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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a trip in Northern Montana this summer and hear the mosquitos are pretty huge and knarly. What are some accessories or tips and tricks that seem to help with dealing with mosquitos both on the river and at camp?
 

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If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything.
Go for head shots. Double tap with 9mm or larger.

I hate DEET, but it works. Usually spray my outer shirt and cap. Wear long sleeves, socks, pants.

Camp in a breezy spot. Grass is bad, standing water is bad.


I wouldn't say our skeeters are as big as Alaska mosquitos, but they can be a pain.
 

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I recommend not getting too cute. No organic bug spray - use chemicals. Specifically, as high of a concentration of Deet as you can find. Headnets if they're particularly bad. Find as much breeze as you can. And long sleeves and pants.

Also, bring big tents. Things are a lot more pleasant if you can get everyone hanging out inside a screen enclosure.
 

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If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything.
Go for head shots. Double tap with 9mm or larger.

I hate DEET, but it works. Usually spray my outer shirt and cap. Wear long sleeves, socks, pants.

Camp in a breezy spot. Grass is bad, standing water is bad.


I wouldn't say our skeeters are as big as Alaska mosquitos, but they can be a pain.
DEET you bet, and not a measly 25%, we're talking as much as you can tolerate (wash off after use and before getting into down bags)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I recommend not getting too cute. No organic bug spray - use chemicals. Specifically, as high of a concentration of Deet as you can find. Headnets if they're particularly bad. Find as much breeze as you can. And long sleeves and pants.

Also, bring big tents. Things are a lot more pleasant if you can get everyone hanging out inside a screen enclosure.
Does mesh netting work? Any recommendations on big tents or mesh netting for the social areas? Do those fire logs that repel mosquitoes work?
 

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I've never had any luck with those fire logs.
If it's warm enough for mosquitos, it's probably too warm for a fire. Bring a candle/fire or a propane firepit for ambience.

The big mesh bug screen tents do work for both skeeters and yellowjackets.
 

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The mesh netting works, particularly if you can create an air gap between the netting and your skin. For example, a big sun hat with a mesh net over it works better than a stocking cap.

I have a big family tent - it's either the Kingdom 6 or Kingdom 8 from REI. Plenty of space for the family to sleep, and we can push bags aside and setup camp chairs during the day if we need to.
 

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My combo is permethrin on everything you might want to treat, clothes, hats, tents; then picaridin, I've switched from deet, picaridin doesn't have the stickiness and doesn't eat plastics, smells better, I think works just fine; and finally thermacells work wonders. A pack of headnets from amazon for folks too.
 

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Bens 100% deet works well but for god's sake don't put it directly on your skin. Bug nets and thick canvas outer layers work well. I've heard good things about these things:


A strict tent door policy is a must. Pee bucket/container to avoid in and out during the night.
 

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I try not to go on those rivers during bug season....job done.

That said...as everyone has mentioned... bug net clothing and some heavy duty bug spray. I have a Big Agnes Deep Creek Bug House that hangs underneath a wing and supplies some relief. Definitely bring a well ventilated tent...its a life saver. Even better if it has room for a camp chair or two.

But yeah...I personally try to avoid the really buggy runs these days. There is almost always something else to go run.
 

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Trying to convert a deeter is like trying to convert a politician but it bears repeating:
Permethrin on clothes and Picaridin on skin.
My combo is permethrin on everything you might want to treat, clothes, hats, tents; then picaridin, I've switched from deet, picaridin doesn't have the stickiness and doesn't eat plastics, smells better, I think works just fine
Unless I'm rafting the bayou, I'm long done with deet. And if I catch you spraying deet upwind of my boat I'm gonna feed a crawdad an espresso bean and throw it in your sleeping bag.
 

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I live in Montana and work in Alaska and use these frequently. Slap it on at the beginning of the day and your done! Good natural product, no DEET AND you get a little shot of vitamins to boot.

You do have to put it on at least 2-3 hrs in advance for it to work and I don't know is how well it will work if it gets wet so bring extra. That's the other nice thing about it they are very lightweight and don't take up much space. Usually carry about a dozen in my first aid kit.

Beats rolling in the MUD.
AgraCo's Mosquito Patches are Non-Toxic & Offer 36 Hours Protection
 

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It's my understanding that permethrin kills mosquitoes and ticks via direct contact and isn't intended to be used as a repellant.

There are some scientific unknowns considering the long term health effects of chronic Permethrin exposure so really a matter of personal comfort. It's highly toxic to fish and bees, apparently which makes me skeptical. I personally avoid the stuff and am very careful about application of deet.

 

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that data sheet appears to be for a 100% concentration, the stuff you spray on clothes is 0.5%. I don't think I'm going to get chronic exposure from the few days I need it on Deso a year, but like you said, with any of these people can make their own decisions.

.
 

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Permethrin is the way to go. Works best with cotton but it also works on synthetics. Permethrin at sub lethal doses irritates the mosquito and thus are less likely to stay and bite... Very under rated in the US but very important in the control of Malaria world wide. I'd spray/treat socks, pants, shirts (long sleeve are best) bug suit, tent and screen. I prefer the spray bottle of the Sawyer clothing soak. Spray clothes, roll them up and place in a bag for an hour or two then remove and let air dry. Usually effective for 7 hot washes. I usually wear cotton at camp and that is where mosquitoes seem to be the worst.

also having a place to "hide" from the mosquitoes is nice. you will use your tent a bit more and a screen tent is nice if there is room.

also - an electric bug zapper makes killing them a bit more fun, especially if kids are around...
 

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A perfect excuse to enjoy a good cigar, or a light aromatic Cavendish in a P-lip Peterson meerschaum pipe. Captain Black is my choice. If you run out of cigars, do not despair! You can chew up the butt of the last cigar you smoked and spread the juices over you. Cover every surface. Nicotine kills the little varmints, and they know it. (They aren't THAT stupid!) The skeets that avoid you will congregate around friendlier targets until they can't be seen for the crowd. And yes, I have done it. Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. If your spouse kicks you out of the tent, the skeets will stay away from you while a couple of them sing light opera to her all night long inside the tent. Good luck.
Note from Alaska: "The ladies here have the strangest lotion or perfume ... they call it ... "Cutters."
Skin-So-Soft works, but ma-an, it STINKS!
 

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James West Davidson and John Rugge have an excellent chapter on dealing with skeets while crossing the great Canadian shield. The book is "The Complete Wilderness Paddler." Worth it for the humor in this chapter alone.
 

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Does anyone have any experience with "Thermacell" type defense systems? We've always been curious about those.
I bought two Thermacells for a Deso trip a few years ago. But amazingly we only saw one mosquito the whole trip. So, dollars well spent or just lucky. Didn't use them so sorry can't vouch for their efficacy.
 
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