How To Keep Bugs Away While Camping – The Smart Way

Indoors or outdoors, bugs can be a menace. You may be familiar with the bugs at home, they mostly include cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, bed bugs and spiders. However, in the outdoors, you can face different kinds of bugs. From common ones like bees, ants, mosquitoes and spiders to those mainly found outdoors like hornets, bees, no-see-ums, beetles, ticks and maggots.



From entering your tent or contaminating your food to biting you when you are asleep, the bugs can be a nuisance in a number of ways. However, your motive is to enjoy your camping trip, and nothing should come in between that, not even some pesky little pests  . Here are some steps you can take to keep the bugs away while camping:

Make Use of Smoke

keep away bugs

Most likely you will be lighting up a campfire. Whether by natural means or you use a fire pit, that doesn’t matter. What you need to do is to try to keep the smoke blowing around the campsite for as long as possible. I personally add some dry foliage to make the smoke a little bit denser. This is one of the best ways to keep the mosquitoes, bees, wasps and other flies away while camping.

If however, campfires are restricted in the area, mosquito coils can come handy. Though they might not be that effective if you place them outside the tent, inside they will take care of any mosquitoes or fleas.

Another way you can make use of smoke to keep mosquitoes and other flying pest away is by burning a bundle of sage. It has a pleasant smell and can ward off the bugs quite effectively.

Citronella Candles and Repellent

You must have probably heard of citronella candles before. They are one of the most effective ways of repelling mosquitoes and insects. Citronella is an essential oil obtained from different species of lemongrass. Here’s some more info on citronella. It is non-toxic and completely safe to use. You can light the candles around the tent and along with the smoke, it can be very effective in warding off pests.

Another alternative to the candles is using citronella oil repellents. It is completely safe and non-toxic to use on humans and animals alike. Though it may not kill the mosquitoes or other flying bugs, it acts as a very effective repellent.

Herbal Bug Sprays

avoid bugs while camping

There are a variety of herbal or organic bug sprays consisting of essential oils that you can use to keep away bugs. Most of these sprays consist of citronella, eucalyptus oil, cedar oil or Neem oil. They are safe to use and can even be sprayed on the skin, kids and adults alike. However, one drawback is that they may not last really long. But nevertheless, they are a good alternative to man-made chemical based repellents.

DEET Repellent Sprays

DEET repellents are the most widely used insect repellents in North America. Studies indicate roughly around 30% Americans use DEET everyday. These repellents are very effective and last a long time. Their effectiveness though depends upon the percentage of DEET present in them. Usually a spray with 50% DEET is sufficient. Since it is a man-made chemical repellent, you must be careful while applying it. Keep it away from the eyes and take care not to ingest it. It is preferred to spray the DEET repellent on the clothes than directly on skin.

Wear Insect Repellent Clothing

keep away bugs camping

Try to wear full-sleeved shirts and pants when you go outdoors. Wearing clothes that cover most parts of your body can be a precautionary measure to avoid bug and mosquito bites, especially at night since night time is the most preferred time for mosquitoes to attack.

In fact, some clothes come with insect shield repellent technology that can be helpful against the bugs. These clothes combine the fabric with the insect repellent permethrin, which results in an odorless and effective protection from insects that lasts a long time protecting you from mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and flies.

Keep the Tent Sealed or Better Still Have a Mosquito Shield

Whenever you go out of the tent or come inside, be quick to close the door flap. And avoid opening any ventilation vents if you have them in your tent, unless you are sure there are not many bugs present in the vicinity around. Also make sure that before you go out on your trip, your tent is in good shape and does not have any holes for bugs to enter.

Another alternative to keep away the bugs is to use a mosquito net when you sleep. Or better still use a tent with a no-see-um mesh.

Avoid Setting Camp in Damp Grounds

It is common knowledge that damp grounds and puddles are a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Though you may want to have a campsite in the vicinity of a lake or stream, strictly avoid setting camp if the ground is damp or along the slopes.

So these are some of the best ways to avoid bugs while camping. There may be some others too. If you think you have any other method to share, please feel free to comment below!


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