Gear Reviews

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word on the street is ol Eric Welsh.....shot one...

ThermaCELL and ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern

Mosquito Repellent Appliance
Olive Green Unit, Lantern
Product Type: 
Bug Repellent

Vuvuzelas. I don't think there's anything more annoying than those things. If you don't know what they are, Google it. Black flies and mosquitos buzzing in your ears and biting you while you are hunting can be just as annoying, a bit more painful and have more of a health risk. I am not a huge fan of spraying down with bug spray before or when I hit the woods. It can get smelly, wear off and may not cover all areas. What do I use? When I hit the woods I bring my trusty ThermaCELL mosquito repellent.

Many of the hunting shows preach the use of a ThermaCELL, but being an ordinary guy just wanting to hunt the forests of Southern California I wanted to try it out for myself. We all know that our hunting season run parallel with bug biting season. On my last few scouting trips I brought out the ThermaCELL and was very happy with the results. For those who have never heard about or used a ThermaCELL, here's how it works:

ThermaCELL uses revolutionary, patented technology to dispense a small amount of repellent into the air over a long period of time. ThermaCELL is powered by a butane cartridge which provides the cordless, portable heat necessary to operate the device (batteries are not needed). It directs the heat to a metal grill. A mat saturated with Allethrin, a copy of a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers, is placed on top of the metal grill. The heat generated by the butane cartridge vaporizes the repellent allowing it to rise into the air, creating a 15 x 15 ft (225 sq ft) “Mosquito-Free-Zone” in minutes. The repellent is very unpleasant to mosquitoes, but when used as directed, will not harm humans or pets.

Let me tell you, this contraption is awesome. Each unit has a great little carrying case with two pockets, one for extra butane and one for the extra mats. Getting the actual unit inside the case and snapping the snap was a chore. Other than that it's very easy to use. It works on mosquitoes and black flies. I never measured the 15' distance between myself and the bugs, but it works great. Each cartridge does last close to 12 hours and the mats between 3-4. I haven't had any problems with the unit or having it work. I will always bring it on every hunt, unless I am in the Arctic! I don't have it always on either. I turn it on when the bugs start flying around and pestering me. I even took it on an evening nature walk with my wife and daughter. None of us got bit and we very much enjoyed ourselves. I felt kinda bad for the people in front of us who had to keep slapping bugs off.

I have heard more than one of my friends tell me they think the butane cartridges and mats are overpriced. I am not so sure I agree with them. Sure, they if you use the unit all day, every day you are hunting you will need to bet refills. Look at it this way, do you want to enjoy your hunt, or do you want to be pestered by bugs and risk infection with West Nile Virus? To me it's a no-brainer. Heck, you can buy a summer pack of 10 Butane Cartridges and 30 Repellent Mats for $49.99 from their website. I may not have loads of money to spend, but I'll be sure to have a stockpile of ThermaCELL refills.

The second part of my review is on the new ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern. It works like the original ThermaCELL, but as a lantern. You can hang it up, carry it and set it up on a table for those evening outdoor get-togethers. The LED lights are very bright and provide ample light for just about any setting.

    Product Features

        * Eight LED lights, with two illumination settings
        * Twice as much light as previous ThermaCELL lanterns
        * Up to 98% protection from mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums
        * 15 x 15 foot comfort zone
        * Easy grip handle
        * Rugged outdoor structure
        * Lightweight - 13oz
        * Mosquito repellent operates on a single butane cartridge
        * Light operates on four AA batteries (not included)

Eric Welsh had this to say about it.

'It works awesome. We put it up to the porch light that was surrounded by mosquitoes, moths, etc. Within 10 seconds they were all gone. The lantern seemed to be lightweight enough to maybe take on a two-day backpacking trip. The worst thing is the butane button. If you forget to turn the butane off with the light its all over. I think the butane cost just as much as the lantern itself.'

I think I understand why ThermaCELL has them separate, but I also see Eric's issue with it. When I turn off a lantern I want everything to be off. I believe the ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern was designed so you could use it during the day, too. I guess you'll really have to pay attention to the lantern settings. Otherwise you may end up with a hefty butane bill!

Both items work well. I would recommend both to hunters and campers alike. If you hunt or camp and are having an issue with bugs, head on over to their website for more information and on where to buy.