Likely this has been asked a million times, but how do people keep the bug situation tolerable? please refer me to any links if there is already an answer to this question...
we are going to do the Chatham R loop out of Choko, starting Feb 26, for 4 nights in canoes. 2 of my trip mates bought a suspendable mosquito net, mosquito mesh pants, shirt, and gloves, and head nets.
I just have a head net with drawstring closure, and 100% deet. I will go to the thrift store and get long sleeved white bidness shirts and light colored pants. What SHOULD I be wearing/doing to have fun, and not be overly paranoid and annoyed by the mosquitos?
I grew up in Orlando (pre-Disney) but (or as a result of) have a low tolerance for mosquitoes...
thanks for any tips,
I think the no see ums are the worst and that may be a bigger problem at dusk and dawn. Make sure the head net or bug jacket you bought is made with no see um netting or it won't do you any good.
At MINIMUM bring a head net. Wear long sleeve shirt, long pants, thick socks (wool is good choice) and a BUFF or bandana around your neck. Spray the bandana, cuffs of pants and shirt plus your socks with the 100% deet. I also spray the brim of my hat and then put the head net over it. If the no see ums are really bad I also put on cotton gloves.
Make sure to always keep your tent screen closed even if you don't think there are bugs around. And that tent screen better be the no see um netting or you will have a miserable experience.
This season I experimented with a spray product called Repel Clothing and Gear Spray.
It was sufficient to treat two sets of camp clothes including ball cap and socks. Surprisingly good results where I did not have to wear my bug jacket and only used the head net at the launch because I really dislike the no see ums in the morning when they are buzzing around. But none bothered me at all. Also had the ExOfficio Bug shield shirt for day paddling and that was effective too but pricey.
BTW: The Chatam Loop is beautiful and one of my favorites. Have a great time!
The advice given is good, but I will add one more piece of equipment.
I have used them, and they do work.
Every time I leave home without my bugshirt because it's cool &/or windy, the bugs remind me that they are ALWAYS a possibility!
So I don't leave home without it! As well as a thermacell & high deet dope.
My experience,once in April and once in December, is it is best to set up your tent when you land so at sunset you are all set to jump in.
In December we shared Crooked Creek Chickee with a grandfather and teenage grandson. They slept out with NO tent. It was not the grandfather's first time. They might have used one of those bug coils but I'm not sure. And it was buggy at pre dawn. We ended at Flamingo within a half hour of each other. I asked the grandson if he was still talking to his grandfather.He said just barely.
How do the Bug Shirts stand up to getting snagged like on the Nightmare or Turner River?
Be careful spraying your tent or any other gear with DEET, which will dissolve some plastics. I ruined a tent fly that way.
I personally find bug jackets uncomfortably hot, and quite often inefficient. I just wear an old fashioned canvas shirt with a light spray of DEET based product. Spraying my socks and my shirt cuffs with the DEET keeps 'em out of the other entry points. A headnet rounds things out pretty well. I prefer the headnets that have stretchy loops that fit under your arm pits and keep the net away from your face.
I do not use DEET on my skin anymore. After years of using the 100% stuff I guess I've become somewhat intollerant. I can't say how it affects me, but I know I don't like it. Surprisingly, there are some new non-DEET products that really do work. In the last few years a Bayer product now called Picaridin (formerly Bayrepel) has been allowed for use in the USA. Many brand name lines now carry products with this instead of DEET. It works and has many positives: is not greasy, doesn't smell, and is water based and does not dissolve plastics (like flylines and tent screens). If you find it, go right to the "sportsman's" version - its like 15% instead of the standard 7%.
Also, there is a Lemon & Eucalyptus product that works better than DEET for no-see-ums. This stuff is wild. Very aromatic and the eucalyptus creates a cold sensation on your skin, like menthol. It is almost addictive once you get over the initial shock... it can make your eyes tear! And it has a great advantage... the smell is so strong that, if applied to your hat band, it will actually keep the mosquitoes away from your face. If you've ever tried to fish out there at night, you know that no matter how well you are protected, just the sound of them buzzing outside your head net will eventually run you back to the tent.
Thermacells work, so does the newer OFF products that runs on batteries, which is far less expensive. The Thermacell that uses a butane cartridge to create a small flame is very difficult to use in a canoe or tent... go with the battery version there too.
The Original Bug Shirt in nylon is too hot. I am getting the Original Bug Shirt in cotton. That should make all the difference.
Gary what is the brand of Lemon Oil and Eucalyptus? I think we used a Coleman product that worked so so. We looped out of Flamingo inland and up to Highland Beach and back the outside and had bugs a couple of nights..most notably Graveyard Creek.
Dont forget to wear socks and long pants and tuck the pants into the sox. Spray the sox ..
"... most notably at Graveyard Creek." No doubt! My most memorable bug experience was there.
The Lemon Eucalyptus is a Cutter product... I think. They sell it on the counter at the gas station in E City. I've also found it at Target. It only lasts an hour or two before you need to reapply, but usually lasts through the no-see-um periods - unless you luck into "all day" conditions.
100 percent Deet is the best but Im with Gary. I hate Deet. Its so nasty it will melt your watch face and eyeglass lens if plastic. My friend sprayed himself in my truck and the overspray melted my tinted window. I was so angry. But sometimes you have no choice but to use it minimally such as in ears and back of hands.
Wear long pants and socks. Permethrin helps. I was told you could spray old Thermacell pads to refresh them but I havent tried it. Go in and out of your tent and zip it up as fast as possible then stay up half the night with a flashlight killing the ones that get in.