Insects are the bane of campers almost everywhere. Here are some proven tips that every camper must know to keep bugs from bugging you in your tent.
1. Location, location, location
When choosing a site for your tent, avoid setting up near light poles, pools of standing water, the outhouse or rotting logs. Insects love those spots and suddenly your tent will look as delicious as a dropped hot dog.
- A spot with a good breeze will keep the mosquitos at bay, as will setting up near your firepit. Mosquitos don’t like smoke.
2. Tent etiquette
Before you leave home, check your tent for any rips or holes where the tiny critters might infiltrate. Make sure zippers zip up all the way and don’t leave any gaps.
- When setting up the tent, keep the windows and doors zipped closed.
- When bringing in your air mattress or sleeping bags, unzip a crack, toss them in, and zip back up.
Here’s how to get in and out of your tent as fast as possible:
- Have a tarp or cover outside the tent door that is a comfortable, dry place to leave your shoes. With the tent doors closed, remove shoes.
- Sit down, unzip as little of the door as necessary, and scoot in.
- Immediately zip back up and check the tent for anything that may have followed you in.
- Keep flashlights off during entrances and exits, as the bugs will follow the light like, well…a moth to the flame.
- Never leave the tent door unzipped.
3. Additional ammunition
Sometimes, it’s good to have extra firepower in case of serious bug issues. Invest in a bug zapper racquet. If you do get a bug in the tent, playing late-night mosquito badminton is incredibly satisfying.
- Insect repellent and citronella candles can help keep bugs at bay outside the tent – but NEVER spray bug repellent or light candles inside the tent.
- Some campers swear hanging garlic and onions on the outside of your tent will keep the bugs at a distance.
4. Worst-case scenario
If you’ve tried all of the above and still find your tent infested with mosquitos, black flies and other biting insects, there’s only one thing left to do: abandon your tent and go find a hotel room!