Although camping’s touted as a summer “sport”, fall is a great time to avoid the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures. Camping is a great way to get out, connect with nature, and really relax. For all of you who share my love of the great outdoors, here are my favorite green camping essentials.
Natural Dry Shampoo
If your back-to-nature adventure is just for a few days, why not skip lathering your locks? You can keep oil Acureat bay and enjoy every moment of camping without too much fuss with personal grooming by using a dry shampoo. There are a lot on the market, but the best all natural one I’ve found is made by Acure Organics. The super healthy ingredients and dry formula equal no toxins in your hair and no chemical-filled suds to wash off into lakes and streams.
Natural Face Wipes
It’s nice to take a break from make up and go au natural, but cleaning and exfoliating is still essential, especially in the woods. Blum Naturals Towelettes are a quick and easy way to cleanse and refresh. They’re certified organic to NSF/ANSI 305 standard and made from 100% viscose. There’s a formula for oily/combination or dry skin. I never go camping without them.
Natural Bug Spray
I would never go camping without a good bug spray. Getting covered with itchy bug bites can kill a relaxing weekend. I usually make my own (see the recipe below), but if you’re excited to pitch your tent and hit the trails, order a bottle of Bite Blocker. In a 2002 independent study, it was rated the most effective natural alternative to DEET, offering more than 90 minutes of protection. It’s available in various sizes and formulas. They even offer a version with SPF20.
Homemade Natural Insect Repellent
- ½ c. Witch Hazel
- ¼ c. distilled water
- 5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 10-15 drops Clove essential oil
- 10-15 drops Geranium essential oil
- 5 drops Lavender essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients together in an 8 oz. spray bottle.
Natural Hand Sanitizer
Sometimes water is scarce at camping sites, so make sure you toss a good hand sanitizer into your bag. I Dirty-handslove to use Eve Organics “Dirty Hands”. The ingredients list is simple: Food Grade Grain Alcohol (Gluten-Free), Distilled Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils (lemon, tea tree, peppermint and lavender). The essential oils are antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Dirty Hands smells amazing and comes in a conveniently small bottle.
Eco-Friendly Tent Options
Sleeping under the stars is nice, but if you’d like shelter from rain or curious animals, purchase a tent. Buying a gently used tent is the best way to go eco-friendly. Thrift stores and EBay carry recycled tents for really great prices. You may have to patch a hole or two or add water-proofing, but you’ll have greatly reduced your carbon footprint. However, if you decide you want to invest in a new tent, go for sustainable and high quality. It’ll last longer. Nemo tents are lightweight and well constructed using recycled materials when possible. They cost between $250-$500 depending on construction and sleeping capacity. My husband and I like to camp a lot, so we splurged for the Nemo Losi Backpacking Tent, a custom handmade hammock and it has been great. It has endured several crazy rainstorms, and a lot of use; it also fits me, my husband, and our huge dog comfortably. For more info on environmentally conscious and natural fiber tents, read here.