Camping Tip of the Week – Things That Bite

They’re baaaaack! We’ve had some pretty big tides this week thanks to the super moon (and the equally grouse moon the next night) and there’s a lot of water around. And mangroves. And very little breeze. All prime conditions for mozzies and midges.

Having lived in River Heads aka the midge capital of the world, I do know a few things about them. For example, I know that they’re not actually biting you, but peeing on you which is as gross as it is annoying. I know that midge mesh provides a false sense of security. And I know that everyone has a different way of trying to repel them.

After a particularly savage attack on my ankles last week, I put the call out to our Facebook friends, who are as intelligent as they are attractive. Here’s some of the remedies they shared.

Out of your traditional line of personal insect repellants, you can’t go past Bushman. The Green Death. When we lived in River Heads, we tried all the other ones on the market, and Bushman was hugely better at doing it’s job.

I’m not mad keen on using it forever though, and I’m even less keen on using it on the baby. There are some natural bug sprays on the market, I haven’t tried them as yet, but I am a big fan of the home remedy.

Keeping covered is obviously a big one, and good for sun protection too. I’ve found that midges are sneaky little buggers though, and will find the gaps around your cuffs or between your buttons. Our mate Al used to wear a boiler suit when he came to visit.

Keeping your skin oily seems to be a pretty common theme too. Bushman is quite oily, and a lot of people swear by Avon Skin So Soft or a concoction of baby oil and Dettol. I’ve been smothering the kids in coconut or olive oil, which seems to provide a reasonable barrier.

Getting the camp fire going seems to help, especially if it’s a bit smoky.

Nicole also suggested taking a Vitamin B supplement which apparently can make the scent you emit from your pores change to something less attractive to the midges. Sadly, I don’t think she is referring to the V(itamin)B that comes in a green can, although with enough of the supplement I guess you’d neither know nor care about the midges.

Once they’ve got you though, then what? Commercial remedies include Stingoes, Itch Eze, Paw Paw ointment and calamine, while both Felicity and a local farmer told me you can rub the inside of banana peels on your skin to stop the itch.

Quite frankly, I think I’m just going to do all these things at once.

Are there any I’ve forgotten? What’s your top tip for keeping the bugs at bay?


Camping Trick of the Week


What’s Cai wielding? It’s not a turkey chasing stick although I’m sure that’s only because he hasn’t thought of that yet.

Hand washing clothes is not my most favourite thing in the world, I will admit. It’s pretty time consuming even with our much smaller wardrobes these days and my kids are fairly grotty. Even with a huge amount of scrubbing, I think that the lighter items we brought with us will now forever be a lovely shade of red dirt.

On our first visit to Funny Dunny, Old Mate next to us produced this contraption, and Matt was astounded. It’s a big funnel with holes drilled into it, and secured to a stick. Genius! Pop your detergent and water in your bucket and use your Funnel-Stick Thingo (I am totally trademarking that name BTW) as an agitator.

Matt’s been trying to get his hands on a funnel for weeks now, but seeing as how I’ve racked up enough hours wandering around BCF lately that I think they should start paying me, I’ve been pretending not to notice Supercheap Auto stores until we’ve driven too far past them to turn around.

So you can imagine our delight when we returned to Funny Dunny and Old Mate had left this treasure behind! Like a gift from the gods! He’d left it because it was a bit broken, but it will do us for now. At least until I can face going into Supercheap Auto again anyway.


What is it?
A Funnel-Stick Thingo (trademark pending)

What’s it for?
Washing your stuff

How do I make one?
Buy funnel and dowel, or buy funnel and find stick. Drill holes in funnel and attach to dowel or stick. You might also want to put a cable tie on it somewhere, because cable ties are ace.