What’s a good place to test insect repellent?
How about 25 Scouts canoeing their way through a buggy week in Ontario, Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park? In mid August we don’t usually run into too many mosquitoes and the black fly season is long over. This was a wet summer and we encountered more mosquitoes that we were used to, many, many more.
One evening as we were chatting around the campfire we heard a quiet, yet audible, high-pitched buzzing sound that must have been a cloud of insects (we suspected mosquitoes).
We armed ourselves with 2 ounce tubes of 3M Ultrathon, the best repellent I have ever used and one that has earned a permanent place in my camping kit. One application (a pea-sized blob of lotion I applied to my ears, forehead, forearms, ankles and the backs of my hands) lasted for hours. There’s usually enough wind when we were out on the water paddling to keep the mosquitoes at bay, but portaging is feeding time. 3m Ultrathon worked extraordinarily well repelling the clouds of mosquitoes eagerly waiting for us during portages through the still, damp, shady forest.
According to 3M in the mid-1980’s, the US Military asked them to develop a better insect repellent, and the result, 3M Ultrathon, is being used today by troops in all areas of the world. 3m Ultrathon features a time-release technology that lasts up to 12 hours, resists perspiration and water, and is actually pretty economical. I balked at paying ten bucks for a 2 ounce tube, but I shared mine with several Scouts for a week and still have plenty left.
3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion Available from Amazon
Walter Underwood says
Ultrathon is awesome stuff, and that is from someone who grew up camping in Lousiana.
Allan Short says
Sawyer time release lotion is the same as Ultrathon, so if your local outdoor goods retailer doesn’t carry the 3M product they may have the sawyer. I bought 3 2oz bottles for a Boundary Waters trip several years ago and still have the lotion today. It comes out when I know the skeeters are going to be thick for a long while.
DEET is known to attack plastics, regardless how its delivered.
florenzenFred Lorenzen says
I’m the guy that will have mosquitoes swarming me even when everyone else is doing fine, so a good repellent is very important to me. I’ve been using 3M Ultrathon for years while occasionally trying other products and in my experience 3M Ultrathon is by far the best repellent on the market. Backing up my opinion, reviews in both Backpacker and Consumer Reports rated 3M Ultrathon as the best.
Tom Gillard Jr. says
We could have used this stuff a few years ago out at Philmont. It had been a ‘wet’ spring for them that year. We had left PJ in the morning after getting our resupply of food. We were heading up the ~2 mile trail to Crooked Creek Camp. This trail runs beside and crossed the creek many times before getting there. I thought my eyesight was going as I was seeing foggy areas behind the person in front of me. When we would stop that fog would attack that person. They were mosquitoes. The numbers were incredible. Walking was the only way to keep them at bay. Each person had their own personal swarm of these flying blood suckers. When we got to camp it wasn’t much better as there was a stagnant ‘beaver pond’ there. We had to put on our long pants and nylon jackets with hoods to keep them off of us. It looked like Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen with his little cloud around him. Or the old Off commercial where the person puts his arm into the box of hungry mosquitoes.
Anyway, I was very glad to leave those wet areas behind the next day and move further up the valley.
Is this available at WalMart?
Larry Green says
Walmart carries it.
Shane A. Stillwell says
It does have DEET, but I think it’s only 34%, which if you don’t like DEET, is better than the 99% stuff I use 🙂
I’ve been using Ultrathon for years now, and I agree that it’s the best insect repellent out there. Watch out for what it does to plastics, though. I lost a $60 flyline to damage from Ultrathon. I don’t know if it’s the DEET or some other part of the formulation, but it will damage plastics, especially flyline and standard mono fishing line. I’m careful to wash my hands after applying it now.