No Bugs and No Chemicals this Summer! (see below for the Pet Version too)
Preparing for a backpacking trip requires some thinking. How do I pack everything I will need, on my back, for 2 days, food, water, clothes, hair brush, wait do I need a hair brush out in the woods?, small tube of toothpaste, healthy snacks, oh yeah a tent and sleeping bag.. and all this and more needs to weigh less than 30 pounds. While planning this hike, I wanted to enjoy it and not be bothered by pesky mosquitos and black flies the whole time. Ticks were the biggest of my worries as I had heard there were a lot of them on this particular trail.
So, I wanted to bring a natrual bug spray to keep these bugs away and also one that would not require my face, hair and body to be hosed down with chemicals. After doing a little research on essential oils and bug repellent, I made a quick natural bug spray to take on our trip. (This was a Birthday backpaking trip weekend for my husband's b-day).
Once we got to the trail, we sprayed our hair, face, body, clothes and pack with this mixture and reapplied once every 4 hours. Walking through the woods all day and hanging out at the campsite at night we never got one mosquito bite, or black flies buzing around our heads, and most of all never saw a tick. Another bonus was that we smelled pretty good for 2 sweaty hikers. The oils smelled great and I liked knowing I was using something good for us and the environment.
I will be using this repellent all Summer long, for sure!
Here's what you do:
Homemade Natural Mosquito, Fly & Tick Repellent
In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water.
Add 20 drops each of *peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil. (*do not use peppermint on children under the age of 3)
Eucalyptus oil works as a tick and mosquito repellent, while peppermint oil gives off a strong crisp scent that also repels ticks and black flies. If you have children under 3, you can substitute citronella or lemongrass essential oils for the peppermint. Both are said to keep flies and mosquiots away.
After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours.
PET VERSION: Homemade Natural Mosquito, Fly & Tick Repellent
For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).
To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet's dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.