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  1. #1

    Default Black Flies - New Hampshire

    Hello all!

    I'm planning on hiking approx May 11th through the 18th going from Woodstock, VT to Kinsman Notch, NH. From everything I've read about black flies up there during that time of year, I'm wondering if this is a bad idea or not.

    I'm planning on taking a tent, but I also hear I can take a headnet and lots of DEET, but are we looking at a lot of running water in this stretch or what? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2


    In "normal" years, May 11-18 would be too early for black flies but I believe VT & NH have experienced a mild winter and warm early spring like lots of us. See what the locals say.

    I wouldn't bring a headnet myself. One good thing about black flies is they go away early evening, usually before dark (unlike mosquitos) and don't stir first thing in the morning. So unless you're a late sleeper, they shouldn't be an issue when you're taking down your tent/hammock and fixing breakfast.

  3. #3


    Black flies will vary according to elevation any time in the spring. Since they breed in fast moving water, most of them will be a lower elevations. But yeah - a head net is a must for hikes this time of year. We ALWAYS hike weekend before Memorial Day in the Whites - since I met my husband in 1986 - I only missed it for law school graduation in 1996. Black flies aren't a huge problem then usually, even if they're out in force south of the Whites. But certainly expecting to take a head net this year. Hope this helps.
    2013, hopefully.

  4. #4


    A head net has minimal weight and may keep you on the trail if the bugs are bad. 3M ultrathon is the best DEET containing product for hiking, it doesnt absorb into your skin and is time release. Just in case you need lightweight long sleeves and long pants you can hike in as when the black flies are bad there is no subsitute for cloth. Given the hihg likelyhood of tcisk this year you may want to invest in some soak in permetherin for the clothes while you are at it.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Ashburnham, MA


    I think I saw my first black fly of the year today; I hope I'm wrong.
    Carry a head net.
    Carry long sleeve shirt and long pants treated with permethrin.
    Treat your hat and head net with permethrin.
    When the black flies are bothering you treat all exposed skin with DEET (as peak bagger says, Ultrathon is a time release DEET and lasts on your skin longer.
    If the black flies are bad, be sure you don't let your shirt ride up, exposing skin (this once gave me an inch wide welt around my back).
    If you're lucky, they won't be bad.
    It's sometimes possible to walk faster than the black flies can fly. Also, a breeze can blow them away.

    Ticks are probably out in force, so in addition to the above check yourself for ticks.

    I hope you have a beautiful trip with no bugs.

  6. #6


    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I'm quite pleased no one has suggested I stay home instead. I'll be taking everyone's advice and planning my trip ASAP.

  7. #7


    Herbal Armour works for me and is DEET free. I know thats blasphamous. Long sleeve Columbia OmniDry and Convertible pants and a bandana

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