Those who are sailors will be acquainted with the Beaufort Scale, which is used to grade the force of winds at sea. A force ten gale is something fierce, and the scale tops out at twelve--a full-blown hurricane. Each step is accompanied by a description of the sea at that force of wind. A good system.

So we were thinking...


What if we had a similar scale for mosquitoes in the wilderness? We could call it the Bugforce Scale. Here's our suggestion:

0--Zero. Really. No mosquitoes.
1--I think I may have seen one. But maybe it was a gnat.
2--OK, I saw one, and heard one, but didn't actually get bitten,
3--Yeah, there were some in a few spots. Only the timid put on organic bug juice.
4--Got a few bites, but I got more of them than they got of me.
5--Time for DEET at dawn and dusk. Hiking, we just slapped and sped up.
6--DEET while hiking. Headnets at dawn and dusk
7--Pick your camp spots carefully, up on the ridge in the wind. Bites between hat and sunglasses--how do they get in there?
8--Long sleeves and long pants, I don't care how hot it is. Pray for wind.
9--Headnets while hiking, or you'll breathe in at least one bug per mile. DEET dissolves sunglasses
10--Clouds of mosquitoes waiting on the trail and on the screen of the tent. Open warfare. DEET dissolves watchband, and it's stainless steel.
11--We made it out alive.
12--They got Larry. RIP, Larry.
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