Columbia Sportswear’s Bug Shirt
Brent Reece 09.26.11
As an active outdoorsman I am often hard pressed to find equipment that will stand up to my active life. As a blogger I am afforded an opportunity from time to time to test out some of the best. Pictured to the left are three things sent to me from a great name in outdoor gear, Columbia Sportswear. The Master of Faster Sport Shoes are on the left, the Bug Shirt is in the middle, and the Drainmaker Water Shoes are on the right.
In this review I will tackle the Bug Shirt, the remaining items to be reviewed are the Drainmaker Shoes and that review will be next, as I have previously reviewed the Master of Faster Shoes, which were five star items all the way.
Suffice it to say that when the shirt arrived I was just a little skeptical – a shirt claiming it could handle the bugs of Aroostook County! Black flies and clouds of mosquitoes so thick and nasty that full grown moose routinely run out of swamps and into traffic to avoid them. This is a tall order in my book, even for the best of bug dopes, but well worth the trials ahead. If this shirt, treated with a natural bug repellant, wanted to take on the woods of Northern Maine I was fully prepared to test it!
I began my tests back in August with a trip up Katahdin. Katahdin is my home mountain and the area around it is as wild as any place left on earth. A true wilderness smack dab in the middle of the state. I also brought along the hiking shoes previously reviewed, but enough about them here. I have used a couple pictures of the area again so you can fathom the remoteness of this place. The wilderness and its buggy hordes can only be appreciated if discussed in the right setting.
Here is the backdrop most come to see: Chimney Pond. If you want to see this…
Then you have to hike this!
Which brings you right through the bogs and woods of Northern Maine. The sunny hillsides will fool you but should you seek out some shade in the under carriage of the trees you see to the left and right of the trail, you will meet this guy up close and personal!
Now in the past you had to rely on strange concoctions with weird names: Repel, Bens 100, Old Woodsman, and Deep Woods Off! All are very familiar names to us here in Northern Maine. Alternatively, you had to try weird things to get some relief: A dryer sheet hanging out the back of your hat to keep them off your neck while you cut wood if you were a logger or a backwoods fisherman. If you were throwing a party, I know more than a few folks who would spray the patio with Listerine and swear by that as a short break from our summer infestations.
Into this world of weird and proven remedies enters the Bug Shirt.
Watch this short video to understand the technology: Insect Repellant Shirt
Suffice it to say that a natural solution in this fight appeals to me. I hate all those chemicals and lotions. The burn of deet on my forehead and neck, but what can a fella do. I have even tried a few devices that claim to help, but some are so expensive or just so inconvenient that they are not practical. Then there is the Bug Shirt, which I’ve found to be a really good solution. It’s a technological breakthrough that most will appreciate.
In all of my testing there was a dramatic reduction of insect attacks and no perceivable odor. Now it was not 100% all the time but nothing is! But what a relief! No stinky sprays or greasy hands from having put it on. My fly lines never got treated by oily concoctions, which I know scare fish off. All in all it has been a great experience.