Backpacking through Australia and New Zealand should be a truly spectacular experience for you with memories to last a lifetime, but unfortunately how you choose to deal with the hordes of insects inhabiting these lands has the potential to make or break your special holiday. Read on as explore how to keep the bugs away whilst enjoying the Great Outdoors, Down Under.
Timing is everything
Depending on the time of year, day, season and even the weather conditions in which you venture outdoors in Australia and New Zealand, you could either be overwhelmed by creepy crawlies, or be able to escape their clutches relatively unscathed. Generally speaking, mosquitoes and other pests are more numerous during the warmer months of the year, and they come out in full force at dawn and dusk. So make sure you take this into account when planing your backpacking experience or while you’re already in midsts of your adventure. Either seek shelter during the dusk and dawn hours or layer on the repellent. Because only this way your time backpacking outdoors will be tolerable.
X marks the spot
Besides timing, the area you are backpacking though also needs to be taken into account when determining how to keep insects away while outdoors. For example, wooded areas, spots with tall grass or moist areas are heaven for numerous different pests. From ticks to mosquitoes, if you’re hiking though a woody area there will be pests. How to use this to avoid the insects? If you are determined to explore nature, keep on the path and don’t venture off into uncut grass. This will lessen the chance of you coming into contact with bugs that hide in tall grass. But when it comes to mozzies, make sure you steer clear of areas near still water like ponds, swamps and so on, especially if you are thinking of spending the night in this area. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water and you do not want to be near there when the mosquito swarms come out to feed.
Utilise a good insect repellent
No matter what time of year, day or season you venture outside in Australia and New Zealand it is inevitable that you will still encounter some insects during your travels. By far the best means of keeping them at bay is to employ the services of a good insect repellent. The most efficient bug repellents usually contain chemicals like DEET or Permethrin that repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies and all other manner of pests. These substances come in many different forms from lotions and creams to sprays and even roll-ons. You apply them to your skin, clothing or even your tent and camping equipment and – hey presto! - you have immediately erected a chemical barrier between you and the creepy crawlies. Nowadays you can even buy items of clothing, tents and other camping equipment, and mosquito netting that has been pre-treated with insect repellent. So consider buying pre-treated items for extra good results in keeping the bugs away during your travels. Or do it yourself by spraying your backpacking and camping gear with a Permethrin spray. It’s one of the most efficient mosquito, tick, mite killer and best fly repellent spray designed specifically to be used on your gear rather than your skin. But for those of you who want to go the natural and organic route there are natural bug spray options out there. Even ones that are almost as efficient as DEET repellents. For example, insect repellents containing the oil of lemon eucalyptus are proven to be on par with even the most efficient chemical bug sprays. However, remember that if you do decide on using a natural insect repellent during your backpacking trip, make sure that you reapply it often, as natural spays last a lot lesd longer than chemical ones do. And I’m talking one to two hours instead of half a day or more.
Use clothing as a non-chemical barrier
Nowadays there are a number of both chemical and eco-friendly repellent alternatives out there on the market. But many backpackers are still keen to minimise their exposure to chemicals or even natural sprays when spending time outside. Fortunately, there are other means of repelling insects. One of them is the type of clothes you wear. Although your main priority when selecting appropriate attire for outdoor excursions is comfort and convenience, your clothes' ability to deter – or attract – mosquitoes and other pests is another factor you need to consider. When backpacking Down Under, always try to wear long sleeved shirts and pants. Preferably in light colour since these will make you less of a mosquito target than clothes in dark colours because mozzies will simply have harder time finding you when you’re dressed in light colours. And it will also be easier for you to see bugs like ticks that have landed on you and quickly flick them away. Additionally, wear thick socks and shoes, tuck your pants into your socks, and your shirt into your pants. This will make it harder for the insects to get to your skin. Also wear a good, broad brimmed sun hat – not only will it protect your from the sun, but it will also (especially in combination with insect netting) keep insects away from sensitive areas like your face and ears making your backpacking experience more enjoyable. Because who likes swatting mosquitoes away from your face constantly or hearing the unpleasant mosquito buzz in their ears. And clothing in denser fabrics will also safeguard your skin from mosquito bites, since these pesky insects will simply have harder time biting though that thicker fabric.
Steer clear of perfumes
And lastly, try to avoid applying sweet-smelling perfumes, deodorants and creams to your skin when hiking outside in Australia and New Zealand. The sweet aroma of these substances attracts mosquitoes and other pest like a moth to a flame, since the insects mistake these perfumes for plants and their nectar. So better avoid using beauty products that come in sweet, flowery scents. Or just go for ones that come in a lemon, peppermint, lavender, orange, tea tree, cedar wood or other similar scent, since bugs dislike these distinctive scents and will most likely keep away.
Proper Gear and Equipment
If you are looking for new equipment and gear (or simply want to replace your old ones), then you should check out Outbax. We offer a wide range of high-quality outdoor and camping products that you can bring in to your next great adventure. We also provide a 60-day money back guarantee on all products in the unlikely case you change your mind about the purchase. Aside from the quality, we also offer fast and automated delivery service that would bring your purchased product straight to your doorstep. We can even schedule a pickup at your local depot if it is more convenient for you. At Outbax, quality, customer’s convenience, and satisfaction are our topmost priorities. Contact us today and start planning your next camping trip!