Expedition Insect Repellent

posted in: General 0

Insect repellent is essential when going on expedition anywhere where temperatures don't require a jumper, and sometimes even then. The only well proven insect repellent worldwide is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). The higher the percentage, the more effective it is. Realistically you need MINIMUM 50% DEET, but usually >80% is better.

On the last expedition with the BBC (up to the Kimberley in Western Australia for Without Limits), one of the crew had this incredible spray which put my Bushman's 80% DEET to shame. (Don't worry, Bushman's, I still love you, but this new player is just that little bit better...)

Enter LifeSystems Expedition 100+ DEET Insect Repellent Spray, which contains a whopping 95% DEET, along with 0.1% pyrethrin for some great insecticide action. What's more, it comes in a SPRAY! (Bushman's sprays max out at 40%, higher than that and you're looking at gel only). Of course the container is metal, to avoid pesky issues like the bottle melting due to the sheer strength of the DEET, but it comes in 50mL and 100mL sizes, and is in a pump-spray rather than pressurised aerosol can, which is very airline friendly. As far as I know at the moment it's only available in the UK, but I'm sure competing products will surface.

The main sacrifice this product has made compared with Bushman DEET is the sunscreen component. when you've only got 4.9% of the volume left to play with you can't get effective sunscreen in there! I'm going to be doing a post about a great sunscreen I was shown on the same expedition.


DeployED is going to be stocking and using this repellent as standard going forward. We never quite know where we'll end up, so I want us to be prepared.

By the way there's no kind of kickbacks, sponsorship or financial incentive for my posting this. It's just an awesome product.

See you Out There!

Follow Dr Stuart McLay:

Emergency Physician

Dr Stuart McLay is passionate about the delivery of exceptional care, everywhere. He is the founder of DeployED, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (FACEM - an Emergency Physician), a Core trainee of the College for Intensive Care Medicine, and a Mass Gathering Medicine / Expedition Medicine enthusiast. He's also a husband to 1, and father to 2, and a great annoyance to many.