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The Best Mosquito Repellents Allow You to Enjoy Nature Without Nature Enjoying You

Written By: Jonathan Zavaleta

‍Whether you have an unlucky friend who always leaves the camping trip covered in mosquito bites, or you are the unlucky friend, it’s important to protect yourself when mosquito season rolls around. After all, just because you haven’t been bitten on this trip, doesn’t mean you won’t be on the next one. Besides unchanging factors like blood type and genetics, variables like how sweaty you are and whether or not you drank beer recently all affect your attractiveness to mosquitos.

Whether you’re camping, hiking or near still water, it’s important to apply an effective repellent to protect yourself from the gnawing demon spawn commonly called mosquitos (Since you’ll be outside, don’t forget the sunscreen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sunscreen first, followed by repellent).

Common sprays use a few different agents to ward mosquitos off. Two of the most common are DEET and Picaridin. DEET has been around for a long time, and it’s safe and effective. However, according to NPR, some studies have shown Picaridin to be even more effective. Not only that, but DEET can cause some irritation and it smells bad, while Picaridin doesn’t have that problem. If you want a natural option, oil of lemon eucalyptus products have been backed by the CDC (in synthesized form, the CDC doesn’t endorse the use of pure essential oils).

We’ve rounded up some of the best mosquito repellents to buy right now.

1. Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent

While sprays are undoubtedly convenient, a lotion, like this one from Sawyer, helps ensure that you get the amount of protection you need where you need it. This option comes in a pack of two and each bottle is four ounces. This option features 20% picaridin, allowing it to work for up to 14 hours on mosquitos and ticks. The lotion is designed to rub in evenly and be non-greasy.

Finish reading the entire repellent list here.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 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

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

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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
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