Sleepless nights scratching at mosquito bites while trying to rest after long travel days can be uncomfortable, lead to a compromised immune system, and sometimes even a life threatening disease like malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, West Nile, and elephantitis.
When traveling to areas known to have lots of mosquitoes, it’s always a good idea to bring a good net. They weigh around a pound, pack small, and can make your trip so much more enjoyable.
Good mosquito nets are also great at preventing other insects like cockroaches, centipedes, flies, and even vermin and falling gecko crap from disrupting your domain, so you can literally rest assured.
My friend Derek Dunfee was bit on the neck by a large Hawaiian centipede while he was sleeping, and it sucks to get woken up by cockroaches and rats running across your face in paradise.
I’m writing this post because I’ve contracted a heavy strain of dengue hemorrhagic fever, and friends have almost died from malaria. What really sucks about the viruses that the little hypodermic faced insects carry, are that after you survive the worst of the symptoms, there are sometimes lifetime lasting effects, such as auto-immune disease, joint degradation, and migraine headaches.
I got under my mosquito net last night down here in Tahiti and found a wasp, couple mosquitoes, and a cockroach in there with me. After looking closely, I found lots of small holes, and gaps from the floor to the box spring. If there is a way to get inside, insects will, which is why it’s important to have a good net.
There are many quality mosquito net manufacturers out there, offering a variety of different styles, but my favorite for constant travel are the pop-up nets. You can use them indoors on your bed, or on the ground outdoors under the stars. The floor is removable, they prevent noseeums from getting through, are treated, and offer structure that’s essential and sometimes difficult to find when looking for a place to hang a traditional net.
Good travel nets are basically a tent, but much lighter, provide great ventilation, pack smaller, and come in single, twin, double, and even full size, to sit comfortably on any mattress.
A range of nets can be found at thelongroad.com and mosquitonets.com.
Photos – Top: My traditional mosquito nets put to good use in Tahiti and at G Land, Indonesia. Sealed travel nets would be even better.