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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.


May 6, 2022

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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.)

Rachel Schultz
Editorial Director


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.

Samson McDougall