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June 21, 2006

A $60 Lifesaver: At Buggy Campsites, this Screen Tent Makes All the Difference

Tent01 If you camp in areas where it frequently rains and there are swarms of blackflies or mosquitoes, one piece of gear you really need is an oversized open-screen tent.

Several years ago, I floated a stream in Alaska’s interior and was rained on for 5 days straight. Although my cramped two-man tent kept our bags dry, there was no place to cook, hang wet gear, or just get out of the rain, let alone seek sanctuary from an armada of blood-thirsty insects.

The following year, on a repeat trip, I took along a 10x 10-foot screen shelter from L.L. Bean. That tent not only saved us from the flying hordes, but it gave us an arid place to hang our soaked jackets and waders, all while keeping the camp stove fires burning.I would never consider camping in the North Country without one.  Although L.L. Bean no longer makes the tent, you can get a shelter for less than half the price I paid, at around $60, from this link. http://www.ourcampsite.com/02840.html

What’s the buggiest experience you’ve ever had, and how did you survive? Hit the comments bar to let us know.

Comments

tom

I have learned that caribou hunting is a much more enjoyable hunt in the late season (After mid September). Most of the seasons open Mid August or September 1. When in Alaska Caribou hunting you have two main elements, the rain and the bugs.... similar to your float trip. I have learned to hunt in the last week of September which most of the bugs are gone, then you only have to contend with the rain.
My most insect infested trip was a Fly in trout trip outside of Anchorage. My dad and I wore Bandanas around our face to prevent inhaling the bugs. We did not breathe through our mouths that whole trip...as the nose is a much better filter for bugs. At least we caught a bunch of fish.

Kevin Wickman

My wife and I went to fish slough creek in Yellowstone park with my wife's father. That day it was 110 degrees and the air was thick with all sorts of flies,mostly the kind that bite. I wore a face net and a jacket made out of the same net like material. On the way up a, a horse drawn wagon full of tourists pointed and laughed as thy passed me. I don't think that they thought that it was so funny after a few miles on that trail. As the wagon passed us on their way back I saw alot of them scowling and swatting at the biting demons as they passed. I rarely go anywhere without at least having a face net, just in case I need it. They are inexpensive and takes up about the same amount of room as a handkerchief would.

Jon Bial

A client of mine rewarded a successful court appearance by taking me fishing on a small creek outside of Soda Springs, Idaho.

I'd asked him before we set out if he had any repellant.

You know that character on Peanuts, Pigpen? His cloud of dirt was nothing compared to the swarms that surrounded us.

Repellant? Some special brand his fiance' bought for him. (I've my doubts on whether the marriage will last.)

It worked so well that had to frantically fan the critters away with my hat. Ended up missing a nice fish because of it.

But hey, I was still fishing. With experience comes wisdom. I now pack my 3m right next to my legal pad.

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