11 Best Deet-free Bug and Insect Repellents For Camping

Did you know there are many different kinds of bug and mosquito repellent that have no deet? One of the biggest reasons people hate being outdoors is the bugs. And this year, it seems the mosquitos and bugs are worse than normal. A few years back, I would either be hiding inside or drowning myself in deet. However, there are so many different options nowadays that bugs shouldn’t keep you from being outside.

There are multiple deet-free solutions. None of them are 100% effective all of the time, but are very effective and safer for you. Preventing bug bites protects your health and it makes being outdoors more enjoyable. It is one of the most important hiking essentials or camping essentials. And whatever you choose to use, water-proof is always a good idea.

Best Deet-Free Insect Repellents

As a kid, if we remembered, we’d use nasty bug spray with deet. Most of the time, we would just go without and brave the mosquitos and ticks. However, there are so many options other than bug spray with deet, that you don’t have to use harmful bug spray. Here are eleven bug and mosquito repellents that do not contain deet. Also at the bottom, I have included several ways to prevent mosquitos.

1. Insect Shield

Insect Shield treats clothing with permethrin. You can either buy the spray and treat your clothing, or buy clothing that is already treated. Another option is to send your clothing to be treated. Here are some of our favorite Insect Shield products:

Please note, this post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on those links, I may earn a small commision at no cost to you.

2. Natural Bug Sprays

There are many options for natural bug sprays. Many of them contain essential oils or picaridin. Proven is by far my favorite, because it’s scent-free and comes in a lotion or spray. And Green Goo Bugs Be Gone is also one of my recommended choices too. Here are a few bug sprays that work extremely well and contain no deet:

3. Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are a great way to deter bags. Just make sure you do not leave them unattended. Coleman is a good brand for citronella candles because it comes with a lid for easy storage.

4. Bug Deterrent Wipes

I love the wipes! Venture Wipes Bug Defense is an easy way for your to protect your kids from mosquitos and ticks. Wipes are also mess-free and don’t take up a lot of room in your pack.

5. Bug Repellant Bracelets

These are one of the best inventions for kids who hate putting on bug spray. I actually have to hide them because my son will put five on each extremity. My favorite brand is BuggyBands.

6. Lights

If we are car camping, it’s all about the bug zapping lights. These are particularly helpful in the camp kitchen. For camping, I prefer the Wisely Bug Zappers because they are re-chargable via USB or solar and they are very portable.

7. Mosquito Repellent Stickers

These are not just for little kids. Mosquito repellent stickers are awsome for sticking on your clothing, your sleeping bag and or any of your gear. BuggyBands Mosquito Repellant Stickers last the longest and stay attached much longer than other brands. Did I mention that they are plant-based?

8. Incense Sticks

My husband prefers these for backpacking. You can get the citronella incense either with sticks or a coil. Remember though to keep these away from flammable items. Mintronella is what we use for our VRBO.

9. Citronella Tiki Torches

For our patio through, I love the citronella torches. They are perfect for when we are BBQing or just visiting outside in the summer evenings.

10. Bug Repellent Balm

I am a sucker for anything that comes in a tube and there is no liquid to make things messy. Murphy’s makes a great anti-mosquito balm that comes in a tin or a Chapstick tube thing.

11. Balls

I don’t even know what these are really called, but I like to call them bugballs. Hang them up, put them around your area or even in your pocket. There is also a tin as well, with the deterrant int it.

I have also heard that used dryer sheets help too, but I have never tried it. And if all else fails, you can always use Off! Deep Woods (does contain deet). Let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite bug repellent.

Though these are not proven to be 100% effective, other ways to repel mosquitos while camping include:

  1. Eat onions or garlic.
  2. Avoid eating sugar.
  3. Use odorless deodorants and lotions.
  4. Wear protective clothing.
  5. Avoid camping by water.
  6. Have a campfire (restrictions permitting).
  7. Keep tent and camper doors shut.
  8. Have the right camping gear.

Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite bug repellent or way to keep the mosquitos away while camping hiking and backpacking. I would love to hear your suggestions.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to Mama Bear Outdoors

Sign up to get more great outdoor ideas, tips, and gear reviews. You want be spammed, I promise :)