Staying protected from the sun is one of the first things we think about when going camping, but what about bugs? Summer is here and so is our wanderlust. Come the heat of December, we start to crave places as far away from work and civilisation as we can get. Luckily, you never have to travel too far to get there. We have the splendour of the Kruger National Park, the majestic Drakensberg, the beaches of Mozambique and many other slices of nature just waiting to be discovered along roads less travelled.

Unfortunately, with the outdoors comes the added irritation of certain inhabitants: those too small to appear in travel brochures. Insects, bugs, things with too many legs and eyes. Most we encounter on these camping trips defy classification to most of us, who are used to screaming at the occasional spider or swatting the odd cockroach.

But irritating, frightening or downright dangerous, it’s the one part of an outdoor holiday we often overlook. So when planning where to put your tent and your family this summer, here are a few tips to stay protected:

The importance of shoes:

Come summer, we all want to be barefoot, but the truth is that nature doesn’t share the smooth, clean floors of your home. Thorns, sharp rocks and bugs are waiting. When outdoors or camping, be sure to have good closed shoes on at all times. Otherwise if you step on something sharp or poisonous, you could be in trouble. And don’t forget to regularly check shoes that you take off: scorpions have been known to favour them as a temporary home.

Watch what you eat:

Be sure to dispose of your food properly and don’t leave food lying around. This may attract swarms of flies, monkeys or other unwelcome visitors.

Mind your tent:

Whether you’re leaving your tent for a moment, or a day’s hike, don’t forget to zip up your tent flap. Nobody wants to come home to a spider on the pillow.

Keep them away:

If the ever-present threat of being bitten by mosquitos is ruining your campfire evenings or if finding insects in unlikely places is fraying your nerves, then why not keep them away entirely? Insect repellents come as sprays, sticks and creams and do wonders at keeping nature’s more irritating side at bay. Peaceful Sleep gives you an effective 8-hour barrier from insects, so you can focus more on unwinding from the year or spending time with family.

But most importantly, don’t let bugs ruin your holiday. They’re only a small part (literally) of the outdoor experience. Besides, if the year didn’t defeat you, neither will they. So enjoy nature and all her many wonders. Enjoy unwinding and reconnecting with family and friends. And with Peaceful Sleep, may it also be less irritating.