Camping, hiking, and climbing are some of the best outdoor activities you can do to break free from your regular and hectic schedule, and it is more fun if you’ll have friends or family to do these with. Connecting with nature is something that can make us feel relaxed and refreshed. However, there’s one thing that may prevent you from having fun, and that is when you get bites from bugs.
Encountering bugs is inevitable in these types of activities because they are usually done in forests and mountains where a lot of different bugs live. Their bites can leave itchy marks on the skin and can sometimes cause diseases.
To avoid this, there are many ways you can do to protect yourself from bug bites. But let us know first the common bugs or insects that may bite us while camping, hiking, and climbing.
Common Bug Bites to Avoid
There are certainly a lot of bugs in the wild and in fact, most of them can’t be easily seen. This is why they can latch onto us and give us bites without us knowing it. And most of the time, bug bites won’t show up until after your adventure was done. Here are some of the common bug bites to avoid.
Mosquitoes are probably the easiest ones to combat because we are able to see them. However, their bites can be dangerous because some of them carry diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and yellow fever. When you get bitten by a mosquito, the common symptoms are itching and soft red bumps on the skin. These can occur up to 48 hours after the bite.
Ticks usually latch on the body’s warmer and moist parts such as scalp, underarm, and even on genital areas. Once they latch onto the body, they can stay there for weeks without us noticing it. After it has drawn enough blood, it will then detach itself.
Some of the symptoms of tick bites are pain and swelling. There may also be a rash or blister that has a burning sensation. You can also get a disease from tick bites which is called Lyme disease.
These bugs are known to be little but they can bite big. They are very hard to spot because of their size but they usually bite around the waist, ankles, and sometimes on skin folds. The worst thing about chiggers is that they can burry themselves under your skin. When you get bitten by chiggers, the common symptoms are extreme itching and swelling and a flat red bump on the skin.
Ants are very common in mountains and forests and their bites can be very painful, especially that of fire ants. They are known to be territorial insects and they usually move in swarms. They can climb up your legs and attack you repeatedly.
When you get bitten by ants, there would be a group of swollen red spots as well as blisters on your skin. These are painful, itchy, and can last for about a week.
Bees and Wasps
There are also many bees and wasps that live in forests and mountains, therefore, you need to be careful around them. Their bites can be really painful, and there are also some people who are allergic to them. When you get stung by a bee or wasp, you will feel a sharp burning pain, and there will be a red welt on the area of the sting.
People who are allergic to bees and wasps on the other hand, may experience wheezing, shortness of breath, and fast heart rate. There can also be swelling on their face, lips, and tongue.
How to Protect Yourself from Bug Bites
Now that you know the common bugs that you may encounter when you go camping, hiking, and climbing, it’s time to learn how to protect yourself from them. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to protect yourself from bug bites.
Use Insect Repellents
This is the most common and probably the best option for you to avoid bug bites. It’s better to choose insect repellents that contain DEET, because they are better in keeping bugs and insects away. Insect repellents come in many types such as sprays, lotions, and bands.
Wear Light Colored, Loose, and Tightly Woven Clothing
Most insects and bugs, especially mosquitoes, are more attracted to darker colors that’s why it’s better to wear light colored ones during these activities. It’s also better if you choose to wear loose clothes because this will make it more difficult for them to reach your skin. Clothes with tightly woven fabrics are also great because bugs will find it difficult to get through them.
Wear Socks, Shoes, and Long Pants
Wearing socks, shoes, and long pants are advisable when hiking and climbing because these can protect you from getting bumps and scratches from rocks and woods. But aside from that, these can also protect you from getting bug bites.
Avoid Camping or Staying on Sandy Areas
If you do not want to get ant bites, it’s better to move away from areas that are sandy because these are usually homes of ants. If ever you’ll see a nest or other signs, resist temptation and stay away from them.
Keep Your Foods and Trash Covered
When camping, make sure that all of your foods and as well as your trash are covered because bugs and insects are usually attracted with their smell. You don’t want them sharing foods with you then leaving you bites after.
Avoid Sitting Directly on the Ground
As much as possible, sit on picnic benches or camping chairs instead on the ground or logs. It’s because bugs like ticks can find their way to you by direct contact with surfaces they occupy.
Stick to the Trail
Most bugs live in taller vegetation and other plants away from the trail. They are lurking for potential hosts to pass by. This is why it’s better to stay on an established trail when hiking and climbing to minimize your chances of getting bitten.
Where to Buy
Here are some of the things you can bring on your next camping, hiking, or climbing trip. These products will help you in protecting yourself from bug bites.
This insect-killing repellent is sprayed on clothes and even on tents. It is effective against ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and other bugs. It will not damage or stain your clothes as well as finished surfaces and other outdoor gear. It is also odorless when it dries. Just avoid it from being in contact with your eyes and skin.
This is a two in one zapper lantern that you can take with you when you go camping. It is perfect for outdoor use because it is highly waterproof. You just easily hang it and watch it zap mosquitoes and other bugs. It has an ultra-long life battery that can run for 20 hours.
This is an insect repellent spray that can be applied on the skin. It goes on dry and doesn’t leave any greasy feeling. It can repel mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and other biting bugs you may encounter outdoors. It is safe to use by children as well.
This is a mosquito net repellent pants that is perfect for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and climbing. It will protect your legs from bugs and insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. It is very comfortable to wear and it comes with a free carrying pouch as well.
This is an insect repellent bracelet that is made from all natural plants such as citronella, tea tree, lemon citron, and mint leaves. It is safe to use even by children. It comes in a stylish braided design and there are many colors to choose from. It is also designed for outdoor use because it is waterproof, making it perfect for camping, hiking, and climbing. There are 12 bracelets included for every package and each of them can give you protection up to 250 hours.
You will certainly have a lot of memorable experiences that you can take home with you after camping, hiking, or climbing, and these experiences can be better if you won’t be bringing home bug bites. We hope the tips we shared will help you protect yourself from bug bites on your next outdoor adventure.