GOD'S COUNTRY BOTANICALS
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
September 12, 2007
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Wilmington Massachusetts USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
Presently almost all my experience has been hiking in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington and at the Imp shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains in New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have recently completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: God's Country Botanicals
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.godscountrybotanicals.com/
MSRP: $4.49 US
Listed Weight: 2 oz (60 g)
Measured Weight with container: 2.5 oz (70 g)
Manufacturer's warning quoted from their web site:
Buzz-Off should not be used in mountainous areas where wild cats might be present. Catnip oil does attract wild cats, including mountain lions, cougars, and bobcats. Do not use this product if there is a danger of attracting a wild cat!
The size and shape of the bottle makes for easy carrying and packing in a pocket or backpack. The bottle is cylindrical in shape and 1.25 in (3.17 cm) in diameter. It is 5.25 in (13.34 cm) long. The product fits comfortable in my hand and can be operated with one hand.
The odor is strong Eucalyptus with a hint of lemon. The smell is strong but not unpleasant to me. The bottle contains a plunger to release the product. The operation of the plunger is a bit sticky. When I tried to get a small amount I got nothing, but when I pushed hard enough to get results , I got a lot more than I expected. The substance is oily and thick but does apply easily. With 2 squirts I was able to do my arms, face and neck. I then used a squirt for each leg. The plastic bottle seems quite sturdy and able to withstand the rigors of trail use.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions contained the ingredients of Catnip oil, Lemon Eucalyptus in a base of soybean oil. The product is to be applied every 2 hours in the presence of mosquitoes. We are told to shake the bottle before using. The only informative information on the bottle was the web site. I was surprised not to see, ingredients or net weight on the bottle label. The label contained no warnings or instructions to shake before using.
TRYING IT OUT
My first test was to put some on and visit my daughter who has 3 female domestic cats and a dog. One cat never came out from where it was sleeping. Another cat started to approach and then scooted up the stairs to the second floor. The third cat was outside and started to approach and when it was within inches turned around and went under a nearby car. The second time I was with a small group of people around sundown and people were complaining of the small black flies. I had the Buzz Off on my arms , face, and neck. I was not bothered and people said they could see them going around my head, but they were not biting.
The third time I tried the product in my back yard, this time I had Buzz Off on arms, legs, face, and neck. Again the results were good. At this time this area is no longer at the peak of insect invasion.
I will be using this product weekend hiking in the White mountains of NH. The next hike planned is Mt Flume for the coming weekend and it will have a lot of shaded places, along with several areas where there is a lot of moisture. These places typically have a lot of insects.
I will be hiking and or backpacking in the mountains of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine almost every weekend of the test. At this time I have used almost half of the bottle.
I am looking forward to testing a product based on natural ingredients. I am not sure how long the product will last as the actual contents is 2 oz (60 g).
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two
months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. My thanks to God's Country Botanicals and Backpackgeartesters for the opportunity to test the Buzz Off insect repellent.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The first location was my daughter's house and yard to see if Buzz Off attracted domestic cats.
The second location was my back yard which has about 56 trees and the back of the lot borders the Middlesex Canal. There is a short section of the canal, in the back of my property that has been restored. This part of the canal has stagnant water, dense growth and is usually very buggy. There is little or no stagnant water on my land and the trees and shrubs are groomed to keep air flowing. However the bugs do hang out near and under the trees and bushes. Most of the field testing will be done in White Mountains of New Hampshire. Mt Flume is 4328 ft (1319 m) high, and it is a 11.2 mile (18 km) round trip hike. Mt Lincoln is 5098 ft (1551 m) high and it is a 6.4 mile (10.3 km) round trip hike. The ski club I belong to is located in North Woodstock New Hampshire and is well located to be close to a lot of good hiking and 1-2 night backpacking locations.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Since there was a warning about Buzz Off attracting cats on the web site, I had to see how well it attracted domestic cats. I visited my daughter who has three female cats and a small terrier. One cat never left its sleeping place. The second cat did not get any closer than 8 ft (2.44 m) before escaping to the second floor. I was leaving by the side door when I spotted the third cat. She came up to my hand and did not quite reach it, when she turned and ran under a parked car. This was unusual because the cats usually come to me for a few scratches and go on with their activities. It did not attract any of the other cats in the neighborhood domestic or feral. The second day I mowed the lawn with my mechanical mower. I had applied small amounts to all exposed areas and the results were good. On the third day I did quite a bit of yard work and essentially did the same thing and the results were also good. In both cases there were mosquitoes around but not at full force. The weather had gotten drier and cooler. I had a chance to play golf and used the Buzz Off at the golf course. I put it on all exposed areas. I was not bothered but neither was anyone else. The last time I had played at this course there were a lot of insects.
The next test was to hike Mt Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The hike started about 10 am and the temp was about 60 F (47 C). The first hour is flat along a river then the trail that goes to Mt Flume goes left. We stopped and met another person who had signed up for the hike. The bugs started biting. So I applied about the same amounts that I had previously applied to all exposed areas. Satisfied that the bugs were under control we started the hike. As we got higher in elevation the temperature dropped and there was some wind. At about 3500 ft (1.07 km) we could see our breath. Not conducive for bugs. At the summit 4328 ft (1319 m), the winds were very strong. We descended a short distance to get relief from the wind and to eat some lunch. After lunch we proceeded to follow our way back for the return. All went well until we reached the breakout from the level area and sure enough the bugs were waiting. My legs got attacked and it could be that after about 6 hours the effectiveness of the Buzz Off was reduced on my legs or sweating diluted the insect repellent. The instructions did call for applying every two hours. At that point I did not have the energy to take the backpack off and apply the Buzz Off, so we returned to the parking lot. That night after taking a shower at the ski club I applied Buzz Off to my hand, arms, face and neck. I then went outside with some members and although bugs were flying around my head I was not bitten. The next occasion to use the Buzz Off was our town's family fireworks celebration on June 30. I arrived at 8:30 pm, set up my chair, camera and tripod. It was cool enough for a long sleeve shirt. In a short period of time mosquitoes began to appear. I retrieved the Buzz Off from my shorts pocket and applied to hands and face and neck and none to my legs. I noticed two things, the bottle was half full and the liquid was quite a bit thinner. Shortly before 9 pm the mosquitoes increased. I get bit on the hand and then they started landing on my face. After being bitten on my hand, my reflexes took over and I swatted when they landed on my face. The attack was short, probably other people around me were using stronger stuff or the fireworks scared the mosquitoes away. The other surprise was that my legs were not touched. The next time was a hike up Mt Lincoln 5089 ft (1551 m). I was at the trail head for the Falling Waters trail waiting for the group to arrive. I was getting bitten, so I applied a generous amount to my legs, face, and neck. I was still attacked about the face and in particular around the nose and eyes. Once on the trail there were no insects and on the return trip it was raining lightly. At this point in the test I was beginning to feel that the effectiveness of the repellent was decreasing and the vial is nearly empty.
I like the size and shape of the container for the Buzz Off insect repellent. It did fit well in my backpack and only added about 3 oz (89 ml) to my backpack. It was also convenient to carry on day hikes. The plunger for applying was a bit erratic in the beginning, but with time it became smoother. The product worked well in the beginning, but as the level went down in the container the effectiveness decreased. I found that I did have to apply at least every 2 hours to keep the insects away. The repellent felt good on the skin and I did not object to the odor. When I used the Buzz Off and there were cats present, they did not seem interested in the catnip part of the product. I suspect there may be a correlation between my bottle not attracting cats and not being effective. The product may have a shelf life. I would be willing to test the product again during the peak insect season next year. At this point I cannot recommend this product as tested.
I have used the product up, so my testing is over and there will be no LTR.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
I wish to thank God's Country Botanicals and BackpackerGearTesters for the opportunity to test this product.
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