Nothing ruins a hiking trip more effectively than getting bit by a bug and experiencing an allergic reaction. Bug bites are often an avoidable part of backpacking as you are bound to attract creepy crawlies while trudging through their natural habitat.
A few mosquitoes and spiders here are there are not a big deal for experienced hikers. But getting greeted by tons and tons of flies, ticks, and mosquitoes that follow you everywhere while hiking can effectively put you off backpacking for a long time.
Here are some tips form expert hikers on the best way to avoid bug bites on a backpacking trip:
Become Knowledgeable About the Bugs
The best way to avoid bugs on your outdoor trip is by learning as much as you can about when and where different types of bugs congregate. Some seasons have loads of mosquitoes swarming around the trails, while other seasons are perfect for breeding. Knowing the terrains and times that attract most bugs can help you avoid them in the first place.
Generally, in nature, most animals are more active during the day and sleep during the dark. Bloodsucking bugs take advantage of this behavior pattern by seeking out meals during the times of the day when more animals are out and about.
You should also avoid standing close to the water for too long as standing water is the perfect breeding ground for most bugs. You should also learn to differentiate between types of bug bites to ensure proper medical attention and avoid any lingering effects or allergic reactions.
Wear Proper Clothing
While you might be thinking of putting on a short sleeve shirt and convenient hiking shorts for your next backpacking trip, it is better to wear something that offers more coverage. The more skin you expose while hiking, the more likely you are to attract bugs and experience bites from different kinds of bugs. Wearing full pants and a long-sleeved shirt might make you feel slightly uncomfortable, but it will significantly reduce the risk of bug bites! If you are more concerned about your face, invest in a good hat with an attached mosquito net that protects your face against the pesky bugs.
Stock Up on Repellent
Bug repellents are an effective solution for preventing and reducing the risk of bug bites while hiking. Experts recommend organic repellents that contain DEET, which is a highly effective chemical repellent that keeps the bugs away for hours. Make sure you reapply periodically, depending on how much you are sweating as well as the instructions on the repellent.
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