Category Archives: Equipment

Insect Repellents


No single commercially available insect repellent is effective against all the biters that are likely to be encountered in Australia.

Different species of flies and mosquitoes react differently to particular repellents and therefore more than one product may be needed to stay bite-free.

No insect repellent will deter stingers such as bees and wasps.

The information listed here is time sensitive. Manufacturers may have changed the name and/or composition of their products or they may no longer be available.

New, more efficacious products may be available.

Ingredients of Insect Repellents

  • N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (diethyl toluamide) (deet)

This is a powerful mosquito repellent, particularly against the culcine species, carrier of Murray Valley encephalitis and the Ross River virus.

  • 2-ethyl-1,3 hexanediol (ethyl hexane diol) (e-hex)

This is a good mosquito repellent against the other main group of mosquitoes, anopheline, which carry malaria.

  • di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate

This will repel bush flies.

  • N-octyl-bicycloheptene dicarboximide

This will repel bush flies.

  • bisbutenylene tetrahydrofurfural

Repels stable flies and other biting flies.

  • Pyrethrins

Kills insect on contact.

  • Tetramethrin

Repels and kills insects.

  • Bioresmethrin

Repels and kills insects. 


Coat all exposed skin with the repellent. Mosquitoes will find any point not covered. Some insects will bite through clothing so it is important that the repellent is also applied to clothes. Increase the quantity of insect repellent applied to increase the protection.

Keep away from eyes, nose and mouth and, in the case of deet, away from the groin, skin folds and other sensitive areas. Do not apply to spectacle frames or plastics.

Duration of Protection

The length of protection is dependent on many factors, such as temperature and wind. High temperatures will reduce the duration of protection. Exposure to even a gentle breeze can reduce the length of protection by up to half.

Where clothing rubs on skin, repellent will lost rapidly. Swimming, showering or being rained on will wash off most repellents. Sweating also reduces efficacy (desired effect) and at the same time attracts insects. Obviously, reapply as efficacy reduces.

A good repellent will provide four hours protection under ideal conditions. Wind and water reduce the amount of time a repellent is effective.

Aerogard Spray 190.0 43.5 10.0
Aerogard Lotion 170.0 49.5 18.0
Aerogard Roll On 114.7 41.8 27.7
Skintastic Spray 69.7 n/k n/k
Rid Cream 160.0 10.0 20.0
Rid Roll On 160.0 10.0 20.0
Rid Spray 100.0 20.0 15.0
Off Spray 190.0 43.3 10.0
Pea Beu Spray 52.2 11.0 11.0
Scram Spray 90.0 (E-hex) 40.0 8.0


© Kim Epton 2013-2019
424 words.

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Shipping Containers Disguised as Water Tanks

Travel any distance in the bush and you will come across one of more of these cube-shaped, rivetted iron water tanks.

However, they are not a purpose built water tank but were originally a ships’ tank used for transport of many varied items – the precursor to today’s ubiquitous shipping container.

Early settlers immediately saw the advantages of their size and sturdy construction, repurposing them as water tanks.

More information


© Kim Epton 2022-2024
119 words, one photograph.

Feel free to use any part of this document but please do the right thing and give attribution to It will enhance the SEO of your website/blog and Adventures.

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Why Butane Camping Stoves Don’t Work When It’s Cold

What’s in the can?

Fuel canisters used in single burner butane stoves contain a compressed blend of butane and propane. Butane typically accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the fuel mixture – with propane making up the remainder.

butane stove


How it works

The pressure in the canister keeps most of the mixture in a liquid state although a small amount vaporises into a gas above the liquid. When the canister is attached to a stove and turned on, the gas is forced out of the canister to the stove burner.

In order for this to work, the pressure inside the canister must be greater than the pressure outside.

Cold weather performance

However, as the canister temperature drops below freezing, its internal pressure starts to drop until this is no longer the case and the burner sputters and goes out.

This is because butane stops vaporising at 0.5 degrees Celsius (its boiling point).

Unlike butane, however, propane continues vaporising even in very cold temperatures (down to minus 42 degrees Celsius). This has some interesting implications for cold weather performance.

butane canister

Propane burns off at a disproportionate rate in temperatures below freezing. As the remaining butane/propane mixture shifts increasingly toward just butane, less and less fuel vaporises until eventually the pressure in the canister drops below what is required to continue feeding the stove. This means that a brand new fuel canister may work for a while in sub-freezing conditions, but can stop working long before the canister is empty.

Other factors

There’s also another factor that affects a butane canister’s cold weather performance. The process of vaporisation—the changing of physical state from liquid to gas—takes energy. In a butane canister, that energy comes mostly from the latent heat in the fuel mixture itself, which is why a fuel canister will become noticeably cooler while the stove is operating. In cold temperatures, this effect can drive the canister temperature down and stop the burner cold—even if the ambient temperature is above the butane’s boiling point.