“Ha ha ha! BEE KEEPERS!” came the shout from the burly, tattooed – and drunken – biker as he staggered past the four of us in our less-than-subtle Gelert Mosquito Hat Nets, battling to put up our tents.
The neanderthal then effed and jeffed a bit, hiccupped twice and dragged his laughing moll away by the arm towards the campsite bar where a pint of adder blood presumably awaited. He was the type to ride one of those unroadworthy cobbled-together matt black chops, chewing bluebottles and giving the finger to car drivers. The type you wouldn’t say “I beg your pardon, sir?” to.
He was right though, because that’s exactly what we looked like. I shed a silent tear beneath my veil of shame.
As I’ve mentioned before our recent trip to the far north west of Scotland was a bit of a test fest with one of the more important things to consider being the endless fight against the dreaded blood-sucking midges.
And one weapon in our arsenal, other than Smidge, were these natty titfers.
I won’t lie to you – I felt like a right berk when I first put mine on because I’ve never worn one before and I thought I stood out like a sore thumb. Over the next few days though, as I realised that more and more people were wearing similar things, I came to accept that it’s all part and parcel of camping up there in the summer. You have to bite the bullet and get netted.
The Gelert Mosquito Hat Net is essentially a black, wide-brimmed affair with a fine ‘no see um‘ mesh glued right around it which can be secured as tightly as you want around the neck with a drawstring and toggle combo. Making the wearer look for all the world like a mourner at John Wayne’s funeral, the brim also has the advantage of shading one’s peepers from the sun.They differ from most other midge nets because you don’t need to provide your own hat in order to keep it off your mush (although that type seemed to be the order of the day where we spent our fortnight). They also stow away neatly in their own small bags providing you have the knack of twisting them around on themselves like a miniature pop-up tent. As if I don’t look dopey enough this is a technique I still can’t master, however, so I have to rely on the trusty Mrs Muz who is defter of finger and much more patient than I.
We wore them on-and-off for much of our fortnight so I can confirm they do work well, and we had no problems with any intruders, large or small. Brief spells of rain also revealed that they’re seemingly waterproof which is a nice touch, although I didn’t stand under the shower in mine when I got back home so I can’t say exactly how waterproof they are.
Providing you come to terms with the fact that midge nets in general will never be seen on the catwalks of Milan you could do much worse than getting yourself one of these if you plan on going anywhere where your beautiful face could become lunch.
SUMMARY: Reasonably cheap, lightweight and very effective, Gelert’s Mosquito Hat Nets are a sure-fire way to make you look like a part-time gun-slinger with a penchant for apiculture. Putting it away will keep the terminally dumb occupied for hours. Maybe even days.
Price: £10.99 (RRP)
More info: gelert.com