Cracking Choice is reader-supported and thanks to your clicks (at no extra cost to you) we may earn a small commission on qualifying links. Learn more here.

Planning a camping trip and want to make sure you don't get eaten alive by mosquitoes?

We've all been there, you've forgotten to pack repellent and you are swatting biting insects left, right and center.

We wouldn't wish that on anyone, so we decided to seek out the best insect repellent money can buy, so you're not caught out on your next camping trip, and can spend more time relaxing in the sun.

Read on to read our review of the best mosquito repellents for camping!

How We Uncover The Best For You

Camping can be a lot of fun, especially in the summer months if the weather is good and the sun is out. However, there's always the problem of pesky bugs getting in the way of your relaxation time. And insect bites can be quite a risk to allergy sufferers.

Mosquito repellent or mosquito repellent devices are an answer, but which is the right option? There are so many options, so how do you know which one is going to be most effective at getting rid of the skeeters.

We have spent ages going through all the sprays and mosquito repellent devices we could find, and sifting through thousands of reviews to make sure we got the best selection possible, check out our top picks for the most effective mosquito repellents below and grab one before your next trip today!

Best For The Campsite

Thermacell MRBPR

A Cracking Choice For THe Best Mosquito Repellent Device For Covering Large Areas


We Chose This Because

  • Group Use
  • DEET - Free
  • Portable

Things We Love

Looking for a way to keep the mosquitoes away without resorting to smelly, sticky sprays and lotions?

Look no further than the Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller. The best mosquito repellent device, this little repeller is a powerhouse when it comes to mosquito protection, repelling up to 15 ft (175 sq ft) without any sprays or lotions on your skin. It comes with 4 repellent mats and each repellent mat lasts about 4 hours.

What we love even more about this is you can use multiple when you are camping with family or friends to cover a large area and make sure a whole group of campers won't have to worry about annoying bug bites & itches!

Things To Know

This mosquito repellent device is easy to take with you wherever you go thanks to its compact size. It uses DEET-free technology, you can rest assured that it's safe for the whole family - plus it's pet-safe and scent-free too!

It has a two-year warranty and can be easily stored in its water-repellent bag if the weather takes a turn for the worse, which is clever as you want to keep the repellent mat dry. What makes it great for camping is that it runs on camping canisters which makes it portable.

So whether you're enjoying a family camping trip or a backpacking adventure, make sure you bring along a Thermacell, the best Mosquito Repellent Device for maximum protection!

Best Lotion

Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion

A Cracking Choice For An Insect Repellent Lotion


We Chose This Because

  • Lotion Application
  • DEET - Free
  • Odorless

Things We Love

Have you ever been outside enjoying a beautiful day, only to be ruined by pesky bugs? Sawyer Picaridin Lotion is a great option if you're looking for a lotion to keep annoying bugs away.

Picaridin mosquito repellent lotion is a Deet-free mosquito repellent that repels biting flies, stable flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies for up to 14 hours

It comes in many sizes from 1 Quart to a much smaller 3 oz. This means you can continue to enjoy your day, all day, without being bothered by bugs!

Things To Know

This lotion is not oily which makes it easy to apply to exposed areas of your skin not covered by your clothing.

As it is a lotion it rubs on smoothly, and because it doesn't contain any smelly chemicals, you'll be the only one who knows it's there!

This Picaridin Lotion repellent means you can enjoy your time outdoors without pesky critters ruining your fun. So go ahead, grab some today.

Best Spray

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus

A Cracking Choice For An Spray-on Insect Repellent


We Chose This Because

  • Pump Spray
  • Fragrance
  • Eco-Friendly

Things We Love

Mosquito repellent is key for a fun summer camping trip. What is great about this repellent is that it's far more eco-friendly than a lot of other mosquito repellents.

This repellent is made with the oil of lemon eucalyptus, and it has a very pleasant citrus smell. It is also quite effective, lasting up to 6 hours.

So if you're looking for an insect repellent that is both effective and environmentally friendly, Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus is a perfect choice.

Things To Know

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus is a Deet-free solution, which means it's non-toxic and safe for children.

Don't let the ingredients confuse you, this repellent is not oily. It comes in an easy-to-use bottle with a pump spray action, that comes in a handy travel size.

This mosquito repellent will make your next camping trip more enjoyable because you will be able to focus on fun, not mosquito bites.

Best For Clothes And Gear

Permethrin Clothes and Gear Repellent 

A Cracking Choice For Keeping Mosquitos from Biting You Through Your Gear


We Chose This Because

  • Effective Protection
  • Safe for Fabric
  • Long Lasting

Things We Love

This is a great approach to keeping mosquitoes at bay. Many people think that mosquito repellent is only for their skin, but it is also important to treat your clothing and gear.

Permethrin is a great way to do this. It will treat up to five complete outfits and does not stain.

It dries quickly and before you know it, you will be ready to face the summer's evening on the campsite safe in the knowledge that no mosquitos will be biting you through your clothing.

Things To Know

When applied to clothes and gear, this odorless insect repellent will help keep mosquitoes away.

The great thing about permethrin is that it only needs to be applied once and you have six weeks or 6 washes, whichever comes first.

The insect repellent can be used on clothing, mosquito nets, tents, sleeping bags, and other gear. It's important to follow the instructions on the product label when applying mosquito repellent.

This mosquito repellent is non-toxic to humans and when used as directed, is a great way to keep mosquitoes from coming near.

Best Wipes

REPEL Insect Wipes

A Cracking Choice For Campers On The Go


We Chose This Because

  • Mosquito Repelling Wipes
  • Long Lasting
  • Lightweight and Transportable

Things We Love

Whether you're out on a hike, spending time at the beach, or just enjoying a backyard BBQ, Repel insect wipes are the perfect way to keep insects at bay!

Containing 30% Deet, Repel provides long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, and other pesky insects. So go ahead and enjoy your time outdoors without worry - Repel has got you covered!

Things To Know

These wipes are ideal for backpackers and campers on the go as they are easy to pack and lightweight to carry. Pop them into your pack and they will come in handy when you need them most.

With 15 quick and easy-to-apply wipes means protection from insects with a quick wipe over exposed areas of your skin. Repel insect wipes will wipe out any worry about insect bites.

Best Mosquito Repellent For You

When planning a camping trip, one of the most important things to consider is how to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. But how? We have built a Buyers Guide to help you answer that question.


There are a variety of mosquito repellents and mosquito repellent devices on the market, so it is important to choose the one that is best for you and your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best mosquito repellent options for camping:

Active ingredients

The active ingredients in mosquito repellents are what makes them effective. Some of the most common active ingredients include DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535. Be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that the repellent you choose contains an ingredient that is effective against mosquitoes in your area.


Mosquito repellent devices and mosquito repellents come in a variety of formulations, including lotions, sprays, and wipes. Be sure to choose a formulation that is easy to apply and that will last for the duration of your trip.

Protection time

Another important factor to consider is how long the repellent will last. If you're going to be camping for several days, you'll need a repellent that will continue to work for the duration of your trip.

Some repellents only last for a few hours, while others can last up to 8 hours. Some products may need to be reapplied more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.

Be sure to check how often the repellent needs to be applied. The perfect solution is a repellent that will give you the protection you need without you having to reapply it too often.


When used as directed, mosquito repellents are safe for most people. However, some people may be allergic to certain ingredients. Check for allergens personal to you, and test the product on a small area of skin before using it on your entire body. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue use immediately and consult a doctor.


You want a repellent that is safe for the environment and will not harm plants or animals. DEET is a common active ingredient in mosquito repellents, but it can be harmful to the environment. Instead, look for repellents or a mosquito repellent device with natural ingredients like essential oils. These are also effective at repelling mosquitoes but are much safer for the environment.

The Best  Mosquito Repellent for Camping - Your Questions Answered

It's one thing to have a list of products in front of you, it's another thing to make your choice. We understand that as we have read loads of reviews to build our shortlist. What we like to do, is include answers to some of the questions other campers have asked. We hope you find this helpful.

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!


What Is The Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Your Campsite?

There is no silver bullet when it comes to repelling mosquitoes, but there are a few things you can do to minimize your exposure to these pests and to keep mosquitoes out of your campsite.

A good way to keep bugs out of your campsite is to camp in an area that is not susceptible to bug infestations. If you know there will be a lot of biting insects in the area where you are camping, try to find a campsite that is further away from standing water and trees, as these are two of the main places where bugs like to congregate.

Make sure to keep a clean camp. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water and garbage, so getting rid of any potential breeding grounds will help reduce their numbers.

Use mosquito repellent when you are outside. The advice to stay indoors during peak mosquito hours (dusk and dawn) is great, but if you are camping in the great outdoors, you'll need to take extra measures; wear long sleeves and pants.

Of course, if you are inside your tent, a mosquito repellent device is a great option.

Finally, consider using a mosquito trap. These devices lure in mosquitoes with CO2 and then trap them, effectively reducing their population in your immediate area.

The best way to keep mosquitoes out of your sleeping area is to use a mosquito net. Mosquito nets are made of a fine mesh that mosquitoes cannot penetrate. They are available in various sizes, so you can choose one that will cover your sleeping area.

Many tents come with meshing included as part of the structure of any openings. This means you can open and unzip the windows and enjoy the cool air without fighting off mosquitoes as a result

What Is The Most Effective Mosquito Repellent?

Few things are more frustrating than being kept awake by the high-pitched whine of a mosquito. These tiny biting insects are not only a nuisance, but they can also transmit a variety of diseases, including malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

Fortunately, there are a number of products that can help to repel mosquitoes and keep them at bay.

There are a number of mosquito repellents on the market, but the most effective ones contain DEET. Mosquitoes are deterred by the smell of DEET, and it is effective at repelling both mosquitoes and ticks.

However, some people don't like to use DEET because it can be strong smelling and can cause skin irritation. If you don't want to use DEET, there are a number of other options available, including picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), and IR3535.

A 2018 study found that products containing Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (an essential oil), or Permethrin were all effective at repelling mosquitoes. When applied properly, these products can provide long-lasting protection against these pesky insects.

Oils, lotions, creams, and sprays can all be effective repellents, as can candles containing essential oils.

For those who want a hands-free option, there are also bracelets and zappers that use ultrasonic waves to deter mosquitoes.

And for extended protection, there are time-released products and thermacell devices that create an invisible barrier of repellent from the mosquito repellent device.

And then, of course, you can look into essential oils. Lemon Eucalyptus is a natural mosquito repellent. Rosemary, Lavender and Basil also act as natural repellents as their scents help mask the aromas from humans that attract them in the first place.

With so many insect repellents available, there is no excuse to let mosquitoes ruin your summer fun.

So if you're looking for a way to get some relief from mosquito bites, be sure to give one of these products a try.

What Added To A Campfire Keeps Mosquitoes Away?

Some different plants and oils can be burned to keep mosquitoes away from a campfire.

Some popular options include lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, and rosemary oil. If you are lucky enough to have basil or lavender plants around a campsite, these can also help repel mosquitoes as they are natural repellents.

Citronella oil is a common ingredient in candles and lotions that are meant to repel mosquitoes. The oil is distilled from the leaves of the lemongrass plant. It has a strong, citrusy smell that many people find unpleasant. However, it does seem to be effective at mosquito protection.

So next time you are setting up your campfire, consider adding some natural repellents.

Do Campfires Attract Mosquitoes?

Campfires do not attract mosquitoes any more than any other warm, moist environment. Campsites can have wet areas sometimes and if you light a campfire nearby you get a moist and humid environment that is attractive to mosquitoes. 

Mosquitoes are attracted to light in general, and they are also attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans and other animals exhale. 

So while a campfire itself does not attract mosquitoes, and the warmth and light it emits can create a warmer, more moist environment that is attractive to mosquitoes, it is the people and animals around the campfire that are actually attracting the mosquitoes.

How Do I Keep Bugs Out Of My Tent?

First, try using a tent that is specifically designed to protect against insects. These tents typically have screens on all the windows and doors, which will help keep bugs from getting inside.

You can also apply insect repellents to the outside of tents, which will help deter bugs from coming near them.

Try using an insect repellent device inside your tent, following the directions carefully.

Use a tent with a tight-fitting screen door or else pitch your tent in an area with little vegetation.

If using a ground cloth, spray it with insecticide before placing the tent on top of it.

Try to avoid sleeping near areas where insects congregate, such as garbage cans or food preparation areas.

Hang up mosquito netting around your bed area to create a barrier between you and any potential biting pests.

Use a camping fan in your tent to keep the air moving and make it harder for insects to land on you.

Keep food sealed and stored properly, and don't leave any attractants (such as perfumes or lotions) out in the open.

Finally, make sure to keep your tent clean while you are camping. Bugs are attracted to food and garbage, so be sure to keep your tent free of crumbs and other food debris. Regularly empty out any garbage that accumulates in your tent, and don't forget to wipe it out it before you pack it up to go home!

What Is Permethrin Spray?

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide which belongs to the group of chemicals called neonicotinoids. It is used in a number of different applications, including as an insecticide for head lice, scabies, and clothing moths.

Permethrin is also registered for use as a mosquito repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using permethrin-treated clothing and gear when participating in outdoor activities in areas where there is known to be a risk of exposure to mosquitoes that may carry Zika virus.

Does Thermacell Really Work?

A lot of campers swear by them. Mosquito mats are commonly used in tropical climates to keep mosquitos out of homes and bedroom. 

The theory behind it does make sense. Mosquitoes are attracted to certain chemical compounds in your sweat and breath, and the Thermacell distributes repellent around you that blocks those chemicals.

The only way to know for sure is to try it out yourself. If you're going on an outdoor excursion where there is a high risk of mosquito bites, bring a Thermacell with you and give it a go. 

Do Tiki Torches Repel Mosquitoes?

No, tiki torches do not repel mosquitoes. In fact, they may actually attract them. Mosquitoes are attracted to light, so a flame torch may actually draw them closer to you rather than deter them.

There are other methods of mosquito control that are more effective, such as a mosquito repellent device, mosquito repellent lotions and sprays, and netting. 

If you're looking for a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay, try hanging rosemary or citronella plants around your outdoor space. Both of these plants have oils that can help keep mosquitoes away. You can also try making your own mosquito repellent by mixing together essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon.

Can You Spray Your Tent With Bug Spray?

Yes, you can spray your tent with bug spray. However, it's important to be aware that the chemicals in bug spray can be harmful to your health, so you should take care to avoid breathing in the fumes and avoid getting the spray on your skin. You should also make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after spraying your tent.


With summer comes mosquito season. These pesky insects are not only a nuisance, but they can also transmit diseases like Zika and West Nile virus. Fortunately, there are a variety of products on the market that can help keep mosquitoes at bay. We found a selection for you to consider. Be sure to read the specs carefully in order to choose one that is right for you.

Our Choice For A Mosquito Repellent Device

Thermacell MRBPR

Our Choice For A Mosquito Repellent Lotion

Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion

Our Choice For A Mosquito Repellent Spray

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus

Our Choice For Clothes and Gear

Permethrin Clothes & Gear Repellent

Our Choice For Mosquito Repellent Wipes

REPEL Insect wipes


I hope this article has helped you plan how you will stay bite-free on this camping trip. We did the research and found you a range of mosquito repellents and a mosquito repellent device to consider. Remember, mosquito repellents are most effective when used in combination with other mosquito control methods, such as wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito netting, and staying in mosquito-free areas.

It feels great that whatever you choose that we have made your life easier and by making your choices clearer, you now have more time for fun!

Keep asking questions and we will keep finding answers for you.

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

Share this post