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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Badger Anti-Bug Balm > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs

Badger Anti-Bug Balm

Test Series by Andy Henrichs

November 24, 2007


Initial Report - August 5, 2007


Long Term Report - November 24, 2007


Badger Anti-Bug Balm Tin



Biographical Information

Name:  Andy Henrichs
Age:  26
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 2 (1.88 m)
Weight:  185 lb (84 kg)

Email address:           
City, State, Country:  Carbondale, Colorado, USA

Backpacking Background

   Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, as well as the desert in the southwestern US.  Ive gone winter camping several times, but I still prefer backpacking in the warmer months.  Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6 days.  In the summer of 2004, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked the 476 mile Colorado Trail over 35 days.  Recently, I have been leaning towards the lightweight side of the spectrum. 



Initial Report


Product Information

Manufacturer:  WS Badger (

Year of Manufacture: 2007


Manufacturers Stated Weight: 2 oz (57 g)

Testers Measured Weight (including container): 3 oz (85 g)




 Product Description

     The Badger Anti-Bug Balm is an oil-based lemon-scented balm used to deter insects.  According to the label on the tin, the active ingredients are Citronella Oil, Cedar Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Rosemary Oil, and Geranium Oil.  Other ingredients include Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, and Castor Oil.  I can definitely smell the lemongrass oil, and can faintly smell the citronella oil.  My nose can't differentiate the rest of the oils.  The WS Badger website contains information regarding several of the oils found in their products. 


Field Information

    My testing will take place on the Western Slope of Colorado as well as southeastern Utah.  Most of my travels will be at elevations ranging from 4500 ft (1400 m) to over 14000 ft (4300 m).  My travels will take me from rivers to desert canyons to aspen and pine forests to alpine tundra.  Most of my hikes will range from 8 to 15 miles (13 to 24 km).  I expect to encounter mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums on my journeys.  Temperatures on these trips will likely range from lows of 20 F (-7 C) to highs of 90 F (32 C).  I expect to encounter a wide variety of weather, including sun, clouds, rain, strong winds, and possibly snow on some later trips. 


Initial Impressions

    This lemon-smelling balm is fairly oily.  Given the ingredients, this is to be expected.  Given the oil content of this product, it came as no surprise that it moisturizes dry skin extremely well.  Not much product is required during application, as it spreads out on my skin quite well.  After application, my skin looks shiny and feels a little oily for a few minutes before the balm is absorbed.  I've found that I will typically wipe my hands on a towel or cloth after application to prevent my hands from getting too oily.  After I've applied the balm, the scent is pleasant and not overwhelming.  Due to a hectic work week, I haven't been able to get out and test its insect-repellent properties yet, but there should be plenty of time for testing over the next couple months. 


This concludes my Initial Report.  The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report.  Please check back then for further information.


Long Term Report


Field Conditions

    My testing took place on the Western Slope of Colorado and in southeastern Utah.  Elevations ranged from 4500 ft (1400 m) to 12000 ft (3700 m).  My trip locales ranged from pine and aspen forests to the banks of desert rivers to dry desert canyons.  My hikes and backpacking trips ranged from 5 to 30 miles (8 to 48 km).  I encountered a few mosquitoes, several swarms of no-see-ums, and lots of black flies on my journeys.  Temperatures on these trips ranged from lows of 25 F (-4 C) to highs of 80 F (27 C).  On my travels, I encountered a variety of weather, including sun, clouds, rain, light snow, and strong winds. 


Final Thoughts

    During the test period, I used the Badger Anti-Bug Balm on several day hikes, two three-day backpacking trips, and a two-day rafting trip.  Initially, I used the balm on my arms, legs, neck, and any other exposed skin.  On later excursions, I used the balm on just my arms in a rather unscientific test to see if the balm was actually working or the insects just found me repellant.  After applying the balm to all exposed skin, I would occasionally be buzzed by flies or mosquitoes, but only once did a fly alight on my arm.  It flew off nearly instantaneously.  I got similar results when I only applied the balm to my arms.  I think the lemongrass and citronella scent wafted far enough to keep insects away from my legs, although I did have one or two flies land near my ankles when lounging around camp. 


    One my first backpacking trip, I packed the tin of Anti-Bug Balm but forgot to apply it.  Several miles in, I stopped for a break and was beset upon by several flies.  I remembered the balm, applied it to my arms and legs, and remained insect-free the rest of the day.  I was impressed that I really didnt have to reapply the Anti-Bug Balm during the day.  Once seemed to suffice for the insects in my vicinity.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the lack of dirt that the balm picked up.  Given the oily nature of the product, I was expecting it to be a dirt magnet.  Even after three days of hiking through sand, dirt, and dust in Canyonlands National Park, I seemed to be no dirtier than usual. 


    Overall, I was very impressed with Badger Anti-Bug Balm.  I strongly dislike using DEET, but Im also rather skeptical of most natural insect repellants.  The combination of lemongrass and citronella seemed to effectively deter insects on my travels.  The scent was also very pleasant, without being overwhelming.  Ill definitely be keeping some Badger Anti-Bug Balm on hand for future forays into insect-infested areas.


Thank you to WS Badger and for giving me the opportunity to test this balm.

Read more reviews of Badger Balm gear
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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Badger Anti-Bug Balm > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs

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