With summer back in full swing, so do our least-favorite outdoor companions: those pesky mosquitoes. Whether you’re camping in the backcountry, enjoying a barbecue at the park, or lounging in the sand at the beach, the darn things will swarm your location and leave you with an annoying itch. That’s if you’re lucky enough not to have a disease-carrying one draw from your blood supply. If you chance upon one carrying malaria or dengue… ugh… tough luck.
If you’re going to enjoy the outdoors, your preparations should include protecting yourself from those bloodsucking critters. From patches and lotions to insect-rebuffing blankets and mosquito-repelling camp lights, there are, fortunately, some really good solutions out there. Count Thermacell’s Backpacker Mosquito Repeller as one of them.
Designed for groups who gather in one place, the device fits on top of gas canisters and generates gentle heat that then activates a mosquito-repelling agent. Once up and running, it’s able to spread that active agent around a 15 x 15 foot domed area, essentially creating a bug-free space where you can camp, eat, and enjoy the warm summer breeze without any worries. Setting up a bigger campsite? Install two or more. Just make sure to spread them out accordingly to maximize the coverage area.
The Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller uses a special blue mat that contains allethrin as its active agent, which you insert on a designated section on top of the device. Each mat can provide up to four hours of continuous mosquito protection, after which you’ll need to replace it with a new one to keep the safety zone active. Yes, that means someone will actually have to get up in the middle of the night and swap in a new one, so it’s probably best you just hang some mosquito nets in the tent and use the repellant during other activities instead. Those mats, by the way, can be bought separately from Thermacell (the device comes with only three mats included), although there are cheaper, generic versions you can easily find on eBay if you want to stock up on repellant agents while spending less.
Since it uses very little heat, a single 4oz. gas canister can last it up to 90 hours of use, so a single load should hold you over for an entire weekend, provided you bring enough allethrin mats to maintain complete coverage. The actual flame is contained inside, too, so there’s nothing to accidentally catch on that can cause fire at camp, with completely silent and odor-free operation, so you can eat with this running without any issues. That makes it ideal not just for camping, but for picnics, barbecues, and other summer gatherings that mosquitoes are likely to swarm and descend on.
The only catch? We have no idea how to carry this comfortably while hiking, so that’s the one time you’ll probably be unprotected from the bloodsucking critters. Maybe you can mount it on your hat or something.
Available now, the Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller is priced at $39.99.