1. WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHINGThe more of your body you keep covered, the less of it mosquitos have to enjoy.Wearing tall socks, pants, and long sleeves may not sound like much fun on a hot, humid day, but they serve a valuable purpose. Having less skin exposed to the elements means a reduced target area for that swarm of mosquitos waiting around the next bend in the trail. Light-colored clothing also gives you the chance to see and eliminate ticks before they reach a tender bit of skin. Another reason to avoid dark clothing? Mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colors.Mosquito netting is also an effective protective accessory. You can place it over a baby pack to provide chemical-free protection for little ones or use it with your hat when traveling through such swarms of bugs that swatting them away is useless. If you’ve ever experienced Maine’s infamous black-fly season you get the idea.You can purchase clothing and accessories with insect repellant integrated into the fabric or treat your own gear with an insecticide, such as permethrin. If you opt to do-it-yourself, be sure to follow the directions and do not apply the insecticide directly to your skin2. USE INSECT REPELLENTSpeaking of insect repellents, the CDC’s top recommendation for avoiding bites is using “EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.” Check out the CDC’s list to help find a repellant that fits your requirements.For best results, follow product instructions for application and how often to reapply. You can even spray it on your clothing and gear for more protection. If you’re going to be sweating or in the water, choose a waterproof repellant. And if you plan to use sunscreen, apply it first and insect repellent second.3. SAY “NO” TO SCENTSStrongly scented soaps, lotions, perfumes, and colognes are like flashing neon signs for mosquitoes. Stick to unscented products when heading out into nature; not only will you lessen bites, your hiking partners and other trail users will thank you!4. LIGHT UP THE NIGHTCozy up around a big campfire to keep those pesky bugs far away.Bugs are generally averse to smoke and fire. If you are permitted, build a fire at your campsite to add to the ambiance of the evening, cook dinner, roast marshmallows, keep you warm, and help keep bugs away. However, use other lights, such as headlamps and lanterns, sparingly since bugs are attracted to them. Try to keep light sources turned off while you’re getting in and out of your tent so that bugs don’t follow you through the door.5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SITECamping next to an alpine pond may sound delightful until you are painfully reminded that bugs gravitate to standing and stagnant water. That spot behind the sand dunes and out of the breeze, that happens to be the same place bugs love to stay out of the wind. Head to higher ground for the driest campsite possible, and remember, a bit of breeze is a good thing. You can still enjoy the pond, just from afar.6. LIVE A SHELTERED LIFENothing has the potential to ruin an awesome camping trip like bugs buzzing around your head and biting, biting, biting. Thankfully a good shelter can save the day. You want to make sure yours doesn’t have any rips or tears and that all of the closure zips are in good working order. If you need a new shelter for your summer backpacking trips, is a portable option that has no-see-um mesh to keep the bugs out but still lets a cool breeze in. Or, try the which you can use as a hangout area by day and with the floor and sidewall accessories, a comfortable, private, and bug-free shelter by night.One thing to remember is that when it comes to keeping bugs out, a shelter is only as good as its operator. Keeping your tent door zipped at all times means you can kick back in peace knowing you are snug and protected, and with no gnats buzzing in your ear.When you are hanging out around a campfire, fewer bugs means more smiles. Following these six tips will help you enjoy your time outdoors with less worry of sacrificing yourself to an insect feast. Being prepared and staying protected is well worth the extra effort for a relaxing camping trip.