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Bugs Begone! How to Keep Nature in Nature after Going Camping

June 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When you’re in the great outdoors there are no rubber seals and deadbolts separating you from the wild expanse of nature outside. While that may be the point for many people, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with bugs once you get back home. Here are some ways to make sure you don’t bring nature home with you.


First, shake everything thoroughly outside to get rid of natural debris and hidden critters. Air-out supplies in a secure environment to prevent new bugs from coming in and allow bad odors to dissipate. Distilled white vinegar can be used to get rid of body odors, animal urine, and other natural scents which seep in over the course of a trip. Deodorizing can also help remove the smell of food which attracts rodents and other vermin, and eliminates dead skin cells that look like a feast to mites and gnats.


Machine-wash everything you can. Then, use a spray-bottle or mister filled with a 1:10 mixture of vinegar and water to lightly spray down the rest of your non-washable camping equipment and get rid of lingering smells. If you did any hunting and cleaning of game, wipe down anything that came into contact with animal parts or blood with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water to prevent risk of disease from fur and feathers


Wrap and store items in bug-proof netting or hardware cloth during storage. Not only will this prevent new bugs and vermin from settling in while you’re gone, it will also keep anything you missed from getting into your other stuff. It may be gross to see a few dead bugs next season if any were trapped inside, but that’s still better than finding out some missed bugs have started a society in your camping gear.

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