(BPT) - Who doesn’t love a family camping trip? We all look forward to that time outdoors when you can hike, swim, roast marshmallows and sleep under the stars. However, one of the biggest challenges for campers is dealing with bug bites and rashes. It’s hard to enjoy ghost stories under the stars when you’re focused on a pesky itch.
Check out these five tips that will help you avoid or relieve bug bites and itches commonly experienced in the great outdoors.
1. Strategically choose your campsite area
While a waterfront campsite sounds idyllic, mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs near the edges of lakes and ponds.
Instead, choose a dry, clear area, so you have a less buggy campsite to return to after a day of hiking. Also, keep your campsite clean and as bug-free as possible by properly disposing of any trash, storing food in containers with a secure lid and washing dishes as soon as you’re done eating.
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2. Research local plants and avoid rash-causing ones
You may be aware that poison ivy can cause skin rashes, but do you know how to identify it? Find out in advance what plants are at or near your campsite and learn how to recognize them so you can stay far away. Other common plants that can cause rashes and skin irritations include poison oak, poison sumac and stinging nettle.
Also, while hiking or exploring clearings near your site, stay on a designated trail near the center to avoid accidentally brushing up against rash-causing plants.
3. Use bug deterrents
Before you head out on your next adventure, remember to stop at your local drugstore to pick up effective bug and insect repellent sprays or creams. If you plan to hike or swim during your camping trip, make sure you pick a waterproof bug repellent or remember to reapply.
For your campsite, light some citronella candles or invest in a battery-powered bug repelling diffuser to discourage bugs from visiting your area.
4. Pack ointments to soothe bites and rashes
No matter how careful you are, you’re likely to get a few bug bites or brush up against a rash-causing plant during your getaway. Make sure your first-aid kit has a topical ointment you can apply to a bite or rash to soothe the area and relieve the inevitable itch.
Aquaphor Itch Relief Ointment is a great option that’s tough on itch and gentle on skin, combining the maximum strength of 1% hydrocortisone (anti-itch ointment) with other soothing ingredients to immediately relieve itch and provide up to 12 hours of itch relief to help heal the skin.
This hypoallergenic, fragrance and paraben-free ointment relieves itching associated with rashes and skin irritations, including those caused by bug bites and poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Having this on hand is ideal so you can spend less time worrying about your itch and more time focusing on enjoying your getaway.
It is available in both 1 oz and 2 oz sizes, and you can find it at most food, drug and mass merchandisers nationwide or at www.Walmart.com.
5. Dress for success
The less skin you expose, the less likely you’ll be to expose it to irritating brush or pesky insects. One of the advantages of late-season camping and hiking is the need for long sleeve shirts and pants that help serve as extra skin protection.
It’s also a good idea to spray your clothing, tent, backpack and other camping gear with bug spray to further discourage mosquitoes and other bugs from crashing your camping party.
Going away for a camping weekend doesn’t mean you have to come back with itchy, irritated skin. Using these five tips, you can enjoy your camping trip to the max and worry less about possible bites and rashes.