Camping is a family tradition within mine and I was always excited for each new location we ventured into. Every summer, we always go to at least five camping sites and we’d stay there for a day or two. Hearing the animals in the forests and the waters relaxed our minds and the walking was a form of exercise. Sometimes, we came upon nearby falls so we also enjoyed swimming with the whole camping activity.
For the next summer, my family decided that we should try something new: beach camping. We looked for the best ones nearby and we decided that the first one would be on Tampa beach. Maybe we were a little late with deviating from the traditional camping sites, but it wouldn’t hurt if we started just now.
But then, this makes me think about the one thing we hated about camping: bugs. Bugs everywhere. These insects, especially those that bite, get in our nerves a lot of times. That is why we always take precautions on repelling the pests so that we can ensure a completely relaxing vacation:
#1 Imitate the smell of nature.
No, we didn’t bathe in mud and sprinkled ourselves with leaves. What we did is put coconut oil on our bodies, because it is very close to the main scent of nature. Also, we didn’t use any scented lotion, shampoo, or soap. Mosquitoes love scented things so we left them all at home.
#2 Camp at the right time and the right place.
There are a lot of bugs during the summer so we couldn’t help it. However, we never camp right after a storm or rain, because mosquito larvae hatch during these times. Aside from that, we avoid areas that are wet or near stagnant water. Those areas usually have a lot of insects living there, so it would be best to stay away.
#3 Keep your camping spot clean.
My mom and I always prepared the food, while my brother and dad cleaned everything after eating. Whenever there was unfinished food, we made sure that that was securely sealed to avoid insects from getting attracted. Also, the insects were lesser when the camping spot was free from dirty utensils and trash.
#4 Make use of your light source functions.
One of the best activities during our family camping is the campfire huddle. Aside from sharing stories and laughs, we also get safer from the insects because the bugs hate fire. However, we don’t use our flashlights a lot especially if we are in an open tent because those always attract the pests.
#5 Add sages to your campfire.
Dad learned this from his boy scouting days and passed the tip to us. We threw sage branches into the campfire because the smell acts like a natural bug repellent.
#6 Use a water-proof insect spray.
Aside from the sage branch, we also bought insect sprays so that we could get the bugs away in more than one way. We usually spray it on our things and the camping spot in general to ensure more pest control.
#7 Buy the appropriate camping gear.
My parents taught me earlier in life that it is better to spend more on the best things rather than the cheap but temporary ones. Camping in foreign outdoors can be very dangerous, so the family only used quality camping gear.
#8 Wear the right clothes.
Even before getting to the camping site, all of us would wear light but long clothing: all in long sleeves and pants. Function always comes first before aesthetics, as mom always said.
Camping could really toughen up a newbie with its strict discipline, but for my family it was a discipline full of passion and fun. We’re all excited and ready to go to Tampa beach, bug-free!