Cheap worry-free sleeping
I hate mosquitoes. Serious gut-tightening allergic aversion. One bite at night and I am awake for hours, and I’ll itch for days. They’ll always find me, too. I’ve learned to ignore what natives say; there are mosquitoes around, and they do bite. When I travel in any remotely warm place, I pack my own mosquito netting. It weighs only a few ounces and can scrunch up small. It’s cheap, and lasts forever. I’m still using one I bought 30 years ago for $2. I like the boxy four-cornered variety to fit over a bed or sleeping bag. I tie a 6-foot long string to each corner; that usually enables me to attach the string somewhere to keep the net elevated at night. I tie it to trees if I am camping without a tent.
I haven’t figured out why more people don’t pack their own. Mine has saved my life more than once. Mostly by allowing me to sleep soundly, but also because with it I avoid mosquito-borne diseases in areas they are common. Studies have shown that sleeping in a net is more effective at preventing malaria than taking prophylactic drugs. I insist my family use netting while we travel in the heat overseas. A quick search led me to Coleman as the least expensive source for a one-person camp-style box net.
There are new self-supporting varieties of mosquito netting, which would be useful where there is little outside support but lots of mosquitoes (tundra, everglades). They are more expensive, but still lightweight. I haven’t tried these. Let me know if you do.02/19/04