Let's be very clear from the very start--I am not referring to the kind of "jungle juice" that appears as the first ten results when you Google the term. I am referring to REI's Jungle Juice insect repellent. This stuff, quite simply, is the best. "Why is it so good?" you might ask. "Because it's 98 percent DEET," I would respond without hesitation. Ninety-eight percent. I have no idea why it's not 100 percent DEET, and quite frankly, I don't care why, because it works. And I've discovered, much to my delight, that it stays on even after heavy perspiration, which is a key factor for me while I'm in Southeast Asia, especially during/after exercise.
Now, for all those bleeding-heart-whatever-you-might-be that oppose the use of DEET to repel insects, spare me the sob stories. My family and I live in a place that has mosquitoes which carry, among other things, malaria, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis. We do not want to experience any of those diseases. Ever. My wife and children also have an affliction wherein they cannot help but scratch a mosquito bite until it bleeds. Somehow that provides them the relief they so wantonly crave (Isn't it silly that I just described the reflex to scratch a mosquito bite as "wanton"? Someday I'm going to be arrested for misappropriation of the English language--but not in Thailand!).
Back on topic--I have used the REI Jungle Juice in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and now Thailand, and never once while using it have I even had a bug land on me. I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of mosquitoes hover too close and then pass out, crashing to the earth only to wake up a few moments later shaking their heads, wondering what hit them and who stole their wallets. On the other hand, last Saturday I went out to play soccer and didn't use any of REI's magic elixir, and sure enough, I found about fifteen bites on my arms and legs on Sunday morning. I learned my lesson, and tonight before going out to play again I made sure I protected myself. Ah, the sweet smell of Jungle Juice...
Much to my dismay, however, I discovered that REI currently does not sell this amazing product online. I suppose I can go ahead and try some of the repellent that Mali purchased, but I'm afraid I'm just setting myself up for a big disappointment--to say nothing of getting mauled by myriad biting insects!