Nothing puts a damper on a camping trip than a bunch of itchy mosquito bites, right? Surely spraying yourself with sticky and potentially harmful chemicals to ward off mosquitos can’t be any better.
Luckily there’s always more than one way or two to deal with this situation. Instead of just packing bug spray, bring along a mosquito net in your gear.
Read on to learn several ways mosquito nets can protect you while you’re camping, including beyond while you sleep at your campsite!
What Makes a Good Mosquito Net?
You’re not only protecting yourself from mosquito bites but also from diseases mosquitoes carry as they feast on you. Think about the situations in which you want your mosquito net to protect you. This will specify the size and kind of net(s) you need.
There are also net qualities to consider. The mesh should be tight-knit with small-enough holes to prevent mosquitoes from squeezing through but not so it hinders airflow. Consider the balance between protection and ventilation.
Durability is another quality of a good mosquito net; you want it to last for many camping trips. Besides measuring the size, pay attention to how far it’ll stretch without tearing as you secure it.
Also, some mosquito nets are treated with insecticides, keeping mosquitoes from even landing on the nets or killing them. Wash cycles and prolonged sun exposure will eventually reduce that amount of protection unless you use long-lasting treated nets.
Sleeping in a Mosquito Net
The most common use for mosquito nets is when you’re sleeping. Mosquitoes can be active during the day, but at night, they’re guaranteed to be the worst kind of nuisance.
Here are a few mosquito net ideas to accommodate your choice of sleeping arrangements:
Whether you’re cabin camping or glamping, your bed could do well with a mosquito net canopy. It’s best to use a net that fits your mattress size—from single to king size. That way, it’ll easily tuck under the mattress and fully enclose the bed to prevent mosquitoes from flying in.
The best thing about a net canopy is that it’s easy to set up. By just hanging it from its one attachment point, it’s ready to protect whatever is under it.
2. Sleeping Bag or Cot
Even in a tent, you can hang a mosquito net for your sleeping bag. A pyramid mosquito net is extremely useful and necessary if you’re sleeping without a tent pad. Besides mosquitoes getting into your bag, other bugs could also try to sneak in if there’s no ground cover.
Considering the net’s shape, it would be more of a slanted rectangular pyramid. One side has more headroom than the other, but it helps with sitting up. It’s like a tent substitute, but it wouldn’t be ideal for rainy and windy days if you use it like that.
It’s also great if you’re sleeping on a cot, but it would need to be a single pyramid net to fit. With no mattress to tuck the net under, you can suspend the net over your cot.
Night or day, sleeping or napping between trees is a surefire way to become a mosquito’s next meal. By covering your hanging bed with a hammock mosquito net, that won’t be the case.
Now, cocoon hammocks are already out there to cover you so mosquitoes can’t touch you. After all, like tents, they shield you from the elements. But if mosquitoes are your main concern, settle for this affordable net for your open hammock.
Individual Protection with a Mosquito Net
Mosquito nets may make sleeping in the wilderness more comfortable, but they don’t have to be exclusive to just that. In fact, the following options are ideal for avoiding the repetitive use of bug spray as you camp during the day.
Best of all, they’re the type of nets that don’t require you to secure them with ropes or poles.
4. Head Net
Bug spray is intended to shield your body from mosquitoes but not for spraying your face. If you’ve already sprayed yourself, a mosquito head net would complete your protection against mosquitoes.
Just like a head net for beekeeping, you’re saved from swatting at your face when bugs bombard you. Don’t forget to keep visibility and breathability in mind as you put this net over your head.
Consider the width as well since a hat will spread out the net, so it’s not pressing on you. That would allow a mosquito’s proboscis to reach you through the holes.
5. Body Net
If you’re a hiker or a backpacker, mosquito protection for only your head isn’t enough. Since you’re spending most of the day hiking trails or to other sites, mosquitos can still strike below your head.
Upgrade that protection from only your head to your entire body by wearing a zippered mosquito body net! Residue from bug spray is as annoying as mosquitoes; mosquito nets such as this are a cleaner option for your body.
6. Portable Crib or Car Seat
Being bitten by mosquitoes is one thing, but babies falling victim to these tiny vampires is unacceptable. That doesn’t mean babies can’t benefit from the protection of a mosquito net while camping!
A baby’s first start outdoors ought to be free of bites, stings, and other injuries. Protect your napping or relaxing baby by applying a universal mosquito net over a crib or car seat. A zippered net is a bonus, so you won’t have to lift it up every time you attend to your baby.
This kind of net is perfect for babies because a crib and car seat aren’t the only means for securing them. Whether you have a bassinet, cradle, or play yard, it’ll fit either item, saving you from buying more than one net.
Relaxing in a Mosquito Net
Mosquitos won’t wait until night to start feeding. You could be camping near standing water or other mosquito-borne areas, and those bites could hinder your goal of truly unwinding.
Let’s go over two examples of using a mosquito net when you’re not engaging in hiking or other camping activities. These will require you to use trees to suspend them.
7. Sitting Area
Perhaps putting a net over your head and body is too much trouble? Or your wearing a net suit while sitting outside reading or staring at the landscape may look weird to neighboring campers.
You don’t have to sit and relax inside a tent or cabin to avoid mosquitoes and potential awkward stares. Stay outside, anchor, and suspend a mosquito net shelter to enclose your lawn chair or personal space.
Depending on your chosen net size, you could invite a camping buddy to relax with you inside.
8. Dining Area
Flies and bees aren’t the only pests that spoil outdoor meals. If you’re eating at a picnic table or off a blanket, hang an ultra-large mosquito net over your dining space. Campers who flinch every time a buzzing insect comes along while they’re eating will be able to enjoy their meal in peace.
The net should be large enough to accommodate you, your camping buddy, and your food as you eat together. And if your camping party includes more people, hang another net nearby so they can share in the protection!
Mosquito Nets on Wheels
Vehicles and gear that have wheels could also benefit from mosquito nets, especially if they secure and shelter campers. Here are three examples to which you can apply the nets:
You want to bring your baby along on your hike, but lugging a net-covered carrier or car seat is quite laborious. As mentioned before, a mosquito net with a universal fit proves its worth when it comes to keeping babies safe.
Before you start hiking through stroller-friendly trails, apply a stroller mosquito net or the universal one after strapping in your baby. You won’t need to worry about how often you and your baby come across mosquitoes as you explore the campground.
If you wheeled your baby’s playpen to your campsite, you know you won’t want mosquitoes interrupting your baby’s playtime. A mosquito playpen net is just the thing to ensure that never happens.
Depending on the size of this mosquito net, if it covers a crib, it may cover the playpen just as easily. But don’t wait until you get to your campsite to test it out if it’s not a universal size!
11. Car Window
Ventilation in the car, whether you’re camping in it or just sitting inside, is important. But leaving the windows open, especially on a hot day, means more chances of bugs entering while avoiding heat-related illnesses.
Like house window screens, a car window mosquito net lets you enjoy fresh air without bugs flying inside. One net per window does the trick. You don’t have to sacrifice ventilation to avoid bugs during a hot summer of car camping!
A net such as this needs to be able to fit over your car door’s window frame. Don’t forget to check the measurements, as elasticity isn’t always reliable if it’s not made to stretch further than posted.
Protect Yourself with a Mosquito Net!
Save yourself the trouble of spraying yourself with a bunch of smelly and likely hazardous chemicals. With the listed ways of employing a mosquito net, your struggle with little flying vampires won’t define your camping trips.
Visit our Camping Gear page to learn more about useful items that will ensure peaceful and successful camping experiences!
- About the Author
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Sarah Keck is a long-time resident of the Midwest and loves its warm and cool atmosphere. She takes any walking or hiking opportunity with open arms and likes to learn and write about the best trails.
Sarah’s first camping experience was her church’s teens’ and twenties’ summer conference years ago. Her favorite activities were exploring the campground and sitting by the fire, listening to the wildlife.
As time went on, Sarah looked forward to camping and other vacation opportunities. Writing for Beyond the Tent has opened her eyes and mind to the country’s many beautiful destinations.