Howdy campers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors and all the creatures that live therein. Well, almost all the creatures. Nothing can ruin a good campout like those little flying bloodsuckers, mosquitoes.
One thing I recently learned, though it makes absolutely no difference in the way I feel about these filthy little beggars, is that only pregnant females mosquitoes will bite. Like I said, not one bit useful, but kind of interesting.
So, the battle becomes, how do we keep these little winged Vampires from leaving us alone? There’s really nothing that can be done when your destination has clouds of the buggers flying around looking for their next meal, other than wearing a DEET based spray (see my article on DEET for more info).
But, you may be very surprised to find that there is an extremely simple, cheap, and non-chemical solution, for those trips where there aren’t too many mosquitoes, just enough to be a be a nuisance. Dryer Sheets!
No, this isn’t a joke. First lets look at why. Mosquitoes are drawn to the smell of humans, particularly sweat. If you can effectively mask that scent, then you have become a stealth bomber flying through mosquito armed areas undetected. If you can take a dryer sheet and wipe yourself down, giving special attention to those nooks and crannies where sweat loves to form, twice a day, you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your attractiveness to these little demons. Once you have wiped yourself down, toss the dryer sheet in your hat and wear it underneath. Your head sweats quite a bit, to keep you cool of course. But, for this very reason, it needs a little extra help covering up the smell of sweat to the skeeters.
Finally, don’t head out into the great unknown armed only with dryer sheets. Grab that bottle of DEET bearing bug spray should you happen upon a destination with more bugs than a dryer sheet can keep at bay. But apart from that, give this “no-chem, skin friendly” method a trry (especially if you’re going with friends and like to watch them do the “mosquito Riverdance” for your enjoyment.
Until next time, I’ll see you on the trails.
Quick Tip: If you are yet to try a backpacking trip sleeping by hammock, it’s time you give it a try. Read my article here about hammock sleeping. But, if you’re tired of that rock or stick in your back, and you’re destination has plenty of trees, treat yourself to a wonderful night of sleep, and very soon you might be looking for ways to sling your hammock up indoors at home.