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January 2, 2009

Bugs and Camping

Filed under: Camping,Nature — Tags: , , — writer @ 10:17 am

As much as my family loves camping, there is something about camping that we don’t like and that’s finding bugs in our tent! I’m not scared of most bugs, but I certainly don’t want them as roommates, especially spiders. My family has learned some tricks over the years that help keep the bugs where they belong—outside of our tents.

Spider Photo by Wendy Pastorius

When we arrive at a campsite we choose the best spot for our tents. We look for areas that are less likely to attract flying and crawling bugs. We never pitch our tents directly beneath the long hanging branches of trees. We don’t pitch our tents near standing water or under light poles, either. All three of those places are prone to be bug magnets.

There are a couple of tent rules that I enforce when camping:

  1. No one is allowed to eat or drink inside their tents.
  2. Don’t turn on your flashlights inside your tent unless the door is zipped closed. (Because bugs are attracted to light, we try to keep our camping lanterns a good distance from our tent doors, too.)

I’m a clean camper. I know that the less attractive my campsite is to bugs, the fewer bugs I’ll have to deal with. This means I keep garbage at our campsite to a minimum. We either dump it right away at a dump station, or we burn what we can. We also never leave leftover food on the table. I try to cook only what we’ll eat at a meal. But, if I do have leftovers, I store it away in air tight containers.

Another bug deterrent is a campfire. While it impossible to keep a campfire burning 24/7 because we often leave the site to go exploring, we generally have one when we are at our campsite—no matter the season. (If you opt for a campfire, be sure it’s attended by an adult while it’s burning and make sure it’s completely out before you leave your site.)

The truth is there’s no way to completely avoid bugs when you’re camping. While the occasional Daddy Longlegs may still find its way into our tents for a sleepover, the majority of the time our tents are bug free.

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