Best Mosquito Repellant for Camping Outdoor

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As the sun dips below the horizon and the chirping of crickets fills the air, there’s an undeniable charm to camping in the great outdoors. The call of nature can be invigorating, with sights and sounds revitalizing the soul. Yet, despite the many wonders of the wild, there remains one common annoyance that can undermine even the most idyllic outdoor experience – mosquitoes. These relentless pests cause discomfort with their bites and can also spread disease, posing a risk to campers.

In the quest for tranquility and safety, a robust solution is essential; this is where mosquito repellants come into the picture. Join us as we unravel the nitty-gritty of choosing the best mosquito repellants for camping outdoors, ensuring your next wilderness adventure is as delightful as it is mosquito-free.

Coleman Insect Repellent Spray

mosquito repellant







Coleman uses IR3535 instead of DEET in their formula. Now, you might be wondering, “What’s the difference?” IR3535, according to the bigwigs over at the World Health Organization, is less toxic than DEET. So, you’re getting the same punch in fighting off bugs, but with a lower risk of skin or oral toxicity.

But, let’s be clear: it’s not all sunshine and daisies. While testing it, the SkinSmart worked like a charm for the first three hours, but then it started to lose a bit of its mojo. So if you plan a full-day outing, you’ll need to reapply a few times. But, with the easy-to-use aerosol dispenser, it’s not much of a hassle.

Can’t stand the sticky, icky feeling of typical bug sprays? Coleman’s spray dries quickly and leaves no uncomfortable residue. Plus, it’s unscented, so you won’t be left smelling like you’ve just bathed in chemicals. The packaging is pretty nifty too. It comes in a 6oz aluminum can that’s rust-resistant, with a twist locking cap. Handy for on-the-go use and rugged enough for all your outdoor adventures.


  • DEET-free: Uses IR3535, which is less toxic but just as effective.
  • User-friendly: The aerosol dispenser makes application a breeze.
  • Fast drying and non-greasy: No sticky residue or discomfort.
  • Unscented: You won’t smell like a walking bug bomb.
  • Portable and durable packaging: Perfect for outdoor use.


  • Effectiveness decreases after 3 hours: You’ll need to reapply for continued protection.
  • Can cause eye irritation: Be careful during application.
  • Might degrade plastics: Avoid contact with certain materials.

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion

mosquito repellant









Unlike most repellents that come in aerosol form, this product rubs into the skin like sunscreen. This feature is an absolute boon for hard-to-reach areas like ears, hands, and around the face. It eliminates the need for spraying, and there’s no sticky residue to bother you afterwards. Moreover, the lotion is almost odorless, making it an excellent choice for those sensitive to strong scents.


  • Ideal for difficult-to-spray areas like hands, ears, and around the face.
  • Long-lasting protection of up to 14 hours.
  • Nearly odorless, making it a good choice for scent-sensitive individuals.
  • Rubs into the skin like lotion, leaving no greasy residue.


  • Not the most convenient for applying to the whole body.
  • Although effective, it might not serve as a complete solution in heavily infested areas.

ThermaCell MR450 Armored Mosquito Repeller

thermacell mosquito repellant









The MR450 is a device designed with an innovative heating element that warms a repellent mat. The concept is reminiscent of a citronella candle, but the comparison stops there – the ThermaCell MR450 outperforms any citronella product I’ve encountered by leaps and bounds. This repeller does not require any messy sprays or direct application of repellent on your skin or clothes – an aspect I’ve found particularly convenient and comfortable.


When it comes to endurance, the MR450 doesn’t disappoint. Offering a whopping 12 hours of protection against not just mosquitoes, but gnats too, this device outlasts a typical camping day. The size is another plus point. At 7.8 x 2.9 x 1.8 inches, it’s compact and unobtrusive – easy to carry along on your outdoor adventures.


Despite its many merits, the MR450 comes with some caveats. The device doesn’t perform well under windy conditions. The strong breeze tends to disperse the fumes it generates, thereby diluting its protective shield. Additionally, the MR450’s effectiveness dips while hiking actively. However, if you’re sitting around a campfire or having a meal in the backcountry, it serves as an excellent line of defense against pesky insects.


Also, there are costs associated with refills for fuel and repellent mats. These can add up over time, but given the comfort and protection the MR450 provides, it is a worthy investment.


  • Exceptional protection against flying biting insects
  • Provides a solid 12 hours of coverage.
  • User-friendly with a simple turn-on device mechanism
  • Compact and portable


  • Performance suffers in windy conditions.
  • Not as effective while moving actively, like during a hike.
  • Regular costs for fuel and repellent mat refills

Repel 100

mosquito repellant for camping outdoors









The Repel 100 is a repellent that promises to rise to the occasion, offering substantial protection against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and fleas. The compact size of just 1 fluid ounce makes it conveniently portable, and its non-aerosol pump application adds to its user-friendly design.


This petite powerhouse is packed with an impressive 98.11 percent DEET, an active ingredient recognized for its efficacy in insect deterrence. A couple of spritzes onto exposed skin proves sufficient in maintaining a bug-free personal space for hours. This longevity of protection is particularly handy during extended hiking or camping trips, where convenience and effectiveness take precedence.


However, the Repel 100 is not without its downsides. While the pump applicator does lend to its portability, it also limits the product’s coverage. Its modest squirt might not provide sufficient body coverage, especially if you are heading into heavily insect-populated regions. A workaround could be reapplying more often, but this may lead to faster depletion of the product.


Another point of contention could be the product’s dominant DEET composition. The high DEET concentration might be a deterrent for those wary of synthetic ingredients, despite its proven effectiveness. Moreover, the Repel 100 carries a robust odor, scoring a 5 on the intensity scale. If you have a sensitive nose, the smell might feel overwhelming and may detract from your outdoor experience.


  • Conveniently portable
  • Non-aerosol pump for easy application
  • Highly effective with 98.11 percent DEET
  • Protects against a range of insects including mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and fleas


  • Strong odor could be off-putting.
  • Pump applicator doesn’t provide extensive body coverage.
  • High DEET concentration might not appeal to those preferring natural products.

Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Spray

How do you keep mosquitoes away when you live in the woods?









Sawyer Permethrin spray has carved its niche, offering a reliable and potent line of defense against mosquitoes and other pesky critters like ticks, chiggers, and fleas. This 24-ounce bottle delivers protection in a unique way, employing Permethrin as its active ingredient, which is meant to be sprayed onto clothing rather than the skin.


One of the hallmarks of the Sawyer Permethrin spray is its ability to last. A single application promises to keep those biting bugs at bay for up to six weeks, or six washes, which is incredibly impressive. This makes it an ideal companion for prolonged camping trips or hiking expeditions. And despite its potent formulation, it has an almost negligible odor, a definite plus for those who prefer their outdoor adventures sans the chemical scent usually associated with repellants.


However, it needs to be sprayed onto your clothing in advance and given time to dry. You’ll need to treat your camping and hiking gear, including pants, sleeves, shoes, and even your tent for complete protection. This could be a hassle, especially for spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment kind of campers.


Still, the Sawyer Permethrin spray is undoubtedly a robust solution for those venturing into areas heavily populated with mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, or fleas. As long as you’re diligent in treating your gear and clothes well in advance, Sawyer Permethrin offers a highly effective barrier against these annoying insects.


  • Repels more than just mosquitoes, offering protection against ticks, chiggers, and fleas.
  • Long-lasting, with a single application enduring up to six weeks or six washes.
  • Almost odorless, eliminating the unpleasant smell often associated with repellents.


  • Not designed for skin application.
  • Must be applied to clothing and gear in advance and allowed to dry.
  • Requires additional skin-safe repellent for areas not covered by treated clothing.


So, there you have it, a complete guide by BushCraftPro for outdoor mosquito repellant. From casual campouts to rugged expeditions, every outdoor adventure deserves to be savored without the nagging presence of mosquitoes. Choosing the best mosquito repellant for camping outdoors is not a matter of convenience but of necessity. Having navigated through an array of products, their features, and the science behind their efficacy, finding the right repellent requires understanding not just the product, but also your specific needs and environment.

So, arm yourself with knowledge and a good repellent, venture forth, and reclaim the joy of the great outdoors. Because the wilderness is calling, and this time, you’re ready for everything – even the mosquitoes.


  • Mark Williams

    Mark is an avid hunter with a passion for wildlife and innovation. Come along on an adventure of mind, body and soul.

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