One of the most cited reasons on why people don’t like to go camping can be summed up in one word: bugs. And not that I blame them. As far as I’m concerned, anything that has more than four legs or less than 2 is from outer space. With the popularity of the 1997 release of a movie called “Men in Black”, I can only assume that I’m correct in my assumption that everyone else thinks so, too.
The best bug repellant that I’ve ever seen has to be Skin So Soft by Avon. If I don’t have a bottle readily available to take with me camping in the summertime, I don’t go. :-p If you don’t want to spray a bunch of DEET on your skin (like that found in Off! brand products), Skin So Soft is a great alternative that actually works.
Wait, The FDA Says DEET Is Great…
Most people don’t know this, but almost all bug repellent products contain DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). It’s long been sold as one of the most effective bug repellant chemicals available, but that doesn’t mean that coating your entire body in the stuff is a good thing. Why not? Well… because DEET is basically nerve gas. That and spray some on a piece of plastic and watch what happens. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in its health benefits.
Even though the United States (incredibly) allows the sale of bug repellents that contain up to 100% DEET, most other countries restrict the content to 50% or even less. Many are concerned that long term use of DEET causes nerve damage, since it works in the same fashion as nerve gasses sarin and VX used on battlefields across the globe.
Not Exactly Organic
Skin So Soft isn’t your all natural, organic bug repellent, but it’s a step above Off! and other products that contain DEET. Who wants to coat themselves in nerve gas? I don’t. A bit of warning, though: you might not want to use it if you’re pregnant because it contains carrot seed oil. This isn’t a big deal at all if you’re not expecting because it’s used in a lot of skin care formulas and is also fine for babies’ skin once out of the womb. Carrot seed oil has been traditionally used as a contraceptive, so you might want to skip Skin So Soft if you’re pregnant.
Then again, you should probably skip the DEET, too.