I’d like to preface this post by saying that as an outdoorsy girl (click here if you are too – I friggin’ LOVED this post), I have learned in my 27 years on earth that NOTHING works quite like Deet. Nothing. Yes, it’s flammable, toxic and will probably make you sick but if you want to be left alone by all of nature’s creepy crawlers, there’s nothing natural that will do the trick the same way Deet does.
Sorry. I wish I could tell you that covering yourself in lemon juice and thyme will make bugs steer clear but chances are it’ll just make you smell like you’ve finished marinating and are ready for the BBQ.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s tackle some tried and true natural remedies that I swear by and frequently use…
Big fan of oatmeal right here. Not only is this a go-to breakie for a good ‘stick-to-your–ribs’ meal, it does WONDERS for your skin.
One cup of regular oatmeal poured into your tub (with a splash of lavender, ‘cuz why not!?) will cleanse your skin and lock in moisture after a long day outdoors. Dry skin? Oatmeal bath. Poison ivy? Oatmeal bath. Sunburn? OATMEAL BATH. You can thank me later.
Speaking of sunburns, aloe vera is an obvious go-to. Although, it may not be so obvious with so many new products being marketed these days with aloe vera IN them. You honestly don’t need all the other junk that’s added into these products. Buy an aloe vera plant (I bought mine from IKEA!), and rub that shi*t all over your crispy skin. Fun factoid: Aloe’s super good for healing blisters too!
I swear by peppermint oil and maybe use it a little too often because I’m sure I always smell like it (if I don’t smell like lavender oil).
My top uses for peppermint oil are for headaches (put it directly on your temples), sore muscles (it SAVED me on Mount Kilimanjaro after a long day) and to freshen up (this is gonna sound a little gross but I would use it on Killy behind my ears to create an illusion of actually being clean. Not showering for 8 days was a whole new world of Hell).
Natural ginger works wonders for an upset stomach. Whether it’s caused by the bumpy drive to your hike or brought on by altitude, I always carry some with me in my day-pack (in candy form, of course).
Thank you, God, for creating the lavender plant so we could turn it into an oil that can literally chill me the F down on the daily. How do I use it in my hiking life, you might ask? Well, as mentioned above, I toss it into my baths regularly (sometimes with oatmeal, sometimes with Epsom salt) but I also use it as a sleep aid for camping. A couple drops of lavender oil on my pillowcase and I’m OUT. COLD.
I didn’t want to title this post ‘Top ___ Favorite…” because I will continue to add and add to it as I discover more remedies… Aka I’m always welcome to new suggestions to try out so if you have any you swear by, shoot them my way!