You’ve planned the greatest camping trip in the history of man. You’ve bought the food, packed the tent and loaded the car. You’ve driven hours with your family (“are we there yet?”). You’ve set up camping in a nice woodsy state park and you’re ready to have some great fun and bonding time.
Then reality sets in. First you hear a light buzzing in the distance, it’s getting closer. Your brain hasn’t registered the threat yet, you’re too excited to be camping. Suddenly a sharp sting on your forearm causes you to slap uncontrollably into reality. It’s begun.
Mosquitoes, the “un-official” state bird of Minnesota, can completely ruin a camping trip or even a simple night of trying to enjoy your back yard. Bug spray, with it’s high levels of deet, just makes you feel stinky and sticky and only helps so much.
Health Problems From Mosquitoes
Not only do mosquitoes create an irritating itchy lump on your skin but they also carry and spread different diseases to humans.
There are many different viruses that mosquitoes can carry. Worldwide, the biggest threats to humans are Malaria and Dengue with over 300 million infected every year and almost 800,000 fatalities.
In Minnesota, our biggest threat from mosquitoes is in the form of the West Nile Virus. The West Nile Virus circulates between birds and mosquitoes (mosquitoes typically feed on birds) and hits a dead end when contracted in a humans (humans cannot infect each other).
Symptoms of West Nile Virus include:
- High Fever
Typically West Nile presents itself in the form of West Nile Fever, which may cause you to miss a week or two of work. In more severe cases (less than 1% of all cases), West Nile can present itself as asencephalitis and meningitis. This is most commonly found in the elderly, where it can be fatal.
The Solution: Thermacell
Enter the solution to enjoying the outdoors without the threat of mosquitoes, The Thermacell.
The Thermacell works by lighting a controlled butane cartridge that heats a small metal grill. This grill holds a small pad that is saturated with repellant. As the pad heats up the repellant vaporizes and rises into the air creating a 15′ x 15′ bug free radius.
The repellant used is allethrin, which is a naturally occuring repellant found in certain flowers and is not harmful to humans or pets. It not only repells mosquitoes but also black flies and no-see-ums.
Because the Thermacell burns butane cartridges for it’s heat, it does not require a power source and is 100% portable.
The Thermacell has actually been tested by the Scientific Coordination in Maine (US) and The Department of Defense in Costa Rica and Turkey. Their findings show that the Thermacell is 96.7 % effective against mosquitoe attacks within it’s given range (with the best protection coming within an 8′ radius).
Different Types Of Thermacell Units
Thermacell currently offers three different units for home use, camping and extreme portability.
This is Thermacells original portable unit. A handheld device that can clip to a belt, be set on a table or hung from above. This basic model is perfect for uses ranging from camping, hiking, backyard parties, picnics and more.
Thermacell has integrated it’s technology into two different lanterns. This means packing less gear when camping and hiking by having your thermacell and lantern in one.
- Their Patio Lantern was their first lantern, a basic bulb and batteries with the Thermacell built in.
- In 2015, Thermacell saw the need for a true camping lantern and created the Thermacell Repellant Camp Larntern. This lantern offers 50 hours of use at it’s highest 300 lumens setting (many more hours at lower settings), has a durable rubber base and clips to hang it in your campsite. It also offers a flashing SOS signal in case of emergency.
Beyond The Tent Using The Termacell
We have experienced camping trips in the past where the mosquitoes were so bad that no one wanted to leave our camper or tent. Bug spray didn’t help (and was never any fun to cover ourselves nor did candles and other gimmicks work.
In 2013 we purchased our first Thermacelland would never go camping without it again.We have camped next to mosquito breeding grounds and literally been untouched.
When the bugs are exceptionally bad or a slight breeze is lowering the effectiveness of our Thermacell, we will typically put one on either side of our camping area to ensure a wide blanket of protection.
Where To Buy
If you want a Thermacell for your camping or backyard use here are a few links below where you can purchase one today:
- About the Author
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Hey there, I’m Ryan, the face behind Beyond The Tent.
With decades of camping experiences, my journey into the wilderness began on the rustic trails of a farm in southern Minnesota, where my childhood was filled with explorations and camping by a picturesque river.
My family’s adventures across the United States, from the majestic Colorado mountains to the serene national parks and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota have given me a broad perspective. With each journey, whether in state parks or private encampments, and through the homely comfort of our camping trailers, we’ve amassed a trove of stories, experiences, and invaluable camping wisdom.