Bugs, they bite

They certainly do. And they bit in the past, just as much as they bite now.

Luckily, I live in Vancouver where you’ll only get the occasional mosquito and not much more. In contrast to the Caribou region of British Columbia, where you may end up with your own personal cloud of insects prepared to dig in.

Barkerville, British Columbia
Barkerville, British Columbia

The thought of little creatures feasting on me was on my mind as I prepared for a week of living history at Barkerville historic gold town in the Caribou. So the question was how to keep the bugs at bay.


There are the obvious things you can do, such as cover-up with long sleeves and wear boots with your trousers tucked in. Aside from the modern convenience of bug spray this leaves one’s head quite exposed to a little devils.


Right away, the thought of a bug net draped over a hat suggest itself. You know–the type beekeepers wear. I quickly made one from a period appropriate cotton muslin and fitted it to my hat using a drawstring.

While trying on the bug net, I decided to roll it out of the way and up onto the hat brim. An idea clicked in my head and I rushed to my books.

Sure enough, there was an 1879 photo with three men wearing bugnets rolled up on their hats. The photo was even from northern British Columbia


Now that trip is over a month behind me, I can say I was glad to have the bugnet and it worked reasonably well though of course there was some decrease of vision.

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