Camping & Hiking

9 Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping

If you’re heading off on a camping trip, you may well be dreading the thought of mosquitoes blighting your adventure.

They make real pests of themselves, always buzzing around your ears and trying to feed off you. They can potentially ruin your enjoyment of an otherwise enjoyable trip, but fear not!

In this article, you are going to learn how to keep mosquitoes away while camping so that you can have fun and relax without the fear of becoming their next meal.

1. Choose Your Campsite With Care

Most people don’t realize that the best way how to keep mosquitoes away while camping is to be selective about where you actually choose to camp in the first place.

Mosquitos love stagnant water so if your campsite is surrounded by ponds and marshland, it will likely be a magnet for the little pesky insects.

Likewise, if there is a lake on the campsite, that will also attract them so make sure you are pitched up well away from it.

2. Use a Good Quality Bug Spray

The next most obvious way to deter mosquitoes is to use a good quality repellent that contains N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, otherwise known as DEET.

The way DEET actually works is still a matter of debate but its effectiveness is not. It seems to somehow prevent the mosquitos from probing your skin for blood by confusing their olfactory senses. Either way, it works.

3. Wear A Mosquito-repellent Bracelet

For those who don’t like the idea of spraying chemicals all over their skin, particularly chemicals that we still don’t fully understand, there are mosquito-repellent bracelets.

They are usually manufactured using natural insect repellents such as citrus oils and don’t normally contain DEET.

As you would perhaps imagine, whilst mosquito-repellent bracelets can be effective to some degree, they are undeniably significantly less effective than chemical-based repellent spray.

4. Use A Portable Mosquito Repeller

Sprays and bracelets are great for when you are out and about but, when you are back at camp, there may be entire swarms of mosquitoes around you anticipating a late night feeding frenzy.

Portable mosquito repellents use a synthetic form of a natural repellent commonly found in certain flowers.

The advantage of using a portable mosquito repeller is that you don’t have to douse yourself in chemicals or wear only slightly effective bracelets.

5. Set A Trap

If repelling mosquitoes seems like hard work, why not try attracting them and trap the little pests.

There are many different types of mosquito traps available but they all generally work the same way, slowly converting propane gas into CO2 in order to attract any nearby mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes mistakenly think that it is a person or animal breathing out CO2 and, thus, a source of blood.

The traps then work by either vacuuming up the curious insects into a chamber from which they cannot escape or catching them on a sticky surface.

Mosquito traps are effective but they will only catch so many insects. Wherever you find one mosquito, there will be a thousand more nearby, so traps are limited in their effectiveness.

6. Eat Garlic

Garlic is well-known to be a natural and effective insect repellent. Dog owners often add it to their pet’s diet, for example, as a flea repellent. For some reason fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and most other insects can’t stand garlic. Shame!

Use this knowledge to your advantage and eat plenty of garlic before your next trip. True, you may smell a bit garlicky but you will be able to sit back, relax, and laugh at those hungry mosquitos!

7. Spray Yourself With Vinegar

Sticking with aromas mosquitos don’t particularly like, vinegar is another good repellent. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

It is a reasonably effective mosquito repellent but it can also be a people repellent too. The aroma of strong vinegar can be quite repulsive to a lot of people.

One thing to bear in mind, vinegar is actually quite acidic, so you should never spray it onto your skin in a neat form. Instead, dilute it down with at least six parts water.

It will still be strong enough to repel the mosquitoes and, hopefully, not strong enough to repulse your camping buddies.

8. Wear Protective Clothing

Clothing is another obvious but often overlooked way to protect yourself against insect bites. If there are a lot of mosquitos around, wear long-sleeved tops and pants, not T-shirts and shorts.

The more skin you expose, the bigger the targets you give the mosquitos to aim at. There is also special clothing available that is manufactured with insect repellent called permethrin in the fabric itself.

Permethrin repels midges, ticks, and mosquitoes. Any that do land on you and bite into the fabric will get a lethal dose of the repellent.

9. Light A Good Old Campfire

One common tip found online to keep mosquitoes away while camping is to light a good old campfire. There is some logic to this as mosquitos definitely don’t like fire, heat, or smoke.

However, the smoke is a double-edged sword because it also contains high amounts of CO2 which actually attracts mosquitoes along with a host of other insects and pests.

How many times have you been looking into a campfire only to see a small swarm of insects getting drunk on the CO2 emissions.

One way to remedy this conundrum is to burn something the little pests hate, like lavender, citronella, or lemon balm.

Bonus Tip

One last tip I can give is to wear certain colors. Mosquitoes are repelled by lighter colors such as white, yellow, light blue, and beige. If you want to know more, I have an in-depth article on what colors attract and repel mosquitoes.


There are a number of different approaches you can take when considering how to keep mosquitoes away while camping, starting with selecting a good campsite that is not a breeding ground for the pesky insects filled with swamps and marshland.

You can choose to use either natural or chemical-based solutions but it is worth bearing in mind that chemical-based repellents will, on average, be that bit more effective than natural repellents.

Whichever approach is right for you, though, by planning what repellents you will use in advance, you can ensure that you don’t let mosquitoes ruin your next camping trip.

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Nathan Barker

My wife and I are huge adventure seekers! We've traveled and explored over 40 countries and want to share what we have learned on our journey. We'll be talking about everything from hiking and camping, to guides, reviews and tips that we're sure will help any avid adventurer no matter what walk of life. So relax, grab a cup of coffee and we hope you enjoy the read!