View Full Version : Bug hat vs repellent

12-23-2013, 23:17
Should I carry Bug hat/shirt/pant or repellent or carry both for AT thruhike?


12-23-2013, 23:21
Should I carry Bug hat/shirt/pant or repellent or carry both for AT thruhike?


You will want a headnet in some places. You will want DEET in some places. You will wish you had long sleeve shirt and pants treated in permethrin in some places too. For much of the trail you wont need anything.

12-23-2013, 23:26
If you are a south bound thru-hiker you should start with the hat and face net and some deet. If you are a north bound thru-hiker you should have someone mail these items to you in late May.

12-24-2013, 00:19
For my hike, a one-ounce headnet and a one ounce stick of repellent was all I needed to carry. I wore long sleeves and trousers treated with permethrin. Never got a tick and managed to maintain my sanity through the mosquito swarms.

12-24-2013, 00:47
Good question. I was thinking earlier of getting a headnet too but now i think i'll just wait til the bugs show up n go buy one off the trail somewhere along with some bug spray. I also got a long sleve i'll carry for bugs. I might think about some type of pants too

12-24-2013, 08:40
You can also use your head net as a stuff
sack to organize some loose gear.

12-29-2013, 14:30
For my hike, a one-ounce headnet and a one ounce stick of repellent was all I needed to carry. I wore long sleeves and trousers treated with permethrin. Never got a tick and managed to maintain my sanity through the mosquito swarms.


I hate putting DEET anywhere near my face, so for me an UL headnet with good visibility is a key item in bug season. I wear longsleeve shirts and long pants and put DEET on hands and on socks above footwear. This is usually a good combo. The headnet I like was sold by backpackinglight when they still had their store, but is no longer available. It ventilates well and is easy to see through.

Wise Old Owl
12-29-2013, 22:33
Love these threads.... Folks... Over the Counter Deet isn't toxic to anything... Take a test - Spray a house fly or an insect without drowning it. - it will still be there for a long time. Deet is a repellant. The product is a proactive way to avoid getting sick! It's a great product that has been tested over and over again for many years... SO which is worse Lyme Disease or Deet? How about Mosquito born disease... People in the United States still die each year from Fleas, Mosquitoes, Deer Ticks, recently it's been kissing bugs in Texas.

These products are tested by Military, CDC, and many colleges around the country and they are held to the same standard as your pharmaceuticals. It's not a medicine but the testing is over the top when it comes to Deet.

So what exactly does Deet help us avoid?

A kid was exposed to Black Plague in 2012... in the woods in Colorado She was exposed to Fleas that jumped a recently dead squirrel.

Fleas are repelled in some of my visits to flea infested homes by Deep Woods Off.

In my mind the under reported by the press Encephalitis by mosquitoes is the biggest killer. It has happened at a local boy scout camp in the past. Frequenty when I read an article on the AP about an Encephalitis outbreak there isn't a mention that this is a mosquito borne disease.

"In the late summer and early fall, mosquitoes can carry the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus which can be deadly. Use the same precautions that are used to prevent Deer Tick problems"

From a New York Website
Mosquitoes usually are considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit viruses to people and some animals. These viruses can cause illness and even death. While your chances of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite are very small, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten.
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE, "triple E") is very rare but serious. Mosquitoes infected with EEE virus (EEEV) can infect people, horses and other mammals, some birds, reptiles and amphibians. About 5-10 EEE human cases are reported each year in the U.S. Five cases of EEE in people in New York State have been reported since 1971. These cases were reported in 1971, 1983, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and occurred in Oswego and Onondaga counties. All five cases died. The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September. People at the greatest risk of developing severe disease are those over 50 years of age and younger than 15 years of age.

West Nile virus (WNV) is also transmitted to humans and some animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus was first found in New York State in 1999. Since 2000, 490 human cases and 37 deaths of WNV have been reported statewide.
Most people infected with EEE or WNV do not develop any signs or symptoms. If illness develops, symptoms usually occur 3-15 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. Symptoms of EEE and WNV can be similar, but EEE is a much more serious illness in people who develop severe disease and much more likely to result in death. People with mild cases of mosquito-borne disease may develop fever, headache, body aches and occasionally a skin rash or swollen glands (lymph nodes). People with severe cases of EEE or WNV usually have a sudden onset of headache, high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, altered mental status, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or coma.
There is no specific treatment available for EEE or WNV. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections. Patients are treated for their symptoms and provided supportive therapy. People with mild cases of EEE and WNV usually recover completely. In cases of severe disease, supportive therapy may include hospitalization, respiratory support, IV fluids and treatment of other infections that develop. About one third of patients who develop EEE die and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage for the rest of their lives. Of the less than 1 in 150 people with severe WNV disease, death is very rare and almost all patients recover completely.
There are no human vaccines for EEE or WNV. Prevention of mosquito bites is the most important way to reduce your risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Take the following steps to protect yourself:

Cover your skin as completely as possible when outside when mosquitoes are present and active. Wear long sleeves, pants and socks.
Use insect repellent on exposed skin and follow label directions.
Make sure there are screens in your home's windows and doors. Make sure the screens are free of rips, tears and holes.
Eliminate all standing water on around your home and property where mosquitoes can breed.

When it come to Deet - there isn't better tested current repellant on the market that can help you avoid getting a bite and getting sick. (soon to change)

DEET is often sold and used in spray or lotion in concentrations up to 100%. Consumer Reports (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Reports) found a direct correlation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation) between DEET concentration and hours of protection against insect bites. 100% DEET was found to offer up to 12 hours of protection while several lower concentration DEET formulations (20%-34%) offered 36 hours of protection. Other research has corroborated the effectiveness of DEET. The Center for Disease Control recommends 30-50% DEET to prevent the spread of pathogens carried by insects.

Is DEET likely to contribute to the development of cancer? Researchers have not found any evidence that DEET causes cancer in animals or humans. DEET has been classified by the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) as "not classifiable as a human carcinogen", which means that there is not enough evidence to say that it does or does not cause cancer.

OK moving on use both a hat and a 12-15% Deet when on the trail... Don't sleep with the hat on, you will need a better plan... you will still get bites when you roll over.

12-30-2013, 10:35
Thanks Wise Old Owl.
I just ordered something I had seen and hesitated on. I like Boonie hats and this is a Boonie hat that has a net incorporated into the hat that drops down from the brim, I guess(?). I wonder about how it will be when the net is in the "up position" and will find out and give you all a reeeeeport. Should come in a few days. Rothco was the company I ordered it from. It is a combo of Poly/Cotton. Of course, it is camo on the hat. What else???????!!!!!! Happy Happy Happy!

OK, Report time: I received the hat today(1-11-14) and it is not going to work out. It is a nice boonie hat but and the net hangs down from the inside outside edge of the brim. The only way to wear it with the net up is to stuff it inside the hat on top your head OR put it outside around the top of the hat. Real stupid looking. This is made for someone who has to wear this all the time. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. -SunnyWalker