Pick The Best Mosquito Repellent for Camping & Say Goodbye to Itchy Bites

Planning a summer camping trip? Make sure you're prepared for any pesky bugs that might show up with our buyers guide to the best mosquito repellent for camping. We'll discuss what makes a good repellent and highlight some of our favorite products.

Planning a summer camping trip and want to make sure you're prepared for any pesky bugs that might show up?

We've got you covered! In this blog post, we'll review the best mosquito repellent for camping. We'll discuss what makes a good repellent and highlight some of our favorite products.

So whether you're planning a weekend getaway or an extended camping trip, read on for all the information you need to keep all the bugs at bay!

Purchase one of our recommended bug repellents today and be bite-free on your next outdoor adventure!

How We Picked The Best Mosquito Repellent For Camping

Mosquitoes are no joke while you are out in the wild and can easily ruin any outdoor adventure.

It's hard to relax when mosquito bites or other bugs constantly pester you, and it's even harder to get a good night's sleep.

We've got the solution for you - the best mosquito repellents for camping. Whether you're looking for all-natural bug repellents or something with more punch, we've got you covered. We have tried these under challenging environments, consulted with consumers, and read through reviews to bring you the best mosquito repellents.

We know you want the best, so we work hard to provide it. Our team of experts is constantly selecting products for our site that meet high standards and offer great value too! Our opinions are based on independent trials and tests but as an Amazon Associate, we earn from some qualifying purchases. This helps us to keep the site running without costing anything extra for you.

Best Overall Lotion

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

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Why You Will Love It

3M Ultrathon Repellent Lotion is here to keep those pesky critters away! It repels mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas, and deer flies and provides protection for up to 12 hours.

Plus, it's skin-friendly for all people of all ages - making it perfect for the whole family. So don't wait and pick up a 3M Ultrathon Repellent Lotion today!

What You Should Know

It contains 34.34% DEET for superb protection against insects. Additionally, it uses an Advanced 3M Controlled Release Technology to provide a continuous shield of protection from bugs. This technology utilizes a polymer to trap DEET and slowly release it over skin surfaces, providing long-lasting protection.

So, if you are looking for a mosquito repellent lotion that will give you long-lasting protection, the 3M Ultrathon Repellent Lotion is a great option.

What Could Have Been Better

Though this lotion is effective for long hours, applying it on your skin will leave behind a greasy residue, and if it is hot and sweaty, it can create a total mess.

But if you can ignore this, you will have skin-friendly and adequate protection against pesky mosquitoes and other bugs.

Best Picardin Repellent

Sawyer Products Insect Repellent

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Why You Will Love It

Tired of feeling like you're being eaten alive every time you step outside? Sawyer Products has your solution! Sawyer's Picaridin Insect Repellent is safe for the whole family and repels various pests.

This long-lasting repellent is available in several formats (lotion, sachet, continuous spray, or pump spray), so you can find the one that best suits your needs.

What You Should Know

Sawyer Products has a 20% Picaridin concentration that is more effective than DEET against mosquitoes and ticks. This repellent is fragrance-free and non-greasy, and it also dries quickly and starts working within 10 minutes of its application.

If you're looking for an effective repellent to apply on your skin and clothes to keep insects at bay, Sawyer Products has the perfect solution.

What Could Have Been Better

This bug repellent gives long-lasting protection against many kinds of insects. But if you are hiking through forests full of bugs, pair it with the Sawyer Clothing spray for the best results. This is because if you are camping in hot, humid climates, its effectiveness as a standalone lotion deteriorates within hours.

Also, we found that this is a skin-friendly mosquito repellent that will not cause allergic reactions. But, if you have very sensitive skin, this Sawyer repellent might not be the best solution because of some amounts of Permethrin.

Overall, if you buy this as a DEET-free alternative for protection against mosquitoes and other insects, you will not be disappointed!

Best DEET Repellent

Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray

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Why You Will Love It

Looking for travel-friendly, strong DEET-based mosquito repellents that are not harsh on your skin? Look no further than Repel 100. This powerful DEET-based pump spray comes in a handy travel-size bottle, making it perfect for packing in your carry-on or day bag.

Just a few spritzes will create a barrier against pesky mosquitoes and other annoying insects, giving you peace of mind when exploring the great outdoors.

What You Should Know

Repel 100 is a long-lasting, DEET-based repellent that protects up to 10 hours against pesky mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects. It features a super strong 98.11% DEET concentration formula, ideal for use in heavily insect-infested areas.

Additionally, the repellent comes in a pump spray bottle for easy application. Simply spray the repellent onto exposed skin and clothing, avoid contact with the eyes and mouth, and enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about pests.

What Could Have Been Better

Repel 100 offers serious protection against mosquitoes because of its very high concentration of DEET. It should be used in severe conditions only. If you want to use it in areas with a lower concentration of insects, you can use the Repel Sportsmen, which has a much lower DEET concentration of around 40%.

The repellent's strong smell and oily texture can be a bit off-putting at first, but its effectiveness more than makes up for it. Once you see how well Repel 100 works at keeping insects away, you'll be glad you made the switch.

Best Permethrin Repellent

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent 

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Why You Will Love It

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent will give you peace of mind no matter where your adventures take you. Just spray it on your clothing and gear, and you'll be protected from over 55 insects - without damaging your clothes or gear.

We also loved that Sawyer Permethrin spray can be applied to our furry friends to protect them from mosquito bites or other biting bugs.

What You Should Know

Sawyer Products' Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Gear & Tents is a great way to keep insects away. It gives out an odorless spray repellent that bonds to fabric fibers, lasts for weeks, and even survives a few washes.

When an insect comes into contact with Permethrin, it absorbs a dose that will either repel or kill the insect. This product is ideal for clothing, gear, and tents as it will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or outdoor gear.

What Could Have Been Better

This Sawyer Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent is one of the best DEET-free bug repellents and will repel insects and biting bugs no matter where your adventures take you. But just be sure to use them with your gear, backpacks, tents, etc, and avoid getting in touch with your skin.

Although permethrin is not harmful at lower dosages and is quickly broken down by our skin, It is not skin-friendly and might cause irritations.

Worthy Contenders

Sallye Ander “No-Bite-Me” All-Natural Bug & Insect Repellent - Anti Itch Cream
Sallye Ander “No-Bite-Me” All-Natural Bug & Insect Repellent - Anti-Itch Cream

Sallye Ander “No-Bite-Me” All-Natural Cream

This all-natural bug repellent is made in the USA with a blend of 16 essential oils and is the safest natural mosquito repellent. This is the only repellent on our list that works without any added harsh chemicals.

The strong herbaceous scent helps keep bugs at bay for up to 4 hours. It is safe for use on sensitive skin and can repair and soothe your skin in case of bug bites. However, it has a strong residue smell and might be ineffective in hotter climates with a severe concentration of different insects.

Ranger Ready Tick & Insect Repellent

Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% Tick & Insect Repellent
Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% Tick & Insect Repellent

This repellent will keep you safe from pesky mosquitoes and protect you against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and fleas. Ranger uses a Picaridin 20% solution, which has been proven to be as effective against insects and much easier on your skin.

Despite its high effectiveness, this repellent didn’t make it any higher on our list because it does leave behind a greasy feeling residue that some users found to be uncomfortable. Especially in humid climates, this can result in a sticky mess.

Join us beyond the campfire and dive into the world of turkey calling, a fun skill for any camper to learn!

Frequently Asked Questions

Mosquitoes are annoying, and they can carry some pretty dangerous diseases.

Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, but they can also transmit severe illnesses like the West Nile Virus, Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever. On top of this, several other kinds of bugs are ready to attack you when you are camping.

Bug sprays are the best way to keep all these away from you while camping. But with so many different types of bug spray on the market, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. Based on our expert findings, we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about the best bug repellents for camping that will help you make an informed decision.

Which Is the Best Type of Repellent, Permethrin, Picaridin or DEET?

There are a variety of effective insect repellents on the market. Each has advantages and disadvantages; choosing the best depends on your needs and preferences.

Permethrin is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring Pyrethrum compound and is very effective against a wide range of flying insects, including mosquitoes. Permethrin might be the best option if you are looking for an effective mosquito repellent with a long shelf life and don't plan to apply it to your skin directly.

Picaridin is a relatively new repellent that protects against flying and crawling insects. If you want a repellent that is gentle on the skin, picaridin might be a better choice.

DEET is the most well-known and widely used bug repellent but can be harsh on the skin if used for extended periods. If you are looking for a bug repellent that protects a wide range of insects, DEET-based repellents might be the best option.

How Do I Keep Mosquitoes Away From My Campsite?

One way to keep mosquitoes away from your campsite is using mosquito coils, sticks, or repellent mats. These work by emitting chemicals that repel mosquitoes. Though this is not favorable in the open woods or where there are several other bugs.

Another way to keep mosquitoes away from your campsite is by using mosquito repellent. Mosquito repellents work by emitting a chemical that repels mosquitoes. You can choose any product from our top picks to get good results.

Both of these work by emitting chemicals that repel mosquitoes. There is also natural bug repellent like lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and other oils that will protect effectively from mosquito bites and other biting insects.

Are There Any Natural Bug Repellents Available?

Yes. Some people prefer to use a natural mosquito repellent, which can include essential oils such as peppermint oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, or tea tree oil. Garlic is also a natural repellent. You can rub it on your skin, put it in netting, and hang it around your campsite or patio.

You can also make a natural mosquito repellent by mixing water and acetic acid vinegar in a spray bottle. Though other than lemon eucalyptus oils, these have little efficacy in an actual campground.

Are There Any Other Forms of Bug Repellents Other Than Lotion or Sprays?

Other bug repellents are available but may be less effective than lotion or spray. Some of them are :

Bug Zapper attracts pesky mosquitoes and other insects with its blue-violet light and electrocutes them with a high-voltage grid. You can keep Bug Zappers on your patio, but they are not meant for camping.

Mosquito Repellent Candles & Torches are made from natural oils that, when burnt, can repel bugs for some hours. A citronella candle is the most common, which can set the mood but is inefficient in repelling mosquitoes. The best among these is Murphy's Natural Repellent Candles.

Electronic Mosquito Repellent Device mainly uses DEET-free mats that, when heated, act as a good mosquito repellent for your patio but not so much for your campsite. Thermacell Patio Shield is a good example.

Insecticide Treated Clothes are mostly pretreated with Permethrin and will protect you from mosquitoes. Insect Xtreme is one such brand making permethrin-treated performance apparel.

Bug Repellent Wearables like Cliganic are made from natural essential oils but are not practically effective.

Bug Repellent Wipes are effective if you are not in a severely insect-affected area. We loved the Cutter Wipes the most and would recommend them.

Salt Guns are fun, even cool, but they are nothing but gimmicks when repelling bugs. You can try the Bug-a-salt gun, but we don't think you will shoot bugs with these on your camping trips!

Does a Mosquito Repellent Device, Like Thermacell Really Work?

They work somewhat, primarily if you use them on your patio. The problem is that mosquitoes are very adaptive and can quickly learn to ignore the repellent.

An electronic mosquito repellent device releases a small amount of heat-activated repellent (mostly a repellent mat), creating an invisible barrier that mosquitoes and other flying insects cannot cross. Well, that is the short theory behind it, and yes, it works just fine in your backyard for some hours at max.

But you will find its limitations in repelling mosquitoes for outdoor camping. Even if you can manage an electrical output or find a gas-powered device, it will stop working after some hours, as the bugs can quickly adapt to it.

Does a Mosquito Repellent Spray Damages Clothes & Other Gear?

Most mosquito repellent sprays contain chemicals that can damage certain fabrics. It is essential to check the label of your mosquito repellent before using it on any of your belongings. Some bug repellents may be specifically designed for use on clothing, while others may cause damage to the fabric.

Generally, it is best to avoid spraying mosquito repellent directly on your clothes or gear without testing it for any adverse effects first.

What is The Best Mosquito Repellent Solution For Our Pets?

Though you can use our top picks for your pets as well, it is better to use a product that is made specifically for pets.

There are a number of pet-specific mosquito repellents for camping with dogs, and most of them use citronella oil or some other essential oils as the active ingredient. Some pet owners choose to make their own repellent spray using essential oils. Whatever you choose, read the labels on the active ingredients about any of their harmful effects.

What Is the Best Way to Apply Mosquito Repellents?

This will depend on the repellent you have at your disposal - whether it is skin-friendly, is meant to be applied on clothes, or any other specific instructions about that product.

Though you can be safe and sure about using our top picks, every human skin is different, and the same product might react differently to each one of our skin, so it is essential to follow the instructions written on the label and try it a bit before actually applying it to your skin or any other fabric.

Also, remember that you should avoid spraying mosquito repellents on your skin directly just before going outdoors. You should always apply it after applying a sun protection cream and allowing it to dry, as this will protect your skin and increase its effectiveness.

How Often Should I Reapply a Mosquito Repellent?

The best way to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects away is to reapply bug repellents every few hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming. However, overusing or underusing will lead to decreased effectiveness of these products. Hence, it is essential to follow the instructions on the label of your mosquito repellent to ensure that you are using it correctly.

What Are the Precautions I Should Take While Applying Insect Repellents?

You should always read the instructions carefully and take precautions while applying insect repellents, especially if using a spray. You should never spray a repellent directly on your face and always avoid contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If you are using a spray, apply it in a well-ventilated area. Though the bug sprays are not toxic, the aerosol generated while applying them to clothes can harm individuals with breathing problems.

You should also wash your hands after applying a bug repellent if they are not meant to be applied on the skin directly, and avoid touching your face or eyes until the repellent has dried.

So, What Is the Best Mosquito Repellent For Camping

It’s time to gear up for your next camp trip by stocking up on the right supplies, including some protection for repelling mosquitoes. With so many options, deciding which product is best for you can be tricky.

Hopefully, our roundup of the best mosquito repellent for camping will help make your decision easier. And if you need a shortlist to choose from, you can have the following:

Best Overall Lotion - 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

Best Picardin Repellent - Sawyer Products Insect Repellent

Best DEET Solution - Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray

Best Permethrin Repellent - Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent

Best Natural Product - Sallye Ander “No-Bite-Me” All-Natural Cream

And don’t forget to click through to Amazon to check prices – we’ve provided handy “Check Price on Amazon” buttons for each product.

Happy camping!

Spraying the Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent on a Backpack

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