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Best Insect Repellents For Camping

No one likes having pesky insects flying around the campsite. Biting insects can simply ruin a camping trip. But like many people, we are weary of drenching our skin in harmful chemicals. So we’ve uncovered some awesome natural insect repellents that give you better peace of mind. But don’t worry, if you need maximum protection no matter what, we include the “big guns” like DEET and Picaridin too!

Tent in Utah with clipart stating no bugs allowed

These are the best insect repellents to keep the bugs away! So enjoy your time laughing around the campsite instead of worrying about killing a swarm of insects! 

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Best Insect Repellent Shields:

Thermacell Patio Shield Repellent:

AThermacell Repeller is a portable repellent shield that you place right near the area where you will primarily be hanging out. It’s a great product because you don’t need to put any spray or lotion onto your skin, rather it repels the insects in the nearby area with a repellent mat. 

Thermacell Patio Shield Repellent comes with a repeller, 3 repellent mats, and a butane fuel cartridge. Or if you don’t want to carry fuel check out their rechargeable repeller. You simply add a repellent matt to the repeller, add the butane fuel cartridge, and start it up. One cartridge covers a 15 sq. ft radius for up to 12 hours (with interchanging the mats every 4 hours).

When the repellent mats are “new” they will be blue, as the fuel cartridge burns the repellent mat, it will slowly become white. When the mat is completely white, it is time to change the repellent mat. 

Also, try out their backpacking repellent that attaches to a stove fuel canister. 

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OFF Patio & Deck:

 Off Mosquito Repellent Refill

The OFF Patio & Deck is a coil you burn and the coil puts off a repellent to fight away nearby insects. The coil will cover an area up to 10ft x 10ft radius for up to 4 hours. It’s best if used in minimal wind, so the repellent can last around the area. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to put a product on their skin. If you want to increase the radius protection, add multiple coils to the area.

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Repel Citronella Candle:

Repel Insect Repellent Triple Wick Citronella Candle, Green

A Repel Citronella Candle is a budget-friendly option for mosquito repellent that doesn’t need to be applied to the skin. You simply just light the candle, wait about 10+ minutes and the candle puts off a fume that repels insects. One candle can burn for up to 40 hours.

For best protection, set up multiple candles around the area to increase the barrier radius.

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Insect Repellent Bracelets:

 Mosquito Guard 20 Individually Wrapped Mosquito Repellent Bracelets for Kids - Plant Based DEET Free Mosquito Bands - Mosquito Repellent Outdoor Patio

Bracelets are a non-toxic way to fight pesky insects. While you still have to wear the bracelet, you aren’t covering your body in harsh chemicals. They are made with essential oils such as lemongrass, citronella, geraniol, etc. Plus they are DEET free.

You can wear them on your wrist, or ankle or attach them to your backpack on a hike. Plus they are waterproof, so you can wear them in the water with you in those buggy areas. Most bracelets can last anywhere around 120+ hours so they can be worn for multiple days. 

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Bug Nets:

If you want to avoid chemicals, then bug nets are one of the best insect repellents for camping. These bug nets are best used over a hat to allow your face to have some space.

For conditions where the mosquitoes are extremely bad, it can be a great idea to also have a Jacket & Pants. You might think these look silly, but they can be one of the purchases to protect you from the bugs either sitting at the campfire, hiking along a buggy trail or doing chores out in the backyard. 

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Best Natural Insect Repellents:

Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Bug Repellent:

 Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray | Plant Based, All Natural Ingredients | Mosquito and Tick Repellent for Skin + Gear | 4 Ounce Pump Spray

Murphy’s Natural Repellent is a blend of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (Citriodiol), Distilled Water and Corn Ethanol. Which makes for a natural remedy to fight against pesky insects and ticks. This natural bug repellent is formulated without Deet, dyes, synthetic fragrances, or harsh chemicals. Simply apply the oil to exposed skin and the repellent will fight away the bugs for you. 

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All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent Pump Spray:

All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent Pump Spray is made from soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium to repel against mosquitoes and other biting insects.

It’s free of harmful chemicals, 100% DEET-free, and GMO-free formula. And because it is an all-natural repellent, you don’t have to worry about getting it on your pets or them accidentally licking the bug spray on your skin.  

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Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is a plant-based, all-natural insect repellent. It is made from lemon and eucalyptus oil. The repellent fights against insects carrying Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. It is DEET-free and repels insects for up to 6 hours. Simply just spray on exposed skin and protect yourself from biting insects.

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Best For Deep Woods/Backcountry: 

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent:

This Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent is ready to repel against mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies. It’s DEET-free, but contains 20% picaridin which is said to be more effective than DEET for defense against biting insects. It’s a topical lotion you apply to the skin. It’s non-greasy, low odor, and won’t harm gear and equipment. After applying to skin, it repels insects up to 14 hours. It’s a great product to pack along on a backpacking trip or camping trip deep in the backcountry. 

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Ben’s 100 Max Formula Insect Repellent:

Ben's 100% DEET Mosquito, Tick and Insect Repellent, 3.4 Ounce Pump

Ben’s 100 Max Formula Insect Repellent is a spray that contains 95% DEET. Which protects against mosquitoes, ticks, flies, chiggers, fleas and no-see-ums. Ben’s 100 Max Formula Insect Repellent helps fight against insects carrying diseases such as West Nile, Easter Equine Encephalitis, Lyme Disease, malaria and other infectious diseases. This protectant can last up to 10+hours. It’s another great product to help fight those pesky insects in the depth of the woods, whether backpacking or enjoying a nice campsite under the trees. 

Also, look into Ben’s Eco Spray with only 30% DEET.

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OFF! Deep Woods:

 Off Deep Woods Insect Repellent 6 Ounce Spray (2 Pack)

OFF! Deep Woods is an aerosol can that contains 25% deet. It fights insects such as mosquitos, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, fleas and no-see-ums. It repels against insects that may carry Zika, Dengue and West Nile. OFF! Deep Woods offers protection for up to 8+ hours. 

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