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The basics of bug spray

This time of year is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing and exploring. It’s also the season of bugs. Nicholas Seman, DO, PPG – Family Medicine, provides important details about which bug spray to pick to prevent unwanted bites, how to apply and why it’s so important in the warmer months.

In what situations and/or environments should we apply bug spray?

Bug spray should be applied if you are in an outdoor setting where you may be exposed to a biting insect that has a chance of disease transmission.

Are there certain varieties of bug spray you recommend?

Typically, if you are going to be exposed to a higher concentration of biting insects, then it’s best to use a product containing between 10-35% DEET. Concentrations of DEET higher than this should be reserved for situations in which insect infestation is high, the repellent may be partially washed off, or time outdoors will exceed three to four hours.

If possible, microencapsulated formulations are preferred as these will offer protection for a longer period of time with lower concentrations of active repellant. Alternatively, 20% picaridin is a reasonable alternative for people wishing to avoid the unpleasant characteristics of DEET and are willing to accept a somewhat shorter-acting repellant.

Other repellants have been studied but the findings are inconsistent, which is why the current recommendations are DEET or picaridin. Permethrin applied to clothing has been used as well and is still relatively useful, but resistances are developing. Permethrin-treated clothing and DEET repellent used in combination when in highly concentrated areas of biting insects appears to offer the best protection overall.

Continue reading the complete article here.


July 8, 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
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere