Mosquitoes are small, midge like flies that belong to the Culiciade family. The females are classed as ecto-parasites. They use their long tube like mouth to pierce victims skin to consume blood. The word “mosquito” is actually Spanish for “little fly” but could also be described as “pequeños insectores” aka “little buggers”.
I have spent many hours trawling the internet looking for the answer on how to stop the bugs in their tracks and prevent me from scratching like a maingy dog after a session on the bank.
There are many common answers that you hear about, Special deet sprays that will not only deter the mozzies but will also leave a hideous taste in your mouth making you feel like you have swallowed a can of hair spray, the softer options are a door to door sellers beauty cream that “the army use” suggested by most people in specific outdoorsy forums. I am not sure what the answer is but my jaw did drop when I heard that wearing old granny’s perfume and the buying of a pet pig were actually being offered on the internet as solutions.
I have been asked to review the THERMACELL MR300 portable Mosquito Repeller by @burtonmccallltd. To be fair I was a little dubious about the effectiveness of this product but I thought that I would give it a try and see what it had to offer.
TESTING BASE CAMP
Local to me is the perfect habitat for those “pequeños insectores” a small 20×10 meter water pond which is full of wildlife and is covered by a hazy cloud of our target species. Stupidly I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt, not thinking about what I was about to do.
The little ones soon started to pick me as their Sunday lunch. So it was defo time to get testing!
THE THERMACELL MR300
This product comes in a few parts and all are as vital as the next, I will break these parts down for ease of reading.
The casing is hard plastic and measures around ten inches in length, the grip on the handle is not rubberised but as its not too heavy, the extra grip is not necissarily needed. It fits well in the hand and lies flat when in use to prevent it rolling about. The case has two buttons, one to turn on the gas and the other for ignition. The gas switch clearly slides left to right for ON and the reverse for OFF, once ON, a few clicks of the start button and you are away. At the top of the case is a heating plate covered by a plastic grill to protect the user from burns.
At the bottom of the hand grip is a compartment where the gas chamber is held.
THE FUEL CELL
These small butane cartridges are a little larger than a clipper lighter, they slip into the base of the product and require a short twist to be held in place. These are available on the company’s website and do come in multiple packs to save a few pennies. Now I was expecting these cells to last only a few hours at best, but the company are confident that with each fuel cell you will get 12 hours of use! That’s not too shabby and should keep you going throughout the night.
THE REPELLENT MAT
This little rectangular mat holds all the secrets. I was expecting that this mat would be doused in Deet or another harsh chemical but no. Its active ingredient is something called Allethrin, a naturally occurring repellent found in a chrysanthemum flower. Blooming genius!, Using nature to support nature in being eaten by nature. Each mat will last around 4 hours, they do sell in large packs and will cover you for a few days if out on the bank. The added bonus is that you will not have a sore throat as these are kind to humans and scent free.
Now THERMACELL suggest that this product will support you with a protection zone of 15 feet. That’s quite impressive.
So back to base camp, Here I am, the gas is on and the mat is heating up after being placed at the head of the product resting on the heating plate. I was not too sure what to expect but after a few minutes it started to omit a smoke like vapour which must have been spreading natures goodness.
I can honestly hold up my hands and say that on this day it actually worked. After a few minutes the bites were down to zero and I was definitely within the safe zone. At the time of testing, it was very calm, no wind at all which may have supported the products effectiveness. Others who joined me agreed with the products effectiveness.
This piece of gear retails for around 25 pounds and I must say that it is worth every penny. BUT! if you wanted to upgrade they do have one that screws straight onto your camping stove fuel canister to save not only money but vital space in your backpack. It’s called the Back Packer and I wish I could get my hands on one!
Log onto www.thermacell.com and check out what they have to offer, you may also find them in a variety of camping stores too.
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That is all from me!
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