Camping season is here! Whether you’ll actually be camping this summer or just spending a lot of time outdoors, essential oils can really come in handy for first aid treatment. We’re on vacation next week and will be road tripping in an RV for a week, so as I’ve been preparing our packing list I also wanted to bring along some essential oils for camping and first aid treatment.
Essential Oils for Camping
This is a basic list of my favorite essential oils to keep on hand on a camping trip. Their properties are listed first, followed by their most relevant uses for camping. For suggestions on where to buy essential oils, scroll down towards the end of this post for some tips.
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic.
Soothes bruises, burns, cuts, and scrapes; relieves itchiness from bee stings; treats allergies and asthma; eases headaches; combats mild bacterial and fungal infections; repels insects; soothes insomnia.
Antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, insecticide.
Relieves colds and sinusitis; alleviates and disinfects skin irritations like cuts, scrapes, and bug bites.
Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, antiviral, digestive.
Soothes aches, pains, and itchy skin; eases headaches; relieves nausea and upset stomach; combats viral and fungal infections; provides cooling sensation.
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, insecticide.
Repels insects; relieves muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, and migraines; alleviates cold and flu symptoms.
Analgesic, anesthetic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic.
Soothes itchy skin; relieves headaches and migraines.
Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, astringent.
Speeds healing of bruises, burns, and minor wounds; alleviates muscle aches and pains; soothes sprains; slows/stops minor bleeding; reduces fevers; calms nerves.
First Aid Recipes
Below is a list of some easy ways to use these essential oils in preparing a first aid kit before your camping trip. Some of the recipes include additional ingredients or supplies, so I’ve linked to where you can purchase those items below as well. Most of the recipes include a carrier oil; examples of carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, etc.
Bumps and Bruises Salve
If you’ve bumped yourself and see a bruise developing, this salve can help soothe the pain and diminish the bruise’s appearance.
- 8 drops lavender
- 8 drops helichrysum
- 2 oz carrier oil
Blend the essential oils. Add the oil blend to the carrier oil, and apply to the bruise once or twice a day. Can be stored in a roller bottle for easy application.
This simple sunscreen helps protect and moisturize the skin. For fairer skin, use more essential oils; for darker skin. use less.
- 5-10 drops essential oil (I use lavender and helichrysum)
- 1 ounce carrier oil (I love coconut oil for this!)
Mix the oils together and store in a glass bottle or jar. Apply often and after swimming, exercise. etc.
If you do get a sunburn, apply this soothing salve for instant, cooling relief.
- 20 drops essential oil (I use lavender, chamomile, and peppermint)
- 2 teaspoons carrier oil (avocado oil is great here!)
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
Blend the essential oils, then add to the carrier oil. Add the oil blend to the aloe vera gel. Apply generously to the affected areas. If making larger batches, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To repel insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies, and fleas, apply this natural insect repellant as described below. You can use any combination of oils, as long as it stays within about 50 drops of oils. Other great oils for repelling insects include cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and rosemary.
- 50 drops essential oil (I use citronella, tea tree, and lavender)
- 4 tablespoons carrier oil
Blend the essential oils, then add to the carrier oil in a dark glass bottle or jar. Rub the oils on skin by dabbing it on your wrists, behind your ears, inside your elbows, behind your knees, and around your ankles. Reapply after an hour or after swimming, exercise, etc. You can try adding some aloe vera gel to change the consistency of the oil and make it more spreadable.
*You can also make this into a spray by substituting the carrier oil with either witch hazel or alcohol. Mix the essential oils with the witch hazel or alcohol and add to an 4 oz glass spray bottle. Then top off with distilled water. Shake well before use.
Bug Bite Salve
If you do get bit, apply this simple salve to the bite to help stop the itch, stop the venom, and reduce the chance of infection. You can use both oils or just one of them, just make sure the total ratio of essential oils to carrier oil is 50:50.
- 1 teaspoon essential oil (I use a mix of lavender and tea tree)
- 1 teaspoon carrier oil
Blend essential oils and mix with carrier oil. Add oil mixture to a roller bottle (my favorite choice!) or squeeze-top bottle. Apply very sparingly to bug bites for fast relief.
*Both lavender and tea tree oil can be used neat (undiluted) on the skin, so if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to mix up this recipe. you can apply a drop or two of either (or both) oil to help stop the itch. Use caution, as some people may be sensitive or experience irritation when using oils neat.
Nausea and Indigestion: Drip 3 drops peppermint oil onto a wash cloth. Hold it under your nose, and breathe slowly and deeply for 1-3 minutes. The menthol in peppermint oil improves circulation and stops nausea quickly.
Overheating: Apply diluted peppermint oil to the back of neck or soles of feet for fast, cooling relief. This is also great to do before hiking or long treks to keep the feet cool and comfortable.
Minor Burns: Apply 2-3 drops lavender oil directly on the site and gently spread over the affected area. This also works great for bee stings. For more bee sting remedies, check out my post natural bee sting remedies.
Headache: Apply diluted peppermint oil to the temples, brow line, and back of neck for quick relief.
Where to Buy Essential Oils
My absolute favorite place to purchase essential oils is through Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re very high quality oils and very affordable. I’ve also purchased them locally at my nearest health foods store, or online at Amazon. Just make sure that whatever you buy is labeled as essential oils, and NOT fragrance oils.
*NOTE: Essential oils are very potent and should be used with caution. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any health issues, please consult your health care provider prior to using essential oils. If possible, seek the professional help of a licensed aromatherapist.
More Resources and Recipes:
Bug B Gone Candles and Spray – The Hippy Homemaker Homemade
Mosquito Repellant – Living Traditionally
Homemade Bug Repellant Gel – Homemade Mommy
Bug Repellant and Bug Bite Treatments – Conscientious Confusion Blog
Insect Bites: How to Relieve the Itch – Five Spot Green Living
Homemade Sunscreen – My Merry Messy Life
What are your favorite essential oils to use while camping or spending time outdoors?
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