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Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

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Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Matthewkphx » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:28 pm

I'll be spending three nights backpacking above Sabrina Lake next weekend visiting Blue/Dingleberry/Midnight/Moonlight/Echo Lakes and I'm having trouble making a couple of gear choices because of mosquito pressure. As an Arizona backpacker I'd appreciate some advice from the locals/more experienced on this board concerning the following choices:

1) Shelter
Bug Bivy + Deschutes Tarp (my preferred setup)
-or-
TarpTent Notch

2) Bug Protection
Light knit sunshirt + Windshirt + Headnet (my preferred setup)
-or-
Original Bugshirt Elite

Basically, can anyone help me make a judgement call about whether current conditions warrant going all the way on bug protection? It sounds like this is pretty much peak mosquito season in many locations.

Thanks!



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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:57 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Matthewkphx » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:07 pm

No, I had not but I'm familiar with much of that advice.

I should have mentioned that I don't use DEET and I have not found picaridin helpful in AZ or NorCal. My clothing was treated with permetherin last summer on the JMT and I didn't find it particularly effective. I prefer a physical barrier.

So any response on my two choices above?
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby FeetFirst » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:39 pm

Early forecasts & models are predicting warm temps and light winds. Wind is your number one ally when dealing with mosquitoes. Warm overnight temps, not so much.

If it was me? Enclosed shelter with space (Notch) and long sleeves, pants, and headnet.

Have fun!
Last edited by FeetFirst on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:05 pm

Would also go with the Notch, but I like Henry's tents, if your comfortable with your set up and have used it in similar environments why change. Would not buy a dedicated bug shirt, the one you reference has some reviews saying it is quite hot in summer conditions or when carrying a pack, why carry dead weight if conditions aren't bad and you find that you don't needed it. Your other option is what I use, no chemicals for me either, it works fine and you can use your shirt and wind shirt separately or combined when needed, no dead weight except for the head net, which is minimal, if there are no mosquitoes.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:14 pm

Cover up all skin on body except face and hands with clothing that mosquitoes cannot poke their probosci through. People that state mosquitoes are biting through their clothing need to read my inputs on page 1 and 2 of the link maverick gave. They never ever bite through clothing I describe and that clothing never ever has to be treated with anything. But indeed it is not cotton most of you seem unable to part with.

Use 100% DEET on the little remaining exposed skin of your face and back of hands. If your forehead is sweating because you are carrying a heavy backpack up the mountain, the DEET may run down onto your eyes and burn. So you may need to have a hankerchief or tissue available in your hand if so and every so often wipe the skin about your eyebrow dry.

After all your whatever sweaty grubby fun each day, jump in a lake/creek late afternoon for 2...two...uno-dos seconds then jump out like a jack-in-the-box so you don't STINK like mosquitoes love. And bonus...you will feel better in the evening in that $300 goose down sleeping bag.

Don't site your camp where 98% of other backpacker do. See my post on the link page 3.

getting excited our 9-day backpack starting with the Edison ferry ride is just a few days away.
David
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Matthewkphx » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:19 pm

Thanks for all of the advice, folks! It sounds like the consensus is to bring the Notch.
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Matthewkphx » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:19 pm

And enjoy your trip David!
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:18 pm

September?
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:09 pm

Good quality head net - absolutely a necessity!

Camp on exposed windy places. Mosquitoes are more of a bother camping than walking.

I have found that if I smell fishy mosquitoes swarm, particularly when I gut fish. I make a point of washing my hands (I use dry foaming wipes) and face after cleaning fish or cooking. Mosquitoes also seem to swarm when I cook- heat of the stove and smells of food.

The last place I would use DEET is on my face! I hike in a head net if needed. I wear garden gloves on my hands.

I bought some "bugs away" long sleeved fishing shirts (from Orvis") on sale, and think it does help, at least when relatively new. I buy them oversized so they are really loose. If material does not cling to your body, you are less likely to get bitten.

We tried those mosquito repellant pumps a few years back. I did not like the overwhelming smell. And when the wind blew, the repellant just blew away. If you are camped in an area where fires are allowed a smoky fire does just as good.

I have heard, but not verified, that certain colors attract mosquitoes more than others. White is supposed to be the best repelling color; blue the worst. Someone here may chime in on this "wives tale". True or not?

I also get up at dawn and cook breakfast before the sun hits and when it is colder. This seems to be a time of less mosquitoes, if it gets cold enough at night.

I like the idea of wait until after peak mosquitoes. Just a few weeks will make a difference.
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby Matthewkphx » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:36 pm

Agreed, hiking pair-mosquito season would be great however I am available to hike this weekend. My question was about gear... What I think I'm hearing you all say is to go expecting mosquitos. I think I'll take the Notch and since that means I'm taking my Circuit pack I'll bring a couple of shirt options.

I'm hiking in the Sierra again in September. I'll go more lightweight then. :)

Thanks again for the responses.
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Re: Gear Qs about next weekend: pesky skeeters!

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:41 pm

what i found successful when in Mosquito hell is to have an undershirt (poly) and then an overshirt (long sleeved cotton).. worked well. YMMV. and lots of Deet. good luck.
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