No items found.

Essential Repellent

What you need to know to survive the battle of the bug

The West Coast’s winter was wet and soggy. The forecast for the spring and summer is lingering snowpack, muddy trails … and bugs. Lots of bugs

Hikers are a hearty bunch, occasionally discouraged but rarely deterred by mosquitoes, ticks, or swarms of biting flies—the pull of the trails is stronger than the annoyance. When the bugs become intolerable, the historical defense has been chemical warfare, with DEET as the primary weapon. For many hikers, the cure is worse than the disease, and they keep the nasty, plastic-melting DEET in its holster as long as possible.

But ignoring the bugs until they’re intolerable can ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip. And beyond putting a damper on the general mood, bug bites can have longer-lasting effects. Those with sensitive skin may have welts that last for weeks. Your kids might refuse to enjoy your next outdoor adventure. And, beyond those annoyances, bugs carry disease. While the risk from bugs is higher in other parts of the world—malaria and dengue, for instance—insects in the United States can also transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile or Zika

If you’re not fond of DEET, don’t worry. It’s not your only option to fend off the bugs. Sure, it’s proven to work and is a common go-to, but if you’d rather avoid it, there are effective alternatives. By combining chemical repellents with a system of clothing, you can enjoy the trails without getting carried away by the biting insects.

Interested in learning more? Find the complete article on the essential repellents, written by By Steve McClure.


October 27, 2023

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

Washington Trails Association

Media Mentions from Washington Trails Association

Washington Trails Association is a nonprofit organization that protects and maintains our hiking trails.

Explore More Content

Media Mentions

Effective against a wide range of insects: Sawyer Permethrin is known to be effective against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.

Media Mentions from MSN

Media Mentions

Sawyer Products SP5432 Picaridin insect repellent spray is also very small and compact. You can easily take this insect repellent anywhere you want. This makes it an ideal option for any traveler and adventurer who wants to have a safe journey.

Epoche Times

Media Mentions

Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

Madison Flager and Meaghan Kenny