Stay safe camping with threat of infected mosquitos
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How to camp safely this summer

Summer kicks off with a bang in Humboldt County this year with one confirmed case of West Nile virus when a dead bird was brought in for testing. The virus is another seemingly dangerous one spread by the humble mosquito, however, is not nearly as deadly as Malaria. Avoiding mosquitos during summer months can be difficult, considering it’s the perfect time of year to unpack those tents and unroll those sleeping mats. Discover how to stay safe while camping.

Look for a spot a little more inland

Those pesky little buzzers like nothing more than bodies of still water, which means camping by the side of the lake should be avoided. Rather look for a clearing more inland and avoid letting water stand for too long. This includes inflatable splash pools and a furry friend’s water dish. Instead, empty these out when not in use and allow the item to air dry before using it again. But campers should still keep an eye out for other hazards that may creep in. The Cochrane Pond Family Campground recently had to be shut down due to safety concerns and fires safety regulations and septic disposal seemed to be the biggest culprits.

Appropriate clothing goes a long way

Camping is about more than just sitting around the fireplace while telling stories over a hot cup of cocoa. It’s also about making the most of nature and exploring the natural surrounds. Whether this includes a trip into the woods for a bout of foraging or hiking up trails to discover hidden waterfalls and caves, mosquitos can lurk around every corner. Thin layers, full-length layers create a good barrier that mosquitos seldom penetrate. Covering feet and ankles also make a significant difference as these areas seem to be a favorite among mosquitos.

Old fashioned yet effective

There are two anti-mosquito staples that have been passed down from generation to generation when it comes to avoiding those pesky insects. The first is the good old mosquito net. Not only is it effective in keeping mosquitos away but also other insects that may wander in on those balmy summer evenings. The other is citronella oil in its many applications. This fragrant oil can be used in lotions and as oil for burning and send mosquitoes flying in the other direction. Apple cider vinegar and lemon eucalyptus oil are two other natural mosquito repellents that smell good too. With 47 million Americans expected to go camping this year, it’s important to stay safe, even from the smallest creatures.

According to Douglas Hofstadter, “if a mosquito had a soul, it is mostly evil.” With that in mind, it’s best to avoid these bloodsucking fiends as far as possible while still taking in the best nature has to offer.

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