6 Mosquito Repellents to Help You Keep Your Sanity During Bug Season
It’s that time of year. The mosquitos are out en masse, and they’re looking for blood. Last year, we just about lost our sh#t due to all the mosquitoes on the PCT in Oregon through most of July. They were so bad, in fact, that many of the hikers we met abandoned the trail because they were being driven mad by the constant buzzing bombardment—and this year is looking to be a repeat. This inspired us to go on the hunt for some of the most effective mosquito repellent products we could find to help keep the bugs at bay, minimize the bites, and soothe the itch. Here are some of our faves.
REPELLENT SPRAYS & LOTIONS
Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent
Forget the toxic DEET repellents and armor up with Sawyer Picaridin Repellents. Created from a synthetic solution derived from Piperine, these repellents ward off mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies, and are safe for use on people and gear! It goes on feeling clean and comfortable, and has a mild citrus scent. Available in lotions and sprays, we like the lightweight lotion packets. They’re easy to stash in a pocket for quick access when needed. A single application of either lotion or spray is effective for a whole day of hiking.
Effectiveness rating: 5/5 •• PRICE: $8–$9
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.