View Full Version : Bug dope?
I haven't hiked yet in bug weather, so I don't have any idea what to purchase.
What kind do you use on your person?
Isn't there some "stuff" I can put on clothing and gear that semi-permanetly fends off bugs as well?
There are treatments, but I don't think they are super useful for the small mosquitoes in the eastern US. After all, if you are covered up, the mosquitoes have a hard time biting through the clothing. This is not true with the swarms of massive mosquitoes I've had to deal with constantly the last two summers in BC.
Usually, I use a small bottle of DEET, mostly on my hands and face. The rest of the body is covered up under pants and a long shirt. I brought a headnet last summer but used it only once. I'll always bring it with me on trips when bugs might be out. After a few days in the Whites a few Junes ago, I'll never leave it behind again.
What brand of DEET? Lotion? Spray? Spritz?
I use the 100% DEET (even though 30% supposedly works the same), and spray it on my pack and shorts/pants. I can't stand the feel of repellant on my skin. I'd rather cover it with clothing or mud (lol). I try not to heavily exert myself. Mosquitos are attracted to carbon di-oxide, so the less your exerting yourself, theoretically the less you'll be eaten alive. My qualms lie with Black Flies though, which try to fly like kamikaze pilots into every orifice of your body. Their bite comes with a chemical that neutralizes feeling, so you end up bleeding all over the place and can't figure out how.
So my system is...
1. Avoid the local bug season if possible.
2. Hike in open/windy areas if possible.
3. Hike at a moderate pace, try not to hyper-ventilate or sweat.
4. Wear a long-sleeve T.
5. Coat pack and shorts w/100% Deet.
6. Piss & Moan when none of this works and your scratching through your dermis into your muscle tissue.
I use a small sprtiz bottle. Note that DEET will melt things like GoreTex and ducttape. Don't go spraying it on highly synthetic clothing. Something with at least 15% DEET should be fine. The local outfitters only carry 100% DEET, so that is what I have for the Sierra this summer. If you wear sandles, remember to spray your feet.
RH is right about the CO2 attraction. Once you are cooled down, you will attract significantly fewer bugs if you are calm and collected and not raging about. Wear a hat or bandana to keep them off your your melon. Take a crap in the early morning when the mosquitoes are not around. Several hikers came down with West Nile last summer. Be smart and take precautions.
DEET eats both polypro and polyester. I only use it as a last resort. There have been studies that claim that it is harmful to mammals and also studies that show it is harmless. Anything that puts holes in poly scares me. I find that after a week of sweating, bugs fall out of the sky just getting near me. Of course you can't use the shelters then because you kill all the mice.
I always dream about a little device that I could strap to my head like a headlamp, and it would shoot little lasers out at an incredible rate to shoot the skeeters and flys right out of the air. I hope GE or BASF is reading this.
We used Ben's 100% deet, in the non-aerosol spray bottle. I carried a bottle, and my husband carried a bottle. I couldn't believe, truly couldn't fathom, the amount of bugs we were up against. They were brutal beyond words, and we hiked in a "dry" year (2002). We didn't ever spray it on our synthetic clothing, but sprayed it all over, including our face and hairline, and for the most part it did the trick well while we were moving. The bugs will still hover around you when you stop, but it will deter (most) of them from biting, at least. Being in a tent at night was the only thing that helped us maintain sanity as we came north during bug season hell. We even had one night where we took pity on a fellow hiker and let him sleep in our two-man with us, as all he had was an ineffective bug netting and a tarp! I thought I was mentally prepared for the bugs, but man was I mistaken...I thought "how bad can they really be?"....they are SO bad...so bad ;)
There is a repellent sold by Sawyers which contains DEET but it is encapsulated in larger molecules to help prevent absorption by the skin and prolong its effectiveness. It's callled "Controlled Release DEET formula". It's not quite as effective as 100% DEET, but better for you.
TJ aka Teej
I use Keith Shaw's homemade bug dope. It contains DEET, spruce oil, and secrets. The spruce oil smells wicked good, and work against black flies better than plain DEET.
Where can you buy this magical stuff?
Just go get plan old DEET. Its right up there with VX nerve agent. It will take the paint off of a car. I used it and IM juuust ffffinee
Dont forget Skin-so-soft...it works I promise, plus thousands of Marines at Paris Island will tell you that it works on the nats that deet does nothing for...I take a very small nitroglycerin bottle and fill it with Skin-So-Soft, it lasts for several weeks because only a very small amount dabbed on the skin is needed.....