Review: Thermacell Backpacker Fly Repeller

Review: Thermacell Backpacker Fly Repeller

Crossing Labrador, the “Big Land” of flies, I was lucky enough to be given a Thermacell Backpacker repeller to test out. What better place to give it a whirl. This little rig meant the difference around camp on more than one occasion. It screws straight into a isobutane and propane fuel canister. With one 4 oz canister like I have above you get an impressive 90 hours of run time. It’s also extremely light at 114 grams and compact answering the bell in those categories for me.

X Lab LOWA #2
Scattered fly. They’re for real in Labrador. 

It works by inserting a blue repellent pad on the top grate (each pad is good for 4 hours). I had a dozen or so of those with me and noticed each one to last the 4 hours stated on the package. They release a repelling scent that is said to create a protection zone of roughly 15ft x 15ft although I believe it is a bit smaller than that.

I found that if I set up the Thermacell while making camp, within 30 minutes, along with the help of fire smoke, the fly count was decreased dramatically. Enough of a difference on most occasions for me and Saku to sit outside the tent and watch the sunset comfortably. There was a few times though when the Labrador flies were just too much. That was expected. The little buggers mean business up there. The wind also limited its performance so a sheltered spot would give better results.


X Lab Flies Saku Running
Our best defence during the day was to keep on moving. I never wore much fly dope because it did little and was not a fan of the face mesh belonging to my fly jacket. The North x North merino wool all-season balaclava I’m wearing here was a saviour. The only skin sacrificed was my face and hands. I was fine with that. Saku had a highly recommended vet prescribed formula to keep him at ease and I was assured he would have no medical issues from the bites he received. Generally he was unfazed. 

Overall I recommend the product for minimizing flies during camping, hunting, fishing etc. when they are an issue. It would even be good around the backyard. It’s also super easy to use. Saku sensed the benefits too. He always seemed to make his way closer to the Thermacell realizing it was helping ward off our Big Land acquaintances. The backpacker retails at a decent price of $49.99




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