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Gear Review: Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller

Fishing Thermacell
Travis Smola

The new Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell keeps you bug-free while angling.

As much as we love fishing, we hate wandering too close to the banks once the summer months come. Because that brings out the mosquitoes.

Fortunately, the folks at Thermacell have been helping for years now with their patented mosquito protection solutions. Odds are you have seen Thermacell products for sale at your local Walmart before.

We got the chance to test out the new Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell this year and quite enjoyed the hours of protection without getting swarmed by the clouds of mosquitoes and black flies that seem to take the smell of deet bug spray and citronella as a form of seasoning!

The Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell

Fishing Thermacell
Travis Smola

Earlier this year, we talked with the folks at Mossy Oak, Thermacell, and professional angler Kevin VanDam about the new partnership for a Thermacell specifically targeted at anglers. After that interview, they were kind enough to send me one of the new Thermacell MR300 portable mosquito repeller units for a test run. I did have to wait a few months. This summer has been colder than most and the mosquitoes were slow to hatch. We had very few in the lead-up to the fourth of July.

I think the semi truck's worth of fireworks that my neighbors shot off must warmed them up because when they did hatch, they did it with a vengeance. Walking into the woods in the weeks that followed was always a gamble. Because the swarms were so thick, I think a few of them almost lifted me off my feet!

Fortunately, Thermacell mosquito repellent is strong stuff. Their products use the active ingredient allethrin, which is a synthetic form of a natural insect repellent often found in chrysanthemum flowers. This ingredient is combined into a formula which is baked into repellent mats. These are then inserted into the Thermacell units where they are activated by a small open flame, releasing enough repellent to create a 15-foot zone of protection around the unit. The flame is fueled by small butane cartridges. Insert the canister, click the igniter button a few times, and you are good to go.

We do not know why the allethrin ingredient works, all I can tell you is that it does. Within the Thermacell radius zone, the mosquitoes stop short. It is like an invisible barricade working to spook all those pesky biting insects away.

The benefits over usual mosquito repellent.

Fishing Thermacell
Travis Smola

One big reason to consider the Thermacell is simply because it is a scent-free solution to dealing with annoying flying pests. Which may be more important to fishing than we realize. Earlier this year I visited the Berkley fishing lab in Spirit Lake, Iowa and saw firsthand the research some of their scientists are doing. It was a bit eye-opening to hear all the different scents they have tried that bass do not like. Mosquito repellent and sunscreen lotions among them. Using the Thermacell effectively avoids that problem since it keeps your hands clean. No worries about transferring that scent over to your soft plastics or fishing line.

The nice thing about this fishing unit is how versatile it is. Thermacell included a handy belt clip so the unit will go with you everywhere, which is an especially helpful feature for bank fishermen or if you are wading a river while fly fishing. The Mossy Oak Fishing camo pattern means it will blend in with your fishing shirts yet is easy to spot if you misplace it during such an adventure. We also appreciate the fact that they included a helpful clamp to mount the unit on. That means you can clip it anywhere to your boat or kayak and stay protected.

You could also use that clamp for picnic tables, RVs, or on a chair while camping. It is also light enough to easily stow away for backpackers. These units do lose their effectiveness while moving. Expect that zone of protection to disperse a bit when you are hiking down the trail, but it does return almost instantly once you slow down, giving you protection for a break while hiking on a hot day.

The bottom line.

There are many different products you can use for keeping mosquitoes at bay. Although we wish the Thermacell mosquito repellent refills and fuel cartridges lasted a little longer, this product simply works. We also love the fact it is a deet-free solution to keeping those flying pests away during our outdoor activities. If you have been looking for an alternative mosquito repelling solution, the Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell is a great buy. See the Thermacell website for more information.

Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

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Gear Review: Mossy Oak Fishing Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller