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The 9 Best Insect Repellents for a Pleasant, Itch-Free Summer Adventure

Summer is the season for outdoor adventures and expeditions. Unfortunately, the season is also ripe for mosquitoes and ticks. If you’re not careful, they can turn a pleasant day outdoors into a Biblical plague and leave itchy bumps on your skin. The best way to keep the bloodsuckers at bay, as well as curb the spread of diseases, is to use insect repellent.

Insect repellents, specifically those registered under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), contain potent ingredients such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and picaridin. When shopping for a repellent, consider choosing one that is infused with up to 30% of your preferred ingredient.

A repellent with a higher concentration may protect you from insects longer, which is handy if you plan to spend several hours outdoors. However, it’s okay to apply a lower-concentration (less than 10%) repellant if you’re chilling out in your backyard for 30 minutes. With plenty of options at our local retailers, we rounded up the best insect repellents for summer 2021. These options are sure to make your summer excursions more pleasant to you and your skin. We also included protective gears in case you need more protection from pesky insects.

Head here to find more detailed reviews on the best insect repellents for your summer adventures, written by John Jones.

LAST UPDATED

May 8, 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.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

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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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