Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to avoid mosquitoes when day hiking with children

Just because mosquitoes are out doesn’t mean you have to spray your body with all kinds of nasty chemicals. There are ways to avoid being mosquitoes - and kids are certain to find a hike unpleasant if bitten repeatedly – without using DEET or bug repellent. Start by not attracting the pests to you in the first place:
g Hike when the sun is high – Mosquitoes tend to come out at dawn and dusk.
g Dump the fragrances - Perfumes, shampoos and sunscreens that carry flowery or fruity scents are a natural draw for the critters.
g Wear light clothing – Mosquitoes can better spot dark clothing, so they’re drawn to those wearing black and navy blue.
g Don’t eat salty foods – Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, which you’ll have more of after eating foods like potato chips. Ditto with high-potassium foods like beans and potatoes.
g Stay out of wet areas – During spring and summer, don’t walk through wetlands or areas with bodies of standing water, where mosquitoes breed.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.