As posted on the Usenets by Bill Walters.
Bradford Angier (in his most excellent book How to Stay Alive in the Woods ('56) - if you haven't read it you should do so) says the following:Insects are considerably more dangerous in the wilderness than any wild animals, and in fact mosquitoes and black flies become so thick in many regions of the United States and Canada that they can actually kill a full grown man in good health who is lost or stranded without sufficient knowledge or ingenuity to protect himself.Modern insect repellents can solve the problem more quickly and easily than anything else, short of keeping inside an enclosure whose openings are protected with fine netting. Present compounds are colorless, do not damage most clothing, and have an odor not at all disagreeable to most individuals, whereas the old pine tar products used to dirty everything and were not particularly effective to boot. These newer repellents are being so continually improved that it will be well to check with several as informed sources as you can contact as to what at the moment is best for your purpose.Smoke, too, will help discourage the pests while one is camped. Mud plastered on exposed parts will afford protection during travel. Plugging the ears lightly with cotton will often make buzzing insects a lot more bearable. Inadequate clothing can be reinforced with some wild substance, a sheath of birchbark beneath the stocks for example adding protection for the legs. The most comfortable provision is to keep whenever possible to windy stretches such as bare ridges and wide shores.