Bug Shirts

Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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6,473
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Raymond, ME
For many of us the next outing will be the start of bug season.

Do you use any bug clothing?

I have two of these

http://www.bugshirt.com/

My nylon one has seen lots of use over the last 12 years. And it has no holes! However I have started a fair bit of Florida camping in the off season and especially in March the bugs can be bad. (Sometimes in Jaunary too). The nylon shirt is sometimes too hot so I bought a cotton one too.. Sometimes I think it could double as a winter anorak...(Just kidding on that one)
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
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Rochester, NY
I treat my clothing at the beginning of the season with permethrin. By the time the treatment is wearing off, the season is getting cold enough to eliminate the bugs. Haven't used bug dope in about 3 years now in the adks.
 
Joined
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Raymond, ME
That works fine..but for me it was going to get very expensive. Each application costs $7 for two garments. The treatment lasts about 25 washings. I spent a hundred days camping with my gear this last year. With standing in water on and off for two weeks in Florida in January..the treatment pretty much washed out of pants before the trip was done.
I rarely use bug dope either. Just on hands and a bandana sometimes. The Liard River had ferocious bugs and they perched on a Thermacell so we did have to DEET up. We did have bugjackets, but brought the cold weather ones. It was 104 degrees in that part of northeastern British Columbia then! Wished I had the Florida ones.

So for me adding the mechanical barrier is cheapest per use.

DT do you use Sawyer?
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
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137
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Ottawa, Canada
Bug Shirts are great. I also have his pants. The combo keeps me happy up north.
As an experiment up on the Thelon I took an old white dress shirt and wore it over a fleece jacket.(Just used a head hood for the experiment)
My buddy had on a black fleece jacket and head hood.
The number of mosquitoes on him was crazy - too many to count.
The number of mosquitoes on me was less than a couple dozen.
We tried this on several occasions and it was always limited numbers on me - way too many on the black jacket.
So the old saying of mosquitoes liking dark colours is true.
I switched back to using the off-white Bug Shirt for the rest of the trip.
mosquitoes.jpg


When the bugs were bad it was funny watching us eat.
Ready with the spoon, move the face covering away just long enough to get food in the mouth, then flip the face part back until finished chewing. Repeat.
 

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Joined
Sep 1, 2012
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226
Location
Northwest Wyoming
I also have the bug jacket and pants. On my trip to the arctic last summer, the outfitter recommended that we NOT bring bug jackets. Yeah... I did anyway, with my bug pants, too. I swear, sometimes when we'd be sitting overlooking the river from a nice vantage point on a shelf, I'd look around and see people looking at me, but I knew they were really looking at The Jacket. Longingly. On a trip to the Everglades, I had on my bug suit. Another traveler said, rather cockily, "You really like wearing that, don't you?" Later in the week, she was talking about how much her bug bites itched, and I (cockily) said, "I don't have any... "

I call it my sanity suit.

Pringles
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
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289
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Rochester, NY
The sawyer yes. Though the first year I think I used a different brand. I think I remember it being more effective for longer. Never had an issue with it washing out over a season (I only get out for about 40 days during the buggy season) , but I wasn't standing in water with it for as long.
 
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Raymond, ME
IMG_1230.jpg


No seeum tropical style. These had died and dried on the tent. But when I got up the whole tent was gray. Yes each one is the size of a pepper grain.
 
G

Guest

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Bug shirts, light colors, brimmed hats, and the ParaWing VCS

Bug shirts, light colors, brimmed hats, and the ParaWing VCS

We definitely use bug clothing.

AlmaguinCampgroundPics001crop.jpg


We use the same sort of bug jackets you pointed out YellowCanoe. This is us modelling the fashions that are de rigeur in late spring/early summer in these parts. We use the cotton versions because they breathe reasonably well, though they are a pain to dry out when they get wet from portaging through wet woods.

Martinportaging.jpg


I'm glad Shearwater mentioned the difference colors make. During bug season, I wear very light colors. I first discovered this difference on extended camping trips where I had two colors of pants - one dark, one light. Black flies and mosquitoes would find me sooner and swarm around me in far greater numbers whenever I wore either black or navy blue pants. My off-white or beige pants were much better. I just wish they made canoe packs in lighter colors. My next backpacking pack is going to be a light color as well if I can help it.

I've had people remark that in my photos and videos I look like I'm walking around in pajamas because I wear very lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting pants and shirts and hat, but those light colors really do make one less eye-catching to bugs.

I'd also strongly emphasize the wearing of a brimmed hat. Here in Canada in late spring we have black flies, who love to land on your head and bite your scalp. A hat is pretty much a must even when the bugs are not out in force, or you'll end up with dozens of blood-encrusted little wounds on your scalp by the time you crawl into your sleeping bag to sleep. Later in the season, deer flies, horse flies and stable flies come onto the scene...and a brimmed hat completely confounds them. Their instinctive preference is to land on the head or back of the neck for their blood meals where most animals can't seen them land nor brush them off. But if you wear a brimmed hat, they will harmlessly buzz around over your head, above the brim, looking in vain for a place to land. You can walk around with a cloud of them above and even on your hat and seldom will one dip below the brim to where it can get you. A regular peaked ball cap won't work. You need a brim that goes all the way around. And it's important to remember that this peculiar effect of a brimmed hat only works on the species I mentioned. It makes no difference to mosquitoes or black flies.

And if you know someone who really suffers from bug stress and uses that as an excuse to not go camping, there is a really terrific tarp and mesh system sold by Eureka called the ParaWing VCS.

MSRfilterandbladder.jpg


I can think of no other piece of gear that has more greatly improved the quality of life around camp than that for me, my wife and my friends. It makes it possible to go camping even at the absolute height of black fly season when it would otherwise be a miserable experience. I have a video review of it for any who might be interested which I made this past April, just before the bug season started. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/poLB_a1Qci8?t=1m8s

Hope this helps,
- Martin
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
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Location
Raymond, ME
In the Everglades in March I like to walk the beach..even a bug jacket is too hot.

So here is my portable walking tent. (BTW I think its no accident tropical wear is neutral colored!)

http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/susiebug.htm

My only regret is that I have to hold my skirt up when walking.. Shearwater might be able to advise on tailoring to make it a Susie Jump Suiit.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
137
Location
Ottawa, Canada
I made a little version of the susiebug for bathroom breaks.
Having to go to the toilet in serious bug season - the Thelon River was just awful all of the time as was the Bloodvein River on a few occasions.
So a bug net that fit over me worked well. At the back of it, I sewed a couple of pieces of light fabric to put a couple of small rocks on.
That way there was sufficient room between my back and the bug screen when squatting.

The Victorians had a piece of throw-away material on the bottom of skirts that could be replaced when it got filthy. Would something similar with some snaps work for walking with the suziebug net? That a a few strategically placed pieces of pull-cord to adjust the overall height of the unit.

Ted
 
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