Hey Man versus Oilers… It is time to talk about the reasons to take essential oils camping. Well, the weather is getting warmer here in the land down under and we have started hitting the beach again. On one of our last trips we discussed our next camping adventure with those in our little village. As we dissected the pros and cons of each place we wanted to try – we live at the beach so this is usually a three beer discussion at least – one of the guys said “Nope, not goin there… too many mozzies”.
Just take some %@#$@ Aeroguard, said one of the others as we all sat there, sipping our second beers and agreeing in silence. I then wondered if there was an oil for that, then I thought about camping. If I am going to take this new chemical free living thing for real, then I need to reduce the number of chemicals I release into the environment when I was camping.
So, I did the research and some testing where possible, and here are my top 5 reasons to take essential oils camping for the rugged outdoorsy man type!
Manversusoils Manslator – Mozzies = Mosquitoes; Aeroguard = a well-known Australian insect repellent.
Oh, and to make things easy, I have restricted the oils chosen to those I could find at home at the time.
1 – Insect Repellent
Well of course I had to put this one first. Citronella candles are usually a good chemical free option in this case however many campsites forbid open flame of any type. If this is the case, then a manly oil option is the go. There are literally a bucket load of oils that are good to keep the buzzing rockets of annoyance at bay. These include Citronella (obviously), peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, and lavender. I have decided to go a for a mix here of peppermint and R.C…. mainly because they are in the starter pack. Note: If you happen to have Citronella Oil – use that!
For general area repellent:
In a small bucket or container add:
- 4 cotton balls then
- 2 drops of RC Essential Oil Blend – contains eucalyptus – Mozzies hate eucalyptus
- 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil – this is good for mozzies but also for ants
Place bucket under the table or next to sitting area.
For a personal repellent:
Mix 5 drops of RC Essential Oil Blend and 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil to 5 tablespoons of Coconut oil and rub it on.
Note: Coconut oil has a very slight SPF value of about 4 – 5 which alone is inadequate protection in full sunlight. Some Essential Oils are sun sensitive and can even burn. These oils are not considered sun sensitive but I would just be a little careful if using this solution in the sun without a sunscreen!
If you are on a powered site and have your diffuser at hand, you can keep the mozzies and any other little biteys away without actually applying anything to the skin. Just add 5 drops of Purification Essential Oil blend to the diffuser for some insect free fun. Just as a word of advice however, I would add 3 drops of lemon to the mix as well as if I am being honest, purification is not the most pleasant smelling oil blend you might come across.
2- Mold Remover
One of the biggest problems in the camping world is mold! Canvas’ and plastics in tents often get moldy when left packed up for a while, especially if they are a little damp when folded away. The best oils for removing mold are Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Clove and Tea Tree.
I am going to use Thieves Essential Oil Blend for this one as it contains three of the best ingredients in Rosemary, Cloves and Cinnamon. Again, if you have Tea Tree oil… Use that noting that the odor can be quite strong!
To remove mold from canvas etc. you can try the following. Mix into a spray bottle:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil.
Note: I would test this on a non-visible part of the tent material first. Just in case it runs the color. It should be ok, I have used it on mine and it was fine. It actually removed the mold (next time I will take photos). No one wants a big white spot in the middle of their tent…
3- BBQ/Hotplate Cleaner
Ok, I got a little lazy here as I discussed this in my last post. But hey, why wouldn’t you want to take this camping. To keep your BBQ clean and smelling fresh without chemicals and messing with the taste of those tasty BBQ treats, use the following:
Mix into a spray bottle:
- 1 cup of Vinegar
- 1 cup of Water
- 15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
Spray onto the hotplate once cooled and leave for 10 minutes or so. Rinse with water and repeat if necessary. For burnt on bits, some light scrubbing may be needed.
4 – Sunburn Relief
You know the drill, you get up at first light, start the fire, cook some bacon (or mushrooms of course), check out the surf, have a coffee, set up the fishing rods, canoes, beach trolley, 4WD gear or any other daily requirements all the whilst standing with your mates congratulating yourselves on the manliness of it all – not to mention the arvo session of beers and beach cricket (of whatever sport non-Australians play on the beach). All the while being oblivious to the many calls to put on sunscreen. Of course, you get burnt. So before you settle in for the evening frivolities, smear on a mixture of the following:
Make up a manly paste of:
5 drops of Lavender Oil to every table spoon of Coconut, jojoba or Avocado oil
Run gently onto the affected areas of the skin.
You can also use Roman Chamomile Essential Oil if you have it at hand.
Note: This recipe is designed to reduce the discomfort of sunburn only and I do not recommend it as a cure for burns. In severe cases, a medical professional should always be consulted. Oh, and of course, prevention is much better that any cure so stop being so masculine and put on a good sunscreen instead!
5 – Cuts and Scrapes
Camping is the perfect environment in which to cut or scrape yourself. Often with a fishing hook or knife, on the firewood or any number of prickly or pointy hazards that the wild can throw at us. Luckily for us, many oils contain naturally occurring anti fungal and anti inflammatory qualities that can be discreetly applied without looking anything other than the rough and tumble, take a knock, man’s man that we know that you are!
To provide relief to minor cuts and scratches, you can grab the Thieves Essential Oil blend. Add 5 drops for every teaspoon of Coconut Oil and apply to wound. Thieves has a slight anesthetic affect also so can help reduce stinging. Jojoba Oil is also very effective in dealing with cuts and scrapes due to its high levels of vitamins A, D and E and anti-inflammatory properties.
Note: Again, this little gem is designed to provide relief and minor antiseptic qualities for minor cuts and abrasions only. Always seek medical advice as required. Thieves oils also contain cinnamon which can cause irritation in some cases.
So there you have it… Take your essential oils with you when you go camping for some chemical free solutions to your every day man-needs (uummm… probably not the diffuser. Where you’re going, you don’t need a diffuser)! I will test these all next time I go and post some pictures I promise. Until then, pack the car and head out into the big open world and enjoy some camping.
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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page