How To Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping  

Photo of author
Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

How To keep mosquitoes away while camping

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping  

Many families like planning camping trips in the spring, summer, and fall. Choosing a dry camping spot may be crucial to think about your surroundings when picking a campsite. 

Because mosquitoes enjoy stagnant water, choose a location that is high above any stagnant water sources, such as ponds or swampy land. Getting back to nature and sleeping in the woods has a certain allure—except when mosquitoes infest your tent. Here are some recommendations on how to keep mosquitoes away during camping.

Essential oils 

There are a lot of essential oils that can make mosquitoes go away when camping such as citronella, lavender, cinnamon oil, soybean oil, etc. You can buy these in the market or you can make a DIY version if you’re on a tight budget.

Citronella, Peppermint, and Lavender

Citronella is a mosquito-repellent essential oil that is both natural and effective. It’s an ingredient in many insect repellents, as it’s made from a combination of herbs. Citronella candles can provide up to 50% more protection when used outside.

Minty scents irritate a mosquito’s sensitive senses. Peppermint plants, simply by being present, can discourage the presence of flying insects to some extent. Peppermint leaves can also be crushed and rubbed on the skin to create a personal repellent. This way, mosquitoes wouldn’t even dare to come near you.

Lavender oil was proven to be efficient at repelling adult mosquitoes in a hairless mouse study Believed Source. Mosquitoes are repelled by the scent and oil produced by crushed lavender blossoms. Analgesic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties are all found in lavender.

Wear the right clothes

Wear the right clothes to make sure you’re dressed appropriately to protect your skin from mosquito bites. The importance of long sleeves, long pants, and loose-fitting shirts cannot be overstated. Check out apparel that has insect repellent built right into the fabric for an extra layer of protection. You may be able to avoid using bug spray altogether.

Mosquitoes are attracted to light color

Mosquitoes are drawn to dark clothing, therefore wearing light-colored clothing is a smart option.

Mosquito repellent 

On your camping vacation, you’ll want to bring an efficient mosquito repellent, but make sure it’s waterproof. Most repellents will be washed away by sweat and splashing in the nearby creek. 

Waterproof items will have more staying power, allowing them to endure longer between uses. Whether it’s a DEET-based product or a natural option, find a repellent that works for you. To aid boosts the repellent’s effectiveness, spray it on your clothes, shoes, helmet, or tent.

Tent doors with screen 

A screened enclosure, whether it’s a freestanding unit or one that zips into your tent, will provide a pleasant respite from the buzzing bugs.


You can also use scented candles to fend off the mosquitoes during camping. Different scented candles have mosquito repellent that can shoo away the mosquitos from coming to you. Some scents of it are lavender, citronella, and green tea. 

What Are Some Of The Best Oil Mosquitoes Repellent

Mosquito bites are usually caused by a mixture of fragrance, light, heat, and humidity. Different mosquito species, such as those that transmit malaria, love bacteria and perspiration. 

Others are drawn to carbon dioxide and particular scents on the hands. Natural repellents may be a better alternative if you’re going on a hike, hanging out on your lawn, or going on a camping vacation. This is particularly common among children.

Lemon eucalyptus oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil was used as a mosquito repellant for a long time now. Eucalyptus oil has been authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an effective element in mosquito repellant. According to a recent study, a 32% lemon eucalyptus oil blend gave more than 95% mosquito protection for three hours.

Tea tree oil and coconut oil

Tea tree oil, often known as melaleuca oil, is a popular Australian essential oil. The antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects of this oil are well-known. Tea tree oil has been shown in recent research to be an excellent insect repellant. They also protect against bush flies, and biting midges.

Coconut oil components were shown to repel biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks, whereas tick repellent lasted at least one week, according to a study. A high proportion of coconut oil applied topically can help repel mosquitos and avoid possibly fatal mosquito bites.

Thyme oil

When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the most effective. Thyme leaves can also be thrown into a campfire. Burning the leaves provides 85% protection for 60 to 90 minutes.

Neem oil

Although neem oil is promoted as a natural alternative, there are conflicting reports on its efficacy. In Ethiopia, a recent study on the effectiveness of neem oil indicated that it provided more than 70% protection for three hours. For the reason that it can cause skin irritation, neem oil is not authorized as a topical repellent. 

Avoiding Mosquitos 

When it comes to summer vacations, camping is the ultimate getaway for city dwellers looking for a break from the crowds and traffic. Plus, there are few things more satisfying than escaping the grid in exchange for a simple life in the woods. However, all that fresh air and mountain calm come with a swarm of bothersome mosquitoes.

Always close tent doors

A double-wall tent is the greatest option, and it’s also the most frequent outdoor shelter. Two-layer tents are exceptionally well ventilated for warmer climes, with an inner mesh body for insect protection and a separate nylon rain fly for privacy and keeping out water (which also tend to draw mosquitos). 

You wouldn’t leave the doors open at home, so don’t do it while camping. Even if you’re only going outside for a few minutes, keep your tent or screen zipped up at all times. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over this one either.

Choose good locations

Choose a location with a good wind, since the breeze will assist to keep the bugs away. It’s also a good idea to stay away from areas near lakes, rivers, and streams. 

However, there are situations when you simply cannot avoid coming into contact with water, like when it rains. Also note how much sun versus shadow your campsite receives, which is a good indicator of how wet your site will be after a storm; a sunny place will dry out faster.

Make a campfire

A bonfire is a must-have for any camping vacation, and it’s also an excellent technique to keep mosquitoes at bay, as most bugs hate fire and smoke. While you’re at it, throw some s’mores on top.

Check your gears

Do your study and find the correct gear to keep you protected from the harmful bugs before you hit the road. Of course, you would want a good tent, but you should also think about a few extras that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without being eaten alive. 

Make sure there are no holes

A screened enclosure, whether it’s a freestanding unit or one that zips into your tent, will provide a pleasant respite from the buzzing bugs.

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Are Attracted To? 

Mosquitoes are attracted to certain scents in skin care products. Lactic acid, which is naturally produced by humans when they exercise or eat specific meals, is commonly found in lotions and creams designed to smooth skin. 

People who have a higher lactic acid accumulation are more likely to attract mosquitos, so adding even more lactic acid to the mix is definitely not the best way to keep these pests at bay.

Blood and sweat

There are four basic blood types, each with its own distinct aroma. Mosquitoes like Type O blood and dislike Type A, according to research. 

So, unless you want to go speed dating with many mosquitoes, make sure you lather up with repellant and wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing. Lactic acid is a substance found in the body that attracts these insects. When you exercise, you also expel more body heat, which is reportedly another mosquito magnet.


Scent is the primary means by which these insects locate their prey. Because the scent of beer drinkers is typically very strong, mosquitos will prefer those who smell of beer than those who are only drinking water, tea, juice, or any other beverage.


Dark and dramatic hues like red, black, navy blue, and floral attract mosquitoes. Dress in light, neutral colors in addition to covering yourself with long sleeves and pants. It is important to wear loose-fitting sloths since insects like mosquitoes can penetrate and bite through tight ones. 


Mosquitoes are attracted to floral-scented soaps, deodorants, perfumes, and lotions. They’re drawn to smelly feet or socks, as well as your sweat or skin odor, and they’ll use these skin-derived chemical signals and scents to track you down.

Can I Use Bug Spray To Repel Mosquitoes? 

Regular insect sprays contain EPA-registered active chemicals such as oil of lemon eucalyptus, DEET, picaridin, and IR3535, and while they can efficiently repel mosquitos, ticks, and flies in your yard, they won’t be nearly as effective in large spaces.


The most prevalent type of repellent is still spray. They can be sprayed directly on the skin, and some can even be safely sprayed on clothing. When using sprays, make sure to evenly coat your skin and avoid your eyes.


An alternative for sprays are lotions–which resulted to be more effective than sprays because they are absorbed deeper into the skin and provide longer protection. You have to make sure that you  don’t pick something that will make your skin feel greasy and uncomfortable.


When you’re on the run, wipes are a great option. Because you can readily reach regions like ears and necks with them, they can be easier to use on children.

Bracelet / Wristband

Some people prefer wristbands since they are more convenient and don’t require you to put anything on your skin. You don’t have to bother about reapplying a spray for hours if you wear them. Unfortunately, they’re not as effective as more usual alternatives like sprays and lotions.

Incense Sticks

A variety of essential oils are used to make incense sticks. Another repellent that works for some people but not for others. It depends on the components, the wind, and the size of the area you want to keep mosquitos out of. Unfortunately, they don’t usually last long before you need to replace them.