By Rachel Lamont
Medical Esthetician & Owner of The Natural Art of Skin Care
It's prime camping season again and I am getting ready for my next adventure! People always ask me how I take my skin care regime out in the back country. So for all you campers, hikers, and festival goers, I'm about to share with you all my secrets of how I stay fresh and clean out in the woods.
As everyone who knows me will tell you, I love to be out in nature on my time off; camping and hiking bring me a lot of joy, balance, adventure and peace to my life. Also, I don't like to be dirty for a long period of time! I always need to go to sleep clean. ALWAYS, no matter what! Because of these two factors, I have been cleverly figuring out over time ways to achieve both my goals; being out in the wilderness and staying reasonably clean with limited resources.
This is my personal product and supply list. You may want to think and consider bringing the following also. These are all suggestions depending on your type of trip and adventure, so choose the products that fit your personal adventure:
- Toothbrush and dental floss
- Toothpaste or baking soda. You can put these in a small container.
- A bar of soap or a bottle of gentle body wash. Some people can use this soap on their face also, it depends on your skin type.
- Face soap
- Eminence Body SPF is a must! I never vacation, beach or hike at any time of year or anywhere without it. Eminence Body SPF is gentle enough that you can use this on your face also.
- Aloe Gel for over sun exposure - because, let's admit it: It happens!
- Coconut oil is for cooking and every skin problem under the sun and moon. If you are hesitate, put coconut oil on it, everywhere!
- Gentle Calendula or Shea Butter salves for post wound healing, scratches, dry skin areas etc.
- Frankincense Essential Oil is a powerful disinfectant for serious wounds. It happens out there!
- Myrrh Essential Oil for less serious and gentle post wound healing. Small scratches even in and around orifice's like the mouth, nose, ears and everywhere else.
- For bug repellent, choose from one of the following: Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary or Citronella and put them on your clothing. Essential Oils are small and travel well. Bugs don't like me much so I'm lucky that way but people around me have not been so lucky so I've experimented. These Essential Oils are great for post bug and pest bites. Just apply to the area.
- 2-3 washes of clothes and 2 clean towels, 2 dish towels and two dish clothes. One towel is for the beach and one is for cleaning up during your nightly cat baths (which we will talk about later). I like to keep these towels separate because a beach towel can get really dirty after a day or two. I have micro-towels now also; They are small and don't take up any room. If you camp a lot then you may want to invest in some micro-towels.
- My make-up. I'm not going to lie: I put my make-up on every day! This is optional of course. Feel free to wander make-up free, the trees don't mind! My make-up foundation has an SPF 20 in it, so that is my excuse for always wearing it.
- A pot to boil water in over a stove or camp fire. The bigger the better! Note: You will want to boil the water if it is river or lake water and not from a natural spring or water that is pre-bottled from the local grocery store.
- Natural Deodorant.
- Eye Contact Lens. This can be difficult business for some while camping so choose wisely if you want to tackle this hurdle. Glasses may be easier for some.
- A good sun brimmed hat
- A hair brush. This is optional, depending on your hair length and the condition of your hair.
- Containers of shampoo and conditioner.
- A yoga mat to stand on and to keep your feet clean while cleansing yourself. There are 101 uses for a yoga mat while you're camping so I find it essential.
- Natural homemade reusable baby wipes. Please refer to the end of the article for full instructions and an ingredient listing guide.
Morning Camping Routine
In the morning I wake up and boil a pot or two of water. I have tea or coffee depending on the morning. In the mornings you can decide if you want to brush your teeth, wash your face and brush your hair, or whether you need to clean your whole body. I never go to bed dirty so the morning routine is quick and easy for me. I begin with flossing and brushing my teeth, washing my face and putting an SPF moisturizer on. I apply body SPF where ever I think I will be exposed and reapply every 2-3 hours as needed. Any covered area, you can just apply a natural body salves, natural deodorant and aloe gel on any previously sun over-exposed areas on your body and face.
Night Camping Routine
When returning to camp after a long, hot, sweaty day, I begin with boiling some water over the stove or camp fire in a pot. When boiled to your desired temperature, I grab my bathroom bag and find a private place in the woods or sometimes, I have to get creative. Just find a private place with a great view; this is all I am ever looking for! I call this woody and forestry nightly routine "The Sound of Music." And I must say I love this moment at the end of a long day, after sweating in the fresh mountain sunshine! I take my yoga mat to stand on so my feet don't get dirty as I am washing. Note: Make sure you are in a private place if you care and are not much of an exhibitionist! If it's cold or windy then you can do this ritual in your tent, depending on your environment.
- Bring one bath towel, one wash cloth, your yoga mat and your bathroom supplies.
- My rule is to brush and floss my teeth first.
- Wash your face next with wipes or face clothes and a face cleanser with the warm water you previously boiled.
- Wash your body next. I got taught to work my way down so I start with my neck, then hands, arms, underarms, abdomen and back, groin area, then legs and feet last. This is important because they can get really dirty.
- Towel yourself dry and you should start to feel clean and amazing again.
- Use your natural salves, body and face moisturizers appropriate all over and as needed.
- Dress warm and cozy for the night if you are in the mountains. I suggest cotton or flannel, layers, hats and mitts. Everything and anything you brought that's warm.
- Note: Essential oils are great for these kinds of trips because they are healing, small and versatile.
Natural Baby Wipes Recipe (courtesy of Lou!)
Buy a generic baby wipes container and remove the generic wipes and wash out the container well. I went to Fabricland and got some soft felt. Wash it first to make sure it is clean and pre-shrunk. This is a cost effective trick and you can custom cut the size for your container. I like the size of my palm personally. Fold them nicely and dampen the clean folded wipes. Depending on your skin type, use Essential Oils that work for your skin. You will need 10-35 drops of oil combined, depending again on your skin. I like to use Lavender and Geranium, and I always use Myrrh. If you are acne prone, add some Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils to add to your blend. A teaspoon of your Eminence cleanser or a natural cleanser of your choice. I love using the Eminence Rice Milk Cleanser; I found it perfect for this recipe!
Well I hope this help you out, all of my outdoor people and festival friends! Enjoy, stay clean, stay warm, stay hydrated and if nothing else, SPF during the day!! At least cover with cool hats and scarfs... always! Most of all, stay safe, whatever it is that you love doing my friends.