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  1. #1
    Senior Member SteveA's Avatar
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    Insect Repellent/Sunscreen

    We'll be doing our first non-credit card tour this summer. We'll be on Michigan's Eastern U.P in early/mid-June. From what I've read - insect repellent is in order.

    Questions:

    1. Any recommendations as to brand/type, etc.?

    2. Is there anything to know about mixing repellent and sunscreen?

    3. Any general, experience-based, suggestions concerning delaing with insects in general, or specifically at this area and season will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Steve & Linda
    Dayton, OH USA

  2. #2
    Hooked on Touring
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    I've toured the UP in June and the bugs are - indeed - thick.
    Long clothing is the best insect repellent.
    Long sleeves, long pants, a hat with a neck flap or a bandana you tuck into your collar.
    Cutters makes a stick repellent that is like stick deodorant - hard to find - 33% Deet.
    I prefer to put it onto my cuffs and collar and cap visor rather than directly on my skin.
    Pick campsites where you can spend most of your time with the wind coming off the lake.
    (But keep your tent 100 yds back)

    Best - J

    PS - I wear light glove liners if necessary. Watch you ankles. Those boogers really know how to find vulnerable spots. They can and will bite thru clothing, as well, especially your shoulder blades. An extra bandana used as a whisk helps here.

  3. #3
    Beer and nachos today!
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    Mixing sunscreen and insect repellant might have risks...

    http://www.healthandage.com/default....dsp_tooldetail

    If the link doesn't work - it's a short article about how skin absorbs more of both DEET and the active ingredient in many sunscreens when both are applied together, and this can lead to adverse side effects
    in children and the elderly. I think that if there are risks, they may apply to cyclists using both for extended periods of time, too.... is there a doctor in the house who can straighten me out?

    I heard there's a new, FDA-approved, non-DEET insect repellant that works, but I can't remember the name of it, and I don't know how well it works.

    Oops! Almost forgot... what jamawani said about long clothing works well for sun protection too, and there's at least one line of lightweight clothing designed to keep you cool and protected. I can't remember it's name either! My brain is mush today
    Last edited by illdoittomorrow; 02-19-06 at 01:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I personaly would cary them seperatly. I use uncle bens because it is the best. You have to accept that you are literally rubing poison (deet) on your skin to avoid other damage to your body. While on the bike, you should be going fast enough to avoid the buggers, and that is when you need the sun screen the most. When stopped it will be easier to cover up with long clothing to protect from the bugs, so ss isnt as nesicary. There are a bunch of companies who make it allready mixed. I would not do it with anything with deet in it( most actually don't). Search around, there are a bunch of tips on what to eat to make your self less taisty. If you do go with deet, ive herd to not put it on any veins (under your wrist ect), because it enters you blood stream quicker that way. Also, keep in mind it will eat through many synthetic fibers (plastic and many of it's cousins). Good luck. Just keep asking around, there are a pelethora of ideas. Ty

  5. #5
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    Great thread! We used to use Repel "Sportsmen" (29% deet) which worked very well for repelling insects but caused mild headaches and severe sunburning on arms and legs after riding all day. We switched to Cutter Advanced (per Consumer Report article) and it repells insect just as well and does cause severe sunburning or headaches. North Dakota has insects that bite through your clothing (especially shorts) so we use Repel Lemon Eucalyptus under the shorts/jersey.....no insect bites in very emberassing/tender body parts and no "chemistry" discomforts like we had with Deet based repellants. We won't leave home without Benadryl Cream for allergic reaction to insect bites.....especially deer fly bites.....which BURN like a fire ant bite (hot charcoal agaisnt your skin) for days! Stop your bike and apply the Benadryl cream to bitten area as soon as possible......imediately is too slow :>)
    Happy touring...
    BCNU
    Gary & Kathy

  6. #6
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I've no experience with UP.

    I have had good results treating clothing, head area of bag, tent screen/door with permethrine spray. See sawyer brand at REI. Repel also makes one. Seemed to highly reduce the amount of insect repellent I needed around camp & such.

    I then use Bens 100% deet, I dilute it myself with water 50% or more-and still just need a tiny bit rubbed about.
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  7. #7
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    For touring, take along 100% DEET. It doesn't matter which brand. Get it in a small pump sprayer or a squeeze bottle. a little goes a long way and it doesn't take up much room in your luggage.

  8. #8
    Touring senior
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    Hi Steve:

    I seem to have a chemical signature that brings in all the mosquitos within 100 meters! They drive me crazy! Even with Deet or some other repellant they seem to find some access point. Aargghhh!

    While on the bike it isn't so bad, as long as you keep on pedalling. The problem is camping. When I backpacked in the mountains I carried a "personal mosquito tent" that I made out of netting, and two clothes hangers (sorry no pictures). It went over my hat and all the way to the ground. What made it work was a frame I bent out of the clothes hangers that extended out front and back at shoulder level. I had a couple hand/arm slits in it, and I could actually relax in mosquito country, sip a coffee and read a book...oh yes, and look at the scenery. Geeky? oh, yes. Practical? You betcha!

    Since then they've come out with bug suits - and that's what I take with me now. Two pieces - jacket and pants made out of net that's stiff enough to stand out from the body. Last summer I learned a trick from a campground manager on the Alaska highway (they use them a lot). When you're travelling roll them up in a plastic bag and spray bug repellant in the bag before sealing it; then when you're using them the mosquitos won't land to find a spot that's tight to your skin. They work like a charm - and the advantage over my old system is that you can set up camp while wearing them. They have a face mask that unzips - makes eating a bit easier! They're probably available in the States, but I got mine thru Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada. Look up mec.ca Hiking/camping; Health & Safety; Bug protection

    Good Luck! Murray

  9. #9
    Climb on my trusty steed BeTheChange's Avatar
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    No thanks to 100% deet. One night when camping on tour in the summer in North Carolina I had the choice of deet on me and having the doors of the tent open (it was ungodly hot and I was dehydrated) or close the doors with no deet but have a heat stroke. I used the deet and opened the doors and it seemed to work but it felt like a chemical burn on my skin. I'd really rather never do that again. I'd say the best thing you can do is get a tent or hammock with full mosquitoe net coverage so you can keep the whole thing closed to critters.

    Watch out for that strong deet, it's not too much fun directly on skin.
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
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  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Down at the shop we've got a combination bug dope/ SPF 15 sunscreen, let me check on the name and I'll get back to ya.

    Bugs in the UP in June, yeppers, it's going to be bad. Try to camp in a windy spot. covering up works best and I'd bring a spring ring bug headnet from the surplus store.

    Having grown up in the Upper Peninsula, I can attest that the bugs in the UP are developing immunity to DEET
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Iguana Brands Sunsect,

    SPF 15 and 20% DEET, combined in a nice lotion. I haven't tried it. Should be available at www.gr8atgear.com
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    For touring, take along 100% DEET. It doesn't matter which brand. Get it in a small pump sprayer or a squeeze bottle. a little goes a long way and it doesn't take up much room in your luggage.
    Yup, this is the way to go on exposed skin. There is also a clothing only repellant called Permethrin (chemical name) that can be found in products labeled "permanone". This is a clothing only product that will last about 2 weeks against ticks & skeeters & stuff. This is a bit harder to find but very good.

    With BeTheChange being the first exeption that I've ever heard of, 100% DEET is OK to use. The studies that refer to small children & the elderly always say that it is long term daily use that may cause a problem, many folks overlook that part.

    And ALWAYS do a little daily check for ticks at the end of the day no matter what your using to ward them off.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    Can't help you on insect repellant but know my fair share about sun block. I'm a lifegaurd and work in direct sun 8 hours a day everyday in the summer. Get a sun block not screen. My brand of choice is Ocean Potion. Get the highest SPF you can find, I have a big old bottle of SPF 50. Also pick up some Ocean Potion aloe burn gel, it works wonders on sunburns.
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  14. #14
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    Get a head net - I used one in Siberia against the mossies (they're big out there) and in Australia against flies (also bloomin' big). Essential if you're camping on a still night.
    For sun-cream, have a look at www.greenpeople.com (or .co.uk - can't remember). We used their stuff in Australia and didn't burn once even though we were cycling right through all the deserts. It's all organic and good stuff. Have a look at www.red-line.moonfruit.com for touring pics.

  15. #15
    Senior Member drissel's Avatar
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    Try avoid using salt, it attracts some critturs also vitamin B will repel some, makes your urine greenish and smells. The smell also comes out of your skin at times and that repels.
    I would also take repellent, I like Muskol or Cutters
    Dave
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
    in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a ride!!!"

  16. #16
    Touring is a must
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    I dont know that bug repellent is OK for you. I had a job cutting woodlines around a peatbog (read moose fly paradise) and it got to a point you couldn't take a breath for how thick they were. I put on some muskol and it felt like my face was put on fire. I never used the stuff since. If you spill some on your car, it will take the paint off down to the metal. I prefer wearing loose clothes and plan my campsites.

  17. #17
    Seńor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Don't pack bananas. Don't eat bananas. There are also some colors that attract mosquitos. I remember reading this somewhere, but I can't remember which are the good and bad colors.

    SPF over 30 effectively acts like it is 30.

    Head nets over a brimmed hat works for me. I also spray a little 100% deet on outside of the hat.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  18. #18
    Hooked on Touring
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    Bananas and Bandanas -
    It might run counter to all scientific evidence, but my hot pink bandana seemed to keep bugs away. Whenever I have my colors done, my colorist always tells me to avoid hot pink, but in this case, I let my colors clash.

  19. #19
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    NO-AD


    Best sunscreen out there. Dunno how widely available it is. I tried Banana Boat when one shop had no No-Ad and man. No good. Pasty white stuff that stayed pasty white. Bugs would get caught in it and I'd have to pick them off of my skin. ****ing revolting.

    End Rant. Buy No-Ad.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    For touring, take along 100% DEET. It doesn't matter which brand. Get it in a small pump sprayer or a squeeze bottle. a little goes a long way and it doesn't take up much room in your luggage.
    +1
    For sunscreen, I like coppertone sport in the blue bottle - it stays on really well even when riding and sweating heavily.

    staying covered up solves both problems without chemicals.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
    NO-AD


    Best sunscreen out there. Dunno how widely available it is. I tried Banana Boat when one shop had no No-Ad and man. No good. Pasty white stuff that stayed pasty white. Bugs would get caught in it and I'd have to pick them off of my skin. ****ing revolting.

    End Rant. Buy No-Ad.
    No-Ad is nice I used it for a about 2 years and then switched to ocean potion which I like more. No-Ad is a close second behind Ocean Potion for me.
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
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  22. #22
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I find the No-Ad stuff, while inexpensive, is not as sweatproof as it needs to be for Texas summer riding. I found the Banana Boat Quick-Dry Sport spray to work pretty well.

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