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Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping (7 Options)

| Updated May 21, 2024

Don't let biting bugs ruin your trip! If you're looking for the best mosquito repellent device for camping, here are 7 great options…

Enjoying outdoor spaces can be good for the soul! After all, that is why most of us like a good camping trip.

While outdoor adventures can help us get away from it all, one thing we cannot always escape is pesky mosquitos and other biting bugs. Not only can mosquito bites itch, but they can also lead to the transmission of diseases.

While not all biting bugs give you dangerous diseases, there are some that can pass on unwanted illnesses. Things like West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and Zika Virus can make some people very ill.

Using bug repellent devices and products can keep you from getting bitten. They also serve a dual purpose which is: disease control.

OFF!Cast Mosquito Forecast

OFF!Cast Mosquite Forecast Map

Before I jump into the best products, I wanted to introduce you to a cool resource I just learned of. This OFF!Cast Mosquito predicts the local mosquito activity anywhere across the US up to seven days in advance. It’s based on mosquito biology!

This tool was created using an algorithm co-developed by SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health in partnership with Google Cloud and Climate Engine.

With OFF!Cast, you can now get your local mosquito forecast as easily as your local weather forecast. This can help anyone looking to travel or to do any outdoor activities across the US, to prepare and plan ahead.

Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping

While there is no single solution to your outdoor bug problems, there are many different things you can try. Hopefully, you can find the best camping mosquito repellent for your next camping trip on the list below.

Alright, let's dive into the different products on the market today. The following outlines the best mosquito repellent device for camping.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

1. Thermacell Mosquito Repellent

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Lantern Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping
Thermacell Mosquito Repellent

Thermacell products are fuel-powered technology that uses heat-activated repellent to keep bugs at bay. They are sometimes called a Thermacell lantern or repellent mat. They create a scent-free and invisible bug barrier.

They are powered by small gas canisters that give portable, cordless heat to a metal grill. The repellent mat sits on top of the heated grill and disperses the repellent into the air. That is what provides the zone of protection from mosquitos.

Some Thermacell devices can require a 12-hour refill, while others can last up to 90 hours!

2. Repellent Bracelets

Repellent bracelets are worn on your body to provide mosquito protection while out and about. Instead of spraying repellent directly onto your body, you wear bracelets that contain the chemical ingredients.

For best results, some people choose to wear the bracelets on their wrists and their ankles.

They are lightweight and can be useful during activities where you need to be hands-free. Another nice thing about them is not having to lug around a bottle of bug spray with you in your day pack.

Parents often consider these bracelets the best mosquito repellent device for kids since they don't require spraying chemicals directly on their skin.

3. Citronella Candle

Made using citronella oil, citronella candles provide natural mosquito repellent by dispersing a scent that flying pests do not like. When they come into contact with the scent, they choose to fly elsewhere.

Many people also use other essential oils to keep bugs away. They can be worn on the skin when mixed with a “carrier oil” like coconut oil. Popular oils include lemon eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, thyme, Greek catnip, soybean, citronella, and tea tree oils.

These may not be the best option for you if you are sensitive to scents.

4. Bug Spray

Another one of the more popular repellent options is bug sprays.

These are sprays that you put directly onto your body. Since they make direct contact with your skin, you will want to be careful when trying out a new spray. That way you can be sure you will not have an adverse reaction to any chemical found in the repellent spray.

Bug sprays can range in DEET strength. DEET is the active ingredient that repels bugs. Many popular brands start at 25%, but some contain 100% DEET!

Many sources recommend using no more than 30% DEET on children.

You can also lessen skin exposure by spraying clothes or nearby objects instead. Just keep in mind that DEET can corrode soft plastics, so be careful what you touch or spray.

5. Natural Repellent

This natural spray repellent does not have the chemical ingredient DEET. It uses a combination of essential oils to repels mosquitos and other biting bugs.

Uses no harsh chemicals, it is safe for small children. Thus, making it another favorite for the best camping mosquito repellent for kids.

6. Mosquito Nets

A non-invasive bug repellent is a screen room or mosquito net. A screen room can be used outdoors. You sit inside of it and can still enjoy the outdoors through the netting while keeping the bugs away.

A mosquito net is the same idea but can be used around beds or other sleeping areas.

Here is a whole article we did on the Best Screen Tents for Camping.

Other Devices

Beyond bug zappers, sprays, and oil-based repellents, there are other modern bug repellent devices on the market today!

7. Ultrasonic Device

Another device to repel mosquitos is an Ultra-Sonic pest repelling device. It uses ultrasound technology to interrupt the nervous system of insects It makes them uncomfortable so that they stay clear of the area.

It uses a convenient rechargeable battery to stay powered.

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Mosquito Repellent Device FAQ

Here are some questions and answers about mosquito repellent devices that you might find helpful:

1. What are the most effective mosquito repellent devices?

The most effective mosquito repellent devices are those that use proven active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. These ingredients have been extensively tested and have been shown to be effective at repelling mosquitoes.

2. How do I use a mosquito repellent device safely?

When using a mosquito repellent device, be sure to follow the instructions on the product label. Use the product only as directed, and avoid applying it to broken or irritated skin. If you are using a spray repellent, make sure to avoid inhaling it or getting it in your eyes.

3. Are there any natural alternatives to chemical mosquito repellents?

There are several natural alternatives to chemical mosquito repellents, such as citronella candles or essential oils. However, these natural alternatives may not be as effective at repelling mosquitoes as products containing DEET or other proven active ingredients.

4. How do I choose the right mosquito repellent device for my needs?

When choosing a mosquito repellent device, consider the type of activity you'll be doing and the length of time you'll be outdoors. For example, if you'll be spending a long time outside, you may want to use a product with a higher concentration of the active ingredient. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a product with a gentler formula.

5. Can mosquito repellent devices be harmful to humans or pets?

Most mosquito repellent devices are safe for humans and pets when used as directed. However, it's always a good idea to read the product label carefully and follow the instructions to reduce the risk of any adverse effects. If you have concerns about the safety of a particular product, you should consult your healthcare provider or a pest control professional.

Do You Have the Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping?

Please share what you use to protect yourself from mosquitos. Also, tune into Podcast Episode 356 to hear our interview with the CDC's mosquito expert!

Also, check out the post we did recently for even more tips on how to keep mosquitos away from your camp and our Ultimate ‘Bug Off!” Shopping list for your RV.

Mike and Jennifer's Great Lakes Bundle – 2 ebooks!

Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping (7 Options) 6

This bundle is our popular Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide PLUS our newest Adventure Guide – The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour! Both ebooks will give you plenty of ideas and resources to enjoy this part of the US.

Explore this Bundle and plan your next trip!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-05-18

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

11 Responses to “Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Camping (7 Options)”

May 20, 2024at1:12 pm, Cynthia Hill said:

Thermacell contains allethrin which is toxic to cats if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Best to keep kitty a safe distance away.


May 09, 2023at11:07 am, Bill Inman said:

Bugsaway clothing from ExOfficio works great. The insect repellent permethrin is bonded to the fabric at a molecular level so it lasts the life of the garment. You can also get permethrin at stores like REI to treat other clothing, but that only lasts a few washes before needing to be retreated. I’m also a huge fan of Thermocell that is first on your list, although I haven’t tried it in a majorly infested area like the dark red on the map!


May 11, 2023at7:14 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Great tip, Bill! Thanks for sharing this – Team RV Lifestyle


May 09, 2023at9:40 am, Jeffrey Oja said:

Living in Northern Michigan all my life, we have found Ranger Ready to be our go-to defense system against most flying pests. My wife is jokingly the “mosquito magnet” in our household, and this stuff works for us.


May 11, 2023at7:13 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing this, Jeffrey! Team RV Lifestyle


May 22, 2024at9:43 am, Cindy J Robison said:

We have some of that and it does work!


April 03, 2022at6:04 pm, 9 Best Foldable Tables and Table Accessories for Camping said:

[…] really enjoy your meal at your outdoor table, I suggest getting at least one of the bug repellent devices that I have listed for you. There’ll be much more smacking your lips and a lot less smacking your […]


October 21, 2021at1:22 pm, erik said:

Bug zappers are annoying as hell to your neighbors.


October 18, 2021at9:31 am, Denise said:

Totally agree with the Off the Grid Prepper; however, Mike is discussing what to do about mosquitos while you are away from home – camping! My solution is to stay close to my husband; insects like his blood better than mine.


October 16, 2021at5:04 pm, Off the Grid FL Prepper said:

How about build an environment that will eat mosquitos naturally and chemically free. Like build a “Bat House” in your back yard, or add plants that attract Dragon Flies. Dragon flies eat 30 times their weight daily in mosquitos. No need to chemical douse the environment that will probably kill beneficial insects that eat mosquitos. Wonder why all the birds and bees are disappearing? Stop the Chemical pesticide genocide.


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