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How to Make Bug Dope in the Field

There are tons of choices out there when it comes to insect repellents.  You can buy commercial products or whip up any one of a million different recipes that are known to have varying degrees of effectiveness.  One recipe in particular produces a repellent called Bug Dope, and it’s quite popular with hardcore campers and lovers of the outdoors, and it’s also pretty easy to make.  Just follow the steps below, and you can start enjoying the benefits of this safe and potent repellent right away.

Getting Started

All you need is 3 ounces of pine tar, 2 ounces of castor oil and 1 ounce of pennyroyal oil.  This will produce 6 ounces of repellent.  This may not seem like a lot, but this is a very potent repellent, and a little bit will go a long way.  However, you can always scale up if you need more as long as you keep the proportions of the ingredients the same.  You’ll also need some small containers with lids to store the repellent when you’re finished.  Empty 5 hour energy or pill bottles are excellent choices to consider.

The first step is to build a small fire and create a bed of coals in order to cook the ingredients when they’re combined.  You may also need some heat to soften the pine tar if cold weather makes it too thick to work with.  Combine the ingredients into a tin can or cup, give it a good stir, and nestle it in the coals for about 10-15 minutes.  Keep in mind that pine tar is very flammable, and you don’t want the material to ignite while cooking.  Avoid putting the can over open flame, and try to keep the coals from getting too close to the top.  If the liquid does ignite, just put a cover over the top and continue to let it cook.

Processing, Bottling and Applying

Cooking it will help the ingredients to infuse together, and the heat will also activate some of the insect repelling compounds.  The liquid will be very watery, and it will also change color slightly, and this is normal.  When finished, remove from heat, let it cool until it’s safe enough to handle, and carefully pour the liquid into your small bottles.  Consider crimping one side of the can to create an improvised spout that will make it easier to pour and minimize spillage.

The finished product will have a slightly brownish, caramel color to it, and it will have the consistency of brake fluid.  All you need to do is apply it to your face, hands, arms and other areas of exposed skin.  Keep in mind that it will not soak through the skin or fully evaporate, and there will be a slight glaze or film that remains on the skin.

It’s also important to note that while this repellent is potent, it is not water-resistant.  However, one application should last you the whole day as long as you don’t get wet or sweat too much.  Try this for yourself, and chances are that you’ll be impressed with its effectiveness.   

 

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