if you know there’s a ton of mosquitos. do you brave it and use a bug net, or do you just stay home or go somewhere without bugs? in my mind, if there’s enough bugs that you need a bug net, the whole trip might just suck.
This is a real bad problem here in Alabama late in the summer. I actually have a hat from Exofficio with built in net that I use some times. I’m always trying to find a balance of getting too hot and annoyed from the net or eaten up by the bugs. Ideally we find somewhere with fast moving water to help clear them out and also give us a place to swim and cool off.
I travel with my thermacell in bug season. But I also keep my mosquito net in my pack, just in case. If you use a canister stove for cooking, the thermacell is a lifesaver and only adds a few ounces of weight!
I love my bug net. Super light weight and just fits on top of whatever hat I’m wearing. It’s one of those things I’m so glad I have when I end up needing it.
I camped last summer in the backcountry of Denali. Before going, I heard mosquitos were bad… but I was humbled by the plague and swarms of them. I’d never seen anything like it! The Ranger I met in the backcountry told me about the slap test——you essentially wait about 30-45 seconds for mosquitos to gather and then smack your arm/shoulder. Then you count how many dead mosquitos were on your palm.
I did that and had 121 mosquitos. On just my hand.
So since then, I’ve never backpacked without mosquito nets.
I always have them in my pack just in case I wind up on a trail and want a little piece once I decide it’s too miserable and do a 180.
Haven’t personally ever used a bug net because it tends just to be another piece of something to keep up with and becomes cumbersome for me. I treat all of my gear with Sawyer before I camp or hike in areas where I know mosquitos are pretty bad. Additionally I make sure to keep Deep Woods with me and reapply while being active every hour. I have tried so many other tricks but sometimes it just can’t beat just directly spraying with that nasty smelling stuff… blah…
Summer hiking demands the use of a bug net in South Florida. You will save yourself some misery and they truly are lightweight and breathable. Mine slips over my cap of choice for the day and is always in my pack just in case it is needed!
In my experience the only thing that works effectively on mosquitoes is Ole Time Woodsman Fly Dope. It has been around for over 130 years.
Oh, bugs really can make your hiking worse. Bug net is a perfect thing. But it is better so look for other ways against them in addition to the net