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