Insect Repellent: PreVent
Living in the UK insect repellent is an essential addition to any cragging rucksack. From Tremadog to Stanage to Glen Etive the midges (and more recently mosquitoes) can quite literally ruin your evening. Deet based repellents like Jungle Formula have been around for donkeys years and certainly work in all but the worst cases, but if you are anything like me you try to avoid spreading anything on your skin that can eat its way out of your rucksack if it leaks! Deet is nasty stuff so I was pleased to get hold of a mini aerosol tube of PreVent to review. Based on natural flower extracts (pyrethrum extracted from African chrysanthemums) it claims to be a highly effective natural repellent.
In use it unfortunately didn't hit the mark. First and foremost it didn't keep the midges at bay. It may well have deterred them, but we were still getting bitten on a reasonable-midge-intensity evening in Snowdonia. The aerosol tube provides a nice and neat way of putting the stuff on, but we found that we'd emptied the thing in three evenings. It apparently provides 400 controlled concentrated doses, but a single bare arm needed anything up to 10 squirts. At £4.99 this proves pretty pricy pretty quickly. I did like the locking mechanism to stop inadvertent spraying whilst in your bag or pocket, and the neat size lends itself to leaving in your bag without worrying about excess weight. I really liked the smell, and would recommend its use sparingly when the midges are sparse, but you don’t want to cover up. No good in medium to heavy midges, and pretty expensive.