It only takes a few easy steps to mosquito-proof your clothing for camping and hiking in buggy conditions. The short process only requires about 10 minutes of actual effort, a few hours of drying time, and $15 dollars. Check out the steps below to make your own mosquito repellant gear, and discover the ultimate secret to comfort in the wilderness. Permethrin is as effective as 100% Deet, so be prepared to say good-bye to ticks, mosquitos, chiggers, mites and everything else crawling and buzzing!
Buy a bottle of Permethrin. I bought this 24oz bottle of Sawyer Permethrin on Amazon for about $14. It comes with a convenient spray pump top, and the instructions on the bottle are very helpful and clear. 24oz is more than enough liquid to spray 4 camping outfits (pants, shorts, multiple shirts, fleece jackets, and so many socks!).This unique substance can be applied to clothing and fabric and will repel bugs for a rather long time, even lasting through 5-6 washes. In liquid form it can be harmful, but once it dries properly it is completely safe to the skin. It is recommended to use dishwashing gloves and some sort of face protection during application to avoid touching the liquid or inhaling excessive fumes. I wore a bandana over my face.
Gather articles of clothing or other items such as a hammock or tent to be the treated for super-hero mosquito deterrent capabilities. Set up in an area that is well ventilated such as an open garage door or backyard. You will be spraying the items once and leaving them a few hours to dry. It is helpful to use a drying rack or clothesline to hang the items on while spraying and obviously to leave to dry on. If possible, spread the items out so they are touching but not overlapping. This will help you get everything coated quickly and efficiently.
Put on rubber gloves and wrap a cloth over your mouth/nose, open the permethrin, screw on the spray bottle top and start spraying. Try to spray a constant stream roughly 6-8 inches away from the fabric. Clothing items don’t need to be entirely soaked, just evenly coated with a healthy misting. Try not to breathe the fumes, take your time if necessary and step away for fresh air as much as possible. Flip clothing over and be sure to apply the juice to all sides. You’re on the home stretch now. Once everything has been sprayed, put the regular lid back on the bottle and spray out the excess juice from the spray nozzle. Now leave your items for roughly 2-3 hours in a well ventilated area to allow the permethrin to dry and activate as a powerful bug deterrent.
Spray clothing items that mosquitos tend to penetrate and annoy you the most, like socks! Don’t overspray your clothing! Permethrin is strange because it is actually more effective if it is applied only as a light film. Read the instructions on the back of the bottle carefully for specific usage recommendations.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions!