Midge repellent: this works for me

For those who have never experienced Scotland’s wee flying beasties, well you wont belive how something so small can be such a pain. Both literally when they bite and when the buzz in your face, get in your mouth, up your nose and down your ears etc.

It’s been written about many times that Avon’s Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray is an effective repellent. So this Sunday as I got out of the car at Eas Urchaidh to boot up and set off for Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh, the black cloud descended on me. After saying rude words as they started to rip the flesh from my arms I grabbed the Skin So Soft and sprayed all over. A couple handfuls were rubbed into my face, neck, ears and forhead.

Instant relief! They stopped biting. Within minutes it looked like I’d been rolled in poppy seeds as my arms were covered in little black blighters. Now it doesn’t repel them that much. They smell the CO2 on your breath and swarm. But they don’t bite me when I have this on. They didn’t fly down my ears either. They fly about and stick to you but no bites. Given that some alternatives are nasty chemicals this is a fine alternative. It also smells nice and helps to take the edge of the pervasive “mingyness” that rises from a hot and sweaty FMF when out walking the hills on a warm day!

It works for me. But YMMV :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:

Been using this stuff for years and swear by it. As you say it doesn’t repel them they just stick and can’t do anything.
Will stress that it is best to carry the bottle with you as it has to be re-applied in certain conditions.

And it makes your skin so soft - as it says on the tin!

Neil 2M0NCM

I’m using Dr Johnson’s Mosquito and Insect Repellent. Gave some to Tom when he was being eaten alive on Merryton Low during the last 6m contest. A couple of squirts and insects all disappeared.

On my last visit to GW/NW-076 Mynydd y Cwm, I was being plagued by the little blighters. A couple of squirts on my arms and face and a dollop on my cap and within one minute, they’d all vamoosed. Smells of citrus.

I’m sure Tom will agree when I say, highly recommended!

73 Mike

In reply to MM0FMF:
I used to swear by Skin so Soft (the blue bottle, don’t get the pink - that doesn’t work). However, for me its effectiveness only lasted for less than an hour and then I had to reapply. This gets a bit tiresome.

I’ve now moved to using a new chemical product called Smidge. It is formulated in Scotland. This seems to work for hours, even when I perspire. It does not contain DEET which I don’t like on the basis that anything that disolves plastic can’t be great to put on your skin!

A lot of outdoor professionals are using Smidge now.

Anyway, of course it is up to individuals.


I use Boots repel plus in a pump action spray. I think it is 50% deet. One spray application lasts for about 4 hours, makes your lips numb for a few minutes after application. I agree it certainly softens rubber bands but the radio microphones haven’t dissolved yet, might just take time!

Skin so soft only lasts for a short time in my experience.

Best solution for midges is a gentle breeze!

In reply to MM0FMF:

A map has many uses we are told,
It traces tracks and marks the bridges,
Defines the contour lines on ridges,
It will unfold, then tightly rolled
Can massacre the bloody midges.

Barry GM4TOE
(not original!!!)

In reply to GM4TOE:

If I’d have hit myself with a rolled up map enough times to get rid of the plague of midges down at Eas Urchaidh on Sunday I’d have looked like I’d been “interviewed” by the West Midlands Serious Crimes Unit !


In reply to MM0FMF:

Also, Craghoppers sell a range of clothing with what they call “NoSiLife” (or some such capitalisation) which claims to provide permanent insect repellant properties.

Not the cheapest clothing out there, even for outdoor activity stuff, but it’s good quality, comfortable, often supplied with plentiful pockets, and in their frequent sales can be got at a good price.

In reply to MM0FMF:

The only certain way to combat the Scottish variety of midge is to stay out of Scotland during the midge season!

That’s why I took up Scottish winter climbing, I never once got bitten by a midge whilst hacking my way up an icy gully! You don’t get queues at the bar, either…


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
This is quite an interesting topic for me as I’ve just returned from Stoer, having climbed the old man there yesterday.

Luckily the breeze was enough to keep them off during the ascent, but the scramble down the chossy cliffs to start the route was a version of hell on earth. As Andy says, avon sss works, but not good when you need your hands on rock.

A plunge in the brine was enough to rinse them away (not good with tyroleans) and seems to have neutralised the itch.

A couple from Austria who watched us climb later asked about Skye, I said have you heard about the midge? They hadn’t, oh dear…


In reply to MM0GYX:

Greetings from across the pond!

My son and I just returned from an 8 day canoe trek in Northern MN (Boundary Waters). We used Sawyers / Permethrin on our clothing and it was quite effective. Some days I didn’t even put on traditional DEET repellent. I took a mosquito head net, but it never left my pack.

You must follow the directions. You basically squirt the liquid on your clothes until they are dripping wet, and then allow them to dry. I did this to a boonie hat, a long sleeved synthetic camp shirt, a T-shirt, and some zip-off hiking pants. “Cheaping out” by stretching the amount will not give the correct concentration needed. Soak 'em! Some other members of our group found this out the hard way, and suffered.

There were mosquitos, blackflies, gnats, and other wing-ed beasties there, but they left the two of us alone. We were in and out of the canoe / water many times a day, canoeing and portaging, and the Sawyers remained effective. I slept in a tent with two other adults, and wore these clothes to bed after they dried. My tent mates were slapping bugs inside our tent all night long, but I wasn’t bitten once at night. The label says it holds up over several washings. I was good for the whole trip, and I was in the water at least 50-60 times throughout the week.

I’ll buy this stuff again. It was not expensive and the piece of mind / sanity retention it gave me made me glad I took the time to buy it and coat our clothes.

73 de KB3UYT

In reply to KB3UYT:
Hi Eric Is this the stuff.73 Geoff G6MZX

In reply to G6MZX:

More or less, Yes!

Look here:


Good for ticks, which are horrible this year, and 55 other insects.