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The best bug repellents you can buy in 2021

Written Emma Piotrawski

You can break repellents down into four categories. They are conventional, biopesticide, plant-based and for clothing. Each category has their own benefits and faults, which you end up choosing will depend on your specific needs and restrictions. There are a variety of different species of mosquitoes and ticks. Depending on where you live or plan on traveling, your insect repellent needs may differ. Be sure to research the species of insects you are likely to encounter, and which repellents will work best for you. Let’s talk about the best insect repellents available for every need.

Conventional repellents

All repellents provide some level of protection. But conventional repellents such as deet and picaridin are proven most effective. They should be your first choice in areas with serious insect-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

Deet

Deet one of the most common ingredients found in insect repellents, and has seen wide use since 1957. It’s the top repellent for most for it’s long-lasting protection against a variety of insects. Many other repellents are effective against mosquitos or ticks alone.

Interested in learning more about the best bug repellents for you? Continue reading here.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

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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

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SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team