10 Tips to Protect Yourself from Bugs While Camping

A camping trip is a great experience for everyone, no matter how old you are. You will surely love sitting around a campfire, telling stories, sleeping under the stars, and sharing some quick pasta or loaded potatoes with each other.

What can tick you off during your camping trip at night, however, are ticks, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and other bugs that thrive in the wild. Protecting yourself and your fellow campers from all types of bugs is a priority when it comes to camping. This is about safety because bugs don’t just disturb you during your sleep. Some can be harmful, if not dangerous.

If you are going camping, here are ten tips on how to protect yourself, your family, and friends from bugs while you are sleeping at night or while you are hiking during the day.

1. Use proper lighting

Almost all insects are attracted to bright lights. As such, it is best to turn off all lights, flashlights, and lamps in the vicinity of your campsite to keep the bugs away. You can then put up a small lamp a little far from the camping grounds. Some people even bring inverter generators to keep lights running for hours at a distance.

2. Use the right tent

It is best if you understand the value of the tent you are about to buy. Purchase one with mesh panels and a water-repellent canvas for total insect protection. Tents these days are manufactured to ensure complete comfort, so buying a camping mattress would be optional.

3. Use the right sleeping bag

If you want something more lightweight and you don’t have to share the bed, why not go for a sleeping bag instead of a tent? Sleeping bags these days are thermal for best comfort. Not only are these products designed to avoid rips; they also protect you from bugs and not just bites.

4. Wear the right clothing

You should wear the right clothes that will protect you from insect bites. The recommended ensemble includes long sleeves and pants, both light-colored. You can also put on some gloves and socks when you sleep. When you hike, make sure to put on the right footwear.

5. Use an insect repellent

You can never go wrong with insect repellents. As you will be at a camping ground when you use the repellent, you don’t have to worry about spraying in an enclosed area. Make sure not to go crazy on the bug spray and apply it only to exposed skin and clothing.

It is also best to wash the parts of your body you applied bug spray to afterward. For kids, it is advisable to add mosquito patches as another layer of protection. And there are a number of articles and guides on the internet that teach you how to make your own insect repellent if you prefer to use a DIY bug spray. For best protection though we recommend you choose a repellent with higher concentrations of DEET (diethyltoluamide).

6. Bring a first-aid kit

Always gather the necessary medical supplies for all kinds of injuries such as cuts, bruises, blisters and of course, bug bites. Make sure to pack ointment or cream for insect bites and stings.

7. Use mint to keep the bugs away

Some people use vinegar to put away bugs, but the smell is not pleasant. You might want to consider going with mint. Some people light up mint-scented candles or pour mint mouthwash around the camping grounds.

While bugs hate the smell of mint, humans don’t, as they use essential oils like thyme, lavender, catnip, or eucalyptus to drive away bugs.

8. Keep your campsite clean

Store your food properly and throw your trash accordingly. Insects, especially mosquitoes, are big fans of foul and strong odors. Make sure to contain your food supply properly and to segregate your trash to keep mosquitoes from flying around. Authorities in Australia, for example, implement strict rules on having a clean and green mindset when going camping. So make sure you abide by these rules no matter where you camp to make your camping trip a good experience to remember.

9. Pour coffee on surrounding puddles of water

This is not just a simple trick of sprinkling some coffee beans around the campsite. Pour coffee on water near the campsite to kill mosquitoes and mosquito eggs. Do this in the morning and then again in the afternoon to get rid of all mosquitoes surrounding your area. Some people even pour some coffee beans in separate corners of the campsite for the smell, but it is probably better to heat some water up so that everyone can enjoy the aroma.

10. Promptly treat bite marks

Treat your bites quickly and properly. Bug protection during a camping trip is not just about prevention. Some bugs are just stubborn and will always find a way. Make sure to check your body for bite or sting marks. If you see anything, apply the necessary ointment or cream immediately.

Have a fun and safe camping trip

outdoor mosquito control

You can have fun and bug-free time camping by observing proper camping practices and using the right gear. By taking the necessary precautions, your camping trip will surely be a blast!


George Thorby

This was really helpful advice!! I regularly camp naked and have had real trouble with bites, especially in the nether regions (if you catch my drift!). Me and the gang are going to the park for some camping next week and I for one can’t wait to try out your tips! (though it might be hard to keep the campsite clean with those dirty devils!).

    Charlie Drury

    I too have had my birthday suit bitten while camping in the nip. These tips really did help although I would recommend waiting for the coffee to cool down. hot coffee + nudity = one scorched member and an embarrassing conversation with the kind doctors and nurses at Leeds General Infirmary!

Sandra Patterson

Thank you for the great tips on how to keep bugs away when camping. I know I always get bitten when I am in the woods. I will use some of these tips on my next camping trip!

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