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The Insect-Repellent Clothing and Gear Every Traveler Should Have

At best, getting a bug bite is an itchy nuisance for a few days. At worst, it could expose you to a serious or even deadly disease. Common mosquito-borne illnesses include malaria, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile virus, and Zika virus, while ticks can spread Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other maladies. To protect yourself, consider packing insect-repellent clothing and other gear on hiking trips, tropical vacations, or any other trips where you might be at risk of bug bites.

Permethrin Clothing Spray

If you don’t want to invest in a whole new wardrobe of insect-repellent clothing, treat what you already have with permethrin spray, a bug repellent designed to be used on clothing and shoes (but not skin!) that lasts through multiple washings. This permethrin spray for clothes is effective against mosquitoes, ticks, mites, and other bugs for six washings or six weeks, and it’s as effective as 100 percent DEET. Odorless after drying, it won’t stain or damage your clothes, so you can wear them again after your trip.

Find the complete list of Insect-Repellent clothing and gear every traveler should have here.

LAST UPDATED

May 8, 2022

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Smarter Travel

Media Mentions from Smarter Travel

SmarterTravel delivers expert travel tips, inspiring destination stories, and timely travel news to feed your passion for seeing the world before, during, and after your trip.

MEDIA MENTIONS

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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