Gear Safe Bug Repellent and Sunscreen

5:38 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
303 forum posts

As it says... what's your favorite?  What doesn't melt your gear and ruin your waterproofing?

11:55 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I have not found just ONE specific product that does both; especially, to NOT damage gear and waterproofing.

TWO products ... YES.   One ... NO.

                                 ~ r2 ~

11:14 a.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

two products

2:55 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
625 reviewer rep
1,178 forum posts

Permethrin preparations are designed to be sprayed on gear and equipment.  They're best at repelling ticks, but work a bit for skeeters.

3:32 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
1,422 reviewer rep
1,344 forum posts

I started using Permethrin treatment on clothing last year, and while it didn't eliminate skeeters, I did find that it helped considerably.  I used it in conjunction with regular permethrin repellent for an additional benefit.

If Cleric doesn't mind I'd like to add another qualification to his question:  in addition to "not melting gear & ruining waterproofing", how about a repellent that doesn't reek like a perfume factory?  I am very uncomfortable slathering myself with stuff that smells like body lotion or some other "sweet" smell when I'm out sleeping amongst the bears.

3:07 p.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

For some, but not all people, eating a good quantity of Vegemite or Marmite, for a few days prior to your trip, deters mossies and other gnat type biting insects.

3:09 p.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,256 forum posts


Garlic works on the bugs from the inside out. Eat a clove of garlic or mix it into your food. I used it biking across Alaska where the mosquito's are the worst. Works on all bugs.

Can't say what to use for sunscreen!

5:57 p.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

I have been using Sawyer Permethrin (once dry it's odorless) on clothes, boots, tent, etc. and 3M Ultrathon (DEET-34%) on exposed skin with great success.

The Ultrathon is a time released creme that's really easy on the nose, it doesn't have that harsh chemical spray experience you can get from aerosols or pump sprays.

I prefer odorless sunscreens and I currently use Badger Odorless.

Mike G.

6:32 p.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
389 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Out here we have few skeeters so I don't use anything. But back when I was in northern Minnesota the only real defense was to take to the tent early. It's the state bird don't ya know. :P 

June 24, 2018
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