Thermacell Backpacker

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mrphil
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Thermacell Backpacker

Post by mrphil » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:01 pm

Has anyone tried this or any of the other Thermacell products? If you have, did you try to use it above 7000 ft? Workarounds for altitude issues (maybe inverting the canister on a separate base for the additional propane flow?) ? I hate to haul dead weight if it turns out to be junk, but it has tons of glowing reviews everywhere, and one trip to test it out won't kill me if it might mean even a slight reprieve from the onslaught and actually eating dinner outside the tent. They do also have the Radius model that has no altitude restrictions, but our ever-vigilant nanny state won't allow anyone to ship it here...even though you can supposedly walk right through TSA security with it. Go figure.

https://www.thermacell.com/products/backpacker-repeller








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mort
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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by mort » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:28 pm

While they call it a repellant the active ingredient is a pesticide: "Allethrin, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers" See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrin Accepted as biodegradable, I still feel bad about fumigating my 15 ft diameter camp site.
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AlmostThere
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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:42 pm

Tons of glowing reviews... LOL. I haven't seen any. Looks like a waste of an isopro canister. Why inhale any more chemicals than we already do, and kill the rest of the bugs in addition to the skeeters? Wearing clothes and repellent works most of the time and doesn't inflict chemicals on others in the vicinity.

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mrphil
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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by mrphil » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:01 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Tons of glowing reviews... LOL.
I wondered if anyone would pick up on that.

But really, REI, Amazon, YouTube... for the most part. It's supposed to be essentially scentless unless you're right on top of it and just repel at the concentration levels the machine puts out, not kill, and supposedly also dissipates before it hits the ground or travels outside the effective area. I'm going to go ahead and throw $40 and a canister at it and see what happens. I'm not a fan of chemicals either, but I figure I'm going to get it one way or another, and I'm kind of tired of DEET making the corners of my eyes and nostrils bleed.

I do, however, agree that it'll probably end up being 4 oz of dead weight and getting returned. I'm a skeptic, but I'm also curious. I'll hope for a stiff breeze and that I have enough Natrapel. What I really want though is a light saber and to be invisible.

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maverick
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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by maverick » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:10 pm

I'm going to go ahead and throw $40 and a canister at it and see what happens.
I'm interested in what your results will be, have not run into any backpackers using one of these, and they have been a round for a little while now, you would think they would be all over the place, especially trailed locations, if they worked as advertised.
Take a back up just in case, otherwise you may end up donating a lot of blood.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:53 pm

Years ago we tried one on a backpack trip. It basically was worthless. If there is any bit of a breeze it gets diluted. The repellant blew away but not the mosquitoes. Even when calm, not sure why, but it just did not work. Never checked it out to see if it was defective. We gave up and built a small smoky fire- that worked better.

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mrphil
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Re: Thermacell Backpacker

Post by mrphil » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:50 am

We just had it out for about a week, and where wind wasn't a factor, it actually worked really well. I wouldn't say that it kept every mosquito away, but it sure made things entirely tolerable and took care of the usual swarming that's in your face outside the immediate area when cooking and sitting around camp. Treated clothing, head nets occasionally, a little Sawyer's permethrin, and not a single bite the entire trip. No noticeable odor, low fuel consumption, inverted the canister on a seperate stand and it worked up to 10k without a hitch (we hiked higher, but never camped above that). Weight and packability was easy, with the second fuel canister necessary to run it while using the first one to cook being the biggest issue. It'll go out again, or I'll get the newer, battery operated version with no altitude restrictions when it becomes available in Ca. All in all, I think it ended up surprising me that it turned out to be $40 well spent.

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