Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping

Going on camping is a great way to escape the monotonous daily life. After you unwind and reconnect with nature, a sense of calm and Zen will come upon you, but so will mosquitoes. You’re bound to encounter bugs, mosquitoes, ticks, and what not while camping, especially during summertime. And it’s not only the danger of annoying itchy bites; you can also get infected with deadly diseases.

That’s why everyone must consider getting mosquito repellents before going camping. Mosquito repellents come in various forms and sizes. The best mosquito repellent device for camping can be any type like – spray, lotion, electric repeller, zapper, bracelet, or even incense stick.  It’s up to you to decide which repellent is going to work best according to your needs. You can also use multiple repellents to get stronger protection in heavily infested areas.

Here, different types of mosquito repellents are reviewed and discussed at length. Plus, the buying guide can help you choose the right repellent. Besides, you can get the idea of what to do or what not to do while camping and make the trip more enjoyable.

Types of Mosquito Repellents

There are various types of repellents available in the market. They vary in size, shape, functionality, ingredients whatnot. But generally, there are three basic types:

Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are mostly made with natural active ingredients and free from any harmful chemicals. Therefore, these are the safest repellents to use on the skin. These repellents contain natural plant oils like geranium, citronella, peppermint, cedar, soybean oil, etc.  Moreover, they don’t require regulation for safety and effectiveness as they are not synthesized and only present in small amounts.

Although natural repellents are normally considered less effective at fighting mosquitoes compared to chemically based repellents, they need to be reapplied frequently as well.

Chemical-Based Repellents

Chemical-based repellents may not be everyone’s favorite, but they have been proven to be most effective for repelling mosquitoes. Some of the most common ingredients are:

  • DEET – One of the most popular and widely used repellent till now is DEET (diethyltoluamide). The higher the percentage of DEET in the repellent, the longer and more effective the protection against mosquitoes. However, it should be used with caution and not recommended for children under two months. It’s also recommended to use the lowest concentration, so it doesn’t damage the skin. It may not be a perfect solution, but DEET is undoubtedly the best choice for a repellent for heavily infested areas.
  • Picaridin – Picaridin is mostly used as a repellent lotion for skin. It’s highly recommended by the authorities, such as the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As it is less potent compared to DEET, it’s often recommended as a better alternative.
  • Synthesized Plant Oil – Synthesized plant oils offer similar effects to natural plant oils. But they contain chemical solutions and are thus regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency for use. Synthesized oils like oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is extracted from lemon eucalyptus leaves and then chemically compounded to create repellent sprays. These provide strong, effective, and long-lasting protection against bugs and mosquitoes.

Wristbands and Bracelets

If those who don’t like to apply repellent on their skin, these are the safer options. Just wear a band around the wrist or ankle and be protected from mosquito bites. The mosquito repellent bands and bracelets have non-synthesized plant oils integrated into them. So the repellent doesn’t need to be directly applied onto the skin.

While camping or doing outdoor activities, these devices come in handy as a way to control mosquitoes. However, bracelets don’t guarantee 100% protection against bites. As the skin farthest away from the bands still remain vulnerable to mosquitoes. Despite that, wristbands and clips continue to be popular among teens and children.

Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller

One of the most unique and innovative mosquito repellents for camping is the Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller.  Being evaluated by EPA for safety and effectiveness, this high-tech device is specially designed for camping, hunting, and other outdoor adventures.

This fuel-powered repeller uses the heat activated repellent mats to create a protective barrier against bugs and mosquitoes. It creates a complete mosquito-free zone of 15 feet. The compact frame offers 12 hours of mosquito-free relief.

Being flame, smoke, and scent free, the MR300 repeller won’t be much of a bother on the outside. Also, it is DEET free, and there’s no chemical-to-skin contact. The MR300 is a good choice if you have sensitive skin and don’t want to use lotion or spray on your skin.

Portable, durable, and easy to carry, the Thermacell MR300 Repeller is perfect for any outdoor excursions.


·      Black exterior and sleek design

·      Highly effective and trusted performance

·      Scent-free, long-lasting, and easy to use

·      No chemical sprays on skin or clothing

·      Lightweight and portable body great for traveling


·      Holster not included

Thermacell MR450 Portable Mosquito Repeller

Thermacell MR450 Mosquito Repeller is the more rugged and improved version of the Thermacell MR300 coupled with advanced technology. If you’re familiar with MR300 and looking for an upgrade, then the Thermacell MR450 is the perfect choice.

The functions and mechanics of MR450 are more or less the same as the MR300 device. It is powered by the Thermacell fuel cartridge and provides 12 hours of protection. This repellent is capable of 15 feet mosquito-free zone.

The MR450 Repeller is more portable and durable thanks to its attached belt clip for transport and storage. The all-new grill design and the over-molded rubber grips are able to withstand all types of use. Another convenient addition is the blue LED ZoneCheck feature, which alerts you when the fuel runs out.


  • Easy portability and increased durability
  • Advanced technology for better performance
  • Effective, trusted and easy-to-use
  • Built-in led light for monitoring
  • Non-toxic and odor-free protection


  • Not much effective against any kind of air movement

Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller Gen 2.0

Another innovative device from Thermacell, the Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller is a highly effective and convenient repellent that can operate at any elevation. Being the Popular Science 2018 BOWN Award Winner, there’s no question of its quality and performance.

The Radius works similar to portable repellers, but the uniqueness is that its heat source is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It uses liquid instead of mats to repel mosquitoes. Therefore, the durable effect lasts longer, and it’s easier to gauge how much is left.  The Radius offers protection up to 40 hours or 12 hours, based on the cartridge size. It even operates for more than 6.5 hours on a single charge.

The simple push-button and the optional automatic shut-off timer make operating this device easier. Moreover, having a travel lock and being TSA-compliant, the Radius is great for airline travel.

All in all, this silent and odorless repellent is a mess, spray and DEET free as well, creating a mosquito-free environment during camping.


  • Convenient and efficient use of repellent
  • Skin and clothes protected from toxic chemicals
  • Long-lasting refills and battery life indicator
  • Compact size and sleek design
  • Includes refill cartridge, USB cable, and USB power adapter


  • Takes time to start working

Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller Gen 2.0

The Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller is specially designed for campers who travel light. It’s a great weapon of choice for fighting against bugs and mosquitoes when going on backpacking trips.

A large camp-stove butane tank fuels the Backpacker Repeller. According to the manufacturer, a 4 oz fuel canister can power the repellent for 90 hours. The operation is easy enough as you just need to switch the valve on and click the piezo starter once or twice till it ignites. Within five minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy a mosquito-free evening. Without changing the mat, it provides 15 feet zone and 4 hours of uninterrupted coverage.

As no protection is needed for skin, eye, or respiratory exposure, the device is perfectly safe to use. It emits a very faint, almost non-existent scent, which is way better than a toxic chemical smell. Also, the Backpacker Repeller comes with its own water-resistant travel bag. So, you won’t have any difficulty packing it into your backpack or camping gear.


  • Compact size fit for travel
  • Less bulky than previous models
  • Easy to pack and use
  • Faint and pleasant odor
  • Uses fuel available for most campers


  • Mats need to be disposed of carefully

Thermacell Cambridge Mosquito Repellent Patio Shield Lantern

The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Lantern is not just great for camping; it’s also ideal to use for family parties in the backyard. Convenient, decorative, and effective, on the whole, it’s the perfect family-friendly product.

Most of the repellent devices on our list have the one and only purpose of repelling bugs and mosquitoes. However, the Thermacell Lantern works both as a repellent and a lantern. And doing a splendid job on both fronts, no less!

This Thermacell Repellent Lantern runs on butane fuel. To activate the repellent, first, turn on the knob at the top. Then twist it further to ignite position, and you can see the orange glow to indicate it’s on. Note that the light and the repellent can function independently, meaning both don’t have to be on or off at the same time. The lantern is powered by 3 AAA batteries.

Unlike traditional lanterns, this item doesn’t emit open flames, so your eyes will be safe from fire and smoke. And this silent, scent-free powerful repellent provides 15 feet of protection from bugs and mosquitoes.


  • Powerful invisible barrier against mosquitoes
  • No open flame, no smells, no messy spray
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ambient light plus attractive construction
  • Trusted by families for outdoor use


  • Expensive refills

OFF! Deep Woods Insect & Mosquito Repellent VIII

Mosquito repellents containing DEET based ingredients offer the strongest and longest protection against bugs and mosquitoes. OFF! Deep Woods Insect and Mosquito Repellent is one of the top choices for going into the wild, be it camping, hiking, or backpacking.

DEET is an active ingredient that works by interfering with the mosquito’s antennae’s neurons and receptors that detect chemicals. When applied properly, it forms a vapor barrier that prevents mosquitoes from landing on the skin. Using this method, the OFF Repellent repels mosquitoes even in the harshest conditions. As it contains 25% of DEET, it’s also effective against biting flies, gnats, and chiggers.

Because the OFF Repellent is formulated with the official recommended percentage, it’s perfectly safe to handle and use. Moreover, it utilizes the powder-dry formula, so no oily or greasy residue will be in your skin or clothing. Besides, this spray doesn’t damage clothes made of nylon, cotton, or wool. So, you’ll be safe for the day from mosquitoes that may carry the Zika, Dengue, or West Nile viruses.


  • Most effective and powerful repellent
  • Long-lasting protection for hours
  • Non-greasy application on surfaces
  • No clothing damage when applied
  • Safe to use for adults and children


  • Can cause minor skin or eye irritations when applied directly

Repel 100 Insect Repellent

If you don’t mind the smell and feel of DEET and looking for something even stronger, then Repel 100 Insect Repellent is the answer. You won’t find a better option for effective protection from mosquitoes as it contains 98.11% DEET.

The DEET percentage is the highest in this repellent as it’s specifically formulated for severe insect conditions. Repel 100 acts as a shield in areas heavily infested with dangerous bugs and mosquitoes carrying viruses and disease. DEET is already lethal, to begin with, but Repel takes it up to a notch by being deadly for insects.

You don’t even need to spray on yourself directly. Just spray around yourself a bit, and you’ll be good to go. Repel 100 provides up to 10 hours of protection, and reapplying will last you for the whole day. Also, the compact size is convenient enough to carry in your backpack.


  • Ideal for heavily insect-infested regions
  • Compact, travel-friendly pump spray
  • Highly effective during prolonged outdoor activities
  • Protection from all kinds of insects
  • Developed for outdoor enthusiasts


  • Not safe for babies and small kids

Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent

If you have safety concerns regarding DEET, there’s a safer and more effective option available in the form of Picaridin. Sawyer Products offers different varieties of wearable Picaridin repellents, so there are multiple options available.

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent is vastly efficient in repelling a wide variety of pests, including mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, sand flies, gnats, chiggers, and midges. In case of safety, durability, and user-friendliness, it’s a major improvement over protection.

The Sawyer Repellent is available both as lotion and spray. Both offer all-day protection and are highly effective against bugs and mosquitoes. The repellent is non-greasy and has a pleasant low citrus odor. Moreover, it dries fast and doesn’t damage plastics or synthetic coatings. Therefore, it’s safe to use on clothing, backpacks, watches, sunglasses, fishing line, firearm finishes, and more.

One of the longest-lasting repellents available, the lotion offers up to 14 hours of protection against mosquitoes, and the spray offers up to 12 hours. Both repel a variety of flies, chiggers, and gnats for up to 8 hours. The lotion lasts longer than the spray, although the spray is more effective when applied to clothing. To get the best use, Sawyer recommends applying lotion on the skin and spraying on the clothing.


  • Non-greasy Fragrance-free application
  • One of the longest-lasting repellents available
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Doesn’t damage synthetics or plastics
  • Safe to use for the whole family


  • Need to be applied more for sufficient coverage

Cliganic 10 Pack Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

Cliganic’s mosquito repellent bracelets are an easy and fun way to deal with mosquito bites when you’re camping with your family. Specially geared towards kids and teens, the neon-colored bracelets can be worn by adults as well.

The bracelets use a blend of essential oils: geraniol oil, lemongrass oil, and citronella oil. The oil composition is pretty effective in repelling mosquitoes. Also, this repellent is non-toxic and DEET-free. So for people who are allergic to chemicals, this natural plant oil repellent is a great alternative.

The bracelet is easy to wear and extra light to carry. Being stretchable, you can wear them on your wrists and even on your ankles for added protection. Another advantage is that they’re waterproof. Therefore, you can keep relaxing in the water without any fear of mosquitoes.

Overall, getting these bracelets seems smart, considering each bracelet offers 200 hours of protection from bugs and mosquitoes. Moreover, each mosquito repellent bracelet comes individually wrapped in a resealable bag so you can use it fresh anytime, anywhere.


  • Natural and DEET free components
  • Fully adjustable, stretchable, and easy fit
  • Resealable individual pack for freshness
  • Waterproof design for camping near water
  • Multiple colors and functions available


  • May not ill-fitting for large adults or small kids

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

Since ancient times, people have been using incense sticks, so there’s no question of their effectiveness as a mosquito repellent. The Murphy’s Natural Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks are eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to bug repellents.

Using candles and coils as repellents seem to be a popular choice. However, incense sticks are more efficient and safer to use, as there’s no open flame involved. You can just stick them in an incense holder or a pot filled with sand or moist dirt, and you’re good to go.

The Murphy’s Incense sticks use natural, plant-based ingredients like rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, cedarwood essential oils, and bamboo. This blend emits a light, refreshing smell when burned. The pack comes with 12 incense sticks per tube, and each stick offers up to 2.5 hours of mosquito protection. It’s recommended to place the repellent incense sticks 12 feet apart to get the desired area coverage.

Just remember, never leave burning incense stick unattended and keep children and pets away from them.


  • Brilliant natural repellents for campsites
  • Wide coverage for hours
  • DEET- and petroleum-free
  • Sustainable formulation of plant-based ingredients
  • Cleanly burns with a pleasing scent


  • Best suited for sheltered outdoor area

How to Choose the Right Mosquito Repellent Device

Before investing, look for these essential features in a mosquito repellent:

Outdoor Conditions

Which type of mosquito repellent you should use depends largely on the climatic conditions or the camping activities you’re planning. Harsher conditions demand stronger repellents. So, you need to choose repellents with long-lasting and dependable coverage when going to extreme camping on tough terrains. Moreover, when camping in snowy or wet areas, it’s better to use waterproof mosquito repellents.


Some of the most common ingredients used for making insect or mosquito repellents are:

  • DEET – DEET-based mosquito repellents are recommended for regions with heavy insect infestations. This is the most effective option for harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Picaridin – Many users prefer Picaridin as it is odorless, effective, and repels mosquitoes for a long period of time.
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – For users who don’t want to use chemicals, it’s a better alternative choice. This natural plant-based ingredient is originated from the eucalyptus and citriodora trees and can repel mosquitoes for as long as 6 hours.

You need to consider the length of time for camping and the outdoor conditions to determine the repellent ingredient suited to your needs. For a harsher environment and lengthy stay, DEET is your best choice. Although if your outdoor activities generally don’t last more than 5-6 hours, then repellents containing natural oils would be a better choice.

Chemical Components

Some mosquito repellents contain chemicals such as DEET. It has been found to be harmful to both humans and the environment. Excessive use of these is not recommended. However, if you absolutely need to use a chemical mosquito repellent, it containing 25% or less DEET is safe to use.

Alternatively, there are plenty of plant-based mosquito repellents that are safe for the environment. If you don’t want to use chemicals, you can opt for an environment-friendly insecticide. The best options are the mosquito repellents that are less noisy and odorless.


Mosquito repellents come in different types, shapes, and sizes. Some catch, zap, spray or electrocute the mosquitoes to kill them. There are also other types of repellents like candles, wipes, traps, incense sticks, etc. Different types of repellents function differently. So, consider the functionality before deciding the type of repellent you want for your camping.


It determines the range of the impact the mosquito repellent has and how effective it will be in getting rid of mosquitoes. The best mosquito repellent for camping offers great wide-area coverage. Choose the mosquito repellent that gives you a wide range of coverage within a short time.

Preventive Measures or How to Keep the Mosquitoes Away

Not only just using the mosquito repellent devices, but there are also some other ways you can keep mosquitoes away while camping. Following these measures, you’ll be able to get rid of most of the mosquitoes effectively.

Choose the Campsite

The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to stay away from their natural breeding places. Any place with stagnant water is a potential breeding site for mosquitoes. It’s better to avoid camping near the swamps, rivers, lakes, creeks, or ponds. Also, areas with tall grass close to inhabited locations aren’t much of a great choice either.

Experts advise choosing a place with a good wind to set your campsite. If you get a durable tent and camp in a high place, you’ll be protected from the damp after the rain. Not only bugs and mosquitoes, but you’ll also be safe from big and wild animals.

Get the Right Camping Tent

Especially for summer camping, getting the right tent is an important issue you need to consider carefully.  A well-designed tent will save you from a lot of troubles while camping.

The best choice would be a double-wall tent with a screen room. It features inner mesh walls for added privacy and ventilation. You may be concerned thinking double-wall won’t allow for proper ventilation. But rest assured, the tent is specially designed to let more airflow inside during warmer weather. Most top quality tents provide mesh doors and windows, which are bug repellent.

Cover the Body

You’ll always hear people’s advice to cover the whole body while camping, so mosquitoes won’t find any bare skin to bite. This tactic works well when you’re camping during winter, as you’ll be all ready covered with winter gears. But it gets tricky when you can’t cover yourself from head to toes in the long hot summer days.

For that, you can wear lightweight hiking gear with long sleeves if the heat’s bearable. However, if there are extreme heat and a heavy amount of mosquito infestation where you’re camping, then you should get a wearable mosquito net. Sure, you won’t look like the epitome of fashion wearing this, but at least you’ll be saved from eaten alive.

Mosquito-Resistant Clothes

There are hardly any mosquito-resistant clothes available, but you can turn your normal clothing into it by using some tricks. You can spray or coat your clothes with mosquito repellents. There are also natural ways to repel mosquitoes.

Many campers consider campfire smoke to be a natural repellent. You can dry your clothes by the campfire, and they’ll retain a smoky smell. This trick won’t repel the bugs 100%, but it’ll keep them away to an extent. Also, try to choose lighter colors while doing outdoor activities, as darker colors tend to attract more mosquitoes.


Camping is no fun when mosquitoes descend upon your camp and bite you into oblivion. Even the most pleasant experience will turn into a nightmare if you spend the whole camping trip itching and scratching your skin. To avoid this situation, you need to carry the right mosquito repellent device, which can effectively protect you from the teeny-tiny bloodsucking monsters.

So, get the best mosquito repellent device for camping well in advance, be it repeller, bracelet, spray, lotion, or lantern. Have it set and ready to go before the night settles in. And enjoy your mosquito-free time in the wilds!

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