By Elise Hanson
There are lots of things you need to pack when you go camping — from equipment and rations to weather-ready clothes. While you’re busy packing, however, make sure you don’t forget your all-important hygiene items. These essentials often go forgotten in the face of everything else you’re thinking about, even though your hygiene needs to be looked after especially when you go camping. After all, what’s the use of planning a trip and enjoying the outdoors if you end up either sick or with an infection?
That said, it’s important to have these five hygiene essentials packed and ready to go:
Sunscreen is the first and most vital item that you need to have with you. UV rays filter through clouds and reflect off the ground even when the skies are overcast, which means that you’ll need to slather some SPF on if you’re planning on spending any time outdoors. Make sure that whatever sunscreen you use has no harmful chemicals in it (like oxybenzone and octinoxate), especially if you’re planning to take a dip during your trip. The golden rule of sunscreen is to reapply every two hours to ensure that you’re getting maximum protection wherever you are.
There are few things more annoying than having to swat away bugs when you’re already feeling sweaty and exhausted. Carrying bug spray helps you not only repel bug bites, but also to reduce the swelling and itching that comes with being bitten. As with sunscreen, it’s best to reapply bug spray frequently. TripSavvy says that DEET products work best when it comes to repelling mosquitos, but citronella and lavender oils can work just as well if you’re not going to a particularly bug-infested area.
Bar soap is an environmentally friendly way to keep clean. They’re easy to store and don’t rely on any plastic packaging, and there are also lots of options available depending on your skin’s needs. In fact, Pretty Me’s review of Navarro’s bleach soap shows that there are even skin whitening options for women who want to stave off the effects of the sun. Lots of bar soaps also feature natural ingredients. Paul Mitchell has one that features tea tree oil, while the moisturizing bar from Tom’s of Maine contains jojoba and olive oil.
You’ll most likely be carrying all your equipment on your back, which means you have to pack as lightly as possible to reduce strain. Multipurpose balms are therefore an absolute essential. Allure’s guide to ointments reports that Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment heals everything from sunburn to dryness, and its pocket-friendly price means that it’s not the end of the world if you end up losing a tub. Balms are especially great for moisturizing during the colder months, as its thick consistency provides hydration while trapping some warmth.
While you’re out camping to enjoy the outdoors away from the comforts of home, there’s still something to be said about feeling clean in the midst of roughing it out. Dry shampoo works well in this regard, as it can quickly soak up the oils in your scalp and leave you feeling refreshed. Dry shampoos come both in spray and powder form, and the decision on which one to bring ultimately relies on personal preference.
So there you have it for must-have hygiene essentials for camping! While you’re planning your trip, do take a look at the Camping for Women guide to first aid essentials, too!