Planning a summer vacation but dreading those pesky bugs and those sneaky critters? Well fear no more! We have some awesome campsite tips that will keep those unwanted visitors at bay while helping you sleep peacefully at night in your RV. From mosquitos and ticks, to bears and raccoons, consider these tips when planning your next summer adventure.
The first step to being more protected from bugs is to wear protective clothing. This includes long-sleeved shirts, hats, pants and long socks to tuck your pants into. Always opt for closed toed shoes, especially when sitting around the campfire (your toes will thank you later!) The more of your body that is covered, the less of your body can be bit! Bugs come out the most in the morning and in the evening, so it is more beneficial to cover up during these times. Some companies even sell clothing infused with bug repellent which is super convenient if you prefer not to use bug spray. It is also recommended to stay away from wearing dark or blue clothing items as bugs are more attracted to these colours.
Traditional Sprays, Creams and Essential Oils
We've all used the tried-and-true bug repellent sprays and ointments, and let's face it... they get the job done (but some are better than others). These repellents work because of the ingredient DEET. The more DEET within these sprays and creams, the more effective the repellent will be. It is recommended to spray these repellents over your clothes to reduce the chances of skin irritation if you have more sensitive skin. If you prefer not to smell like bug spray, you can make a solution yourself by adding 10-20 drops of your desired essential oil to a spray bottle with a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, half a cup of witch hazel and half a cup of water. Shake the bottle up and it's good to go! Here's a list of bug repellent approved oils:
Tea Tree Oil
Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar act as natural bug repellents, who would have thought?! Try spraying these items around your campsite and on your skin (if you don't mind the smell of vinegar) to keep these unwanted visitors away. This is a stinky yet effective way to use an everyday kitchen item to rid yourself of chemical sprays while keeping pesky bugs at bay.
Bug Repelling Bracelets, Diffusers and Coils
Sometimes we don't feel like spraying down our whole campsite or our whole body with bug repellents, so instead we opt for bug repelling bracelets, diffusers and coils. Diffusers and coils often emit a pesticide that keeps our pesky friends far away from us! These items guarantee 84-100% protection from bugs so they are also guaranteeing a peaceful night around the fire for you and your campsite guests! If you plan on leaving the campsite while the bugs are out, they also make bug repelling bracelets to protect you while you're on the go! You can wear them on your wrists and ankles or attach them to your hats and bags. This tool emits bug-repelling chemicals into the air ultimately shielding you from flying intruders in your personal space bubble.
Bugs hate garlic! While it can be tasty in a meal, we don't recommend that you consume enough garlic to permanently smell like it... unless you want to protect yourself from vampires too. Taking garlic capsules while on your trip will cause the scent to slightly seep out of the pores in your skin to keep those bugs far away from you. This remedy shouldn't effect how you smell and actually carries a lot of other benefits like the protection of cell damage and ageing! Garlic capsules can be found in most vitamin sections at any pharmacy or department store.
Mint and Herbs
Unlike the people camping with you, bugs hate the smell of mint. They also don't enjoy fresh or dried herbs either. Just by having a few of these plants around your campsite you're guaranteed to see less pests in the area. Sage, rosemary, eucalyptus and mint are the most commonly used plants for repellent duty, but there are many others that can help as well. Consider starting a portable herb garden to use for the duality of cooking and keeping bugs away from your unit! You can even throw these herbs in your campfire, so the smell emits further and mixes with the smoke which are two things that bugs hate.
Fragrant Free Body Products
Although bugs hate the smell of minty-fresh breath, they love the smell of fragrance filled hygiene products like soap, shampoo, aftershave, deodorant, hair care products and colognes or perfumes. It's recommended that while at the campsite you should use non-scented items instead of your usual go-to ones. Luckily these items have been becoming more and more popular in recent years so it should not be too hard to find before your next big trip.
Keep your Campsite Clean
The best way to keep unwanted visitors away is to keep your campsite clean! Bugs (and critters) love the smell of your campsite trash, so it is important to keep your campsite free from debris. Ensure you have a secure storage place for your garbage and don't leave it uncovered. Wipe down any surfaces you have ate on and wash or dispose of dishes after every meal. Always do a pre-bedtime check of you campsite to make sure no food items or garbage has been left out.
Tightly Seal and Pack your Food and Trash
The more securely you pack your food items (and your garbage) the less likely animals will be able to find them and your campsite! Place each item in its own tightly sealed packaging, whether it be a Ziploc bag or a plastic container, before placing it in a food chest or a tightly sealed freezer or cooler. Never leave food items out in the open as unwanted animals will definitely come and make themselves at home while you're least expecting it.
Embrace the Scent of the Great Outdoors
If you smell of new perfume and fresh laundry while camping instead of smelling like the campsite itself, you may want to reconsider. Through embracing the smell of nature (dirt, sweat and the lovely smells of the forest) you are less likely to make your presence known to the animals surrounding your campsite. The more unique, clean and fresh you smell, the more unwanted visitors you will have showing up uninvited to figure out what that new smell is. Sometimes it's okay to be a little smelly if it means you won't be waking up to a bear knocking on your door.
Keep your Fire Going
Keeping logs on the fire overnight helps to keep the critters away. Animals have a natural instinct to avoid fires, meaning they will be more likely to avoid your campsite if you have a fire going. To do this as safely as possible, we suggest taking turns watching the fire overnight. The best and most convenient way to do this is to have someone stay up late while the other wakes up early. Always keep your fire supplies close by so you never have to leave the pit unattended.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Fabric softener sheets work as both an animal repellent and a great way to disguise your food items while at the campsite. This trick is easy to use as all you need is a box or two of fabric softener sheets. Animals hate the smell of the sheets, and it will mask the smell of yummy food and garbage to the animals. Try carrying some sheets in your pockets or place some wherevev you plan on storing your food. This tip even keeps away mosquitos from your campsite!
Know your Location
When you plan your next RVing adventure make sure you plan for the wildlife you may encounter along the way. If you're unsure of what might be out and about around your campsite location, it is best to give the campsite or the town it resides in a call. They should have the local wildlife information readily available to give to you.
These tips are sure to keep you safe from unwanted visitors this summer! Say goodbye to mosquitos, bears and raccoons and say hello to a goodnights sleep in your unit. We can't wait to hear about your (pest free) RV adventures this summer! Be sure to tag us in your posts @SicardRV!