Have you ever been to a spa and a strong fragrance instantly triggered your nose? Well, the fragrance most likely come from essential oils.
These essential oils are concentrated and aromatic oils extracted from plants. They have been used for a variety of purposes for generations. Today, they are often used in the alternative medicine called aromatherapy.
Not to scare you but they are really strong that it may irritate your skin. So, you should consider dilution with a carrier oil like almond oil or grapeseed oil before applying them to bare skin.
Some essential oils have uses that lend themselves to camping trips, for you can use them to enjoy the outdoors annoyance free and soothe skin when those bites do happen. Oh, and you can also mix and match some oils to reap more benefits and to create a fragrance you like.
The List of Essential Oils for Outdoors
What follows is a list of oils you might consider stashing in your backpack on your next camping trip. There are many more oils that could be added to the list but this is a good starting point. As you become more acquainted with essential oils you can substitute your own favorites.
Chamomile is probably best-known for the tea made from its flowers that can help you fall asleep. Tea made from Chamomile can benefit the digestive system. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) has a sweet, herbaceous aroma with notes of bright apple. Its warmth and gentleness can help create a relaxing and calming atmosphere. Soothing to all types of skin, it’s often used in skin and hair products and even perfumes. Chamomile has been used as an herbal remedy since ancient times.
Citronella essential oil is made from a perennial and aromatic grass that grows mainly in Asia. It is best-known for its effectiveness in helping us enjoy the outdoors annoyance-free! Citronella oil is steam distilled from the leafy parts of the citronella plant, also known as Cymbopogon nardus. Thanks to its fresh, welcoming aroma, Citronella essential oil is a common element in perfumes and cosmetic products and is well known for its use in outdoor candles, sprays, lotions, and other camping and outdoor essentials.
Eucalyptus essential oil is made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree that grows in Australia. And yes, the tree is Koala’s favorite tree. Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil comes from an evergreen tree native to Australia that is part of the Myrtaceae plant family. Steam distilled from the leaves, Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil is loved for its fresh, sharply clean aroma. Diffuse Eucalyptus Radiata oil to promote a stimulating and rejuvenating environment. This essential oil is also a great support for the respiratory system.
Fennel essential oil is made from the plant’s seeds. You can chew on the seeds to freshen breath or suppress your appetite. The fennel plant is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, but it has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially in dry soils near sea coasts and on riverbanks. Fennel essential oil is steam distilled from crushed fennel seeds. Fennel essential oil is a great support for the digestive system.
Lavender essential oil is a versatile essential oil derived from the plant’s pretty flowers. The name “lavender” comes from the Latin word for “to wash.” Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. Lavender essential oil isn’t just a favorite because of its classic scent—it’s also highly versatile. From skin care products to a relaxing camping routine, this oil can infuse many areas of your life.
6. Tea Tree
Tea Tree essential oil, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia or Melaleuca oil, is one of the most widely used and extensively researched essential oils, making it a must-have for every home. Because the benefits of Tea Tree oil include cleansing properties and a refreshing scent, this versatile oil can be used for everything from home cleaning solutions to skin care.
If you are looking to mix essential oils. I’ve got a couple of recipes you may want to try and bring to your next camping trip:
DIY Sun-soothe Salve
- 20 drops of lavender oil, peppermint oil, and/or chamomile
- 2 teaspoons of a carrier oil like avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
Mix the essential oils together, and then mix them with the carrier oil. Then add the aloe vera. You can keep the salve refrigerated for up to two weeks.
DIY Outdoor Spray
- 4 tablespoons of a carrier oil
- 20 drops of essential oils in varying combinations
- (Optional) Aloe vera to give the insect repellent a thicker consistency
First mix the essential oils, and then mix them with the carrier oil. Essential oils that get rid of outdoor annoyances include citronella, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus per the list here but consider adding rosemary or lemongrass. You can then dab the resulting spray on the skin behind the ears, and on the wrists, ankles, knees and elbows.
You can also make a spray by replacing the carrier oil with alcohol or witch hazel and then mixing it with distilled water. Shake before using. For quick trips out, just add the 20 drops to distilled water, shake and go!
Remember to keep essentials oils out of sunlight. Some are photosensitive, particulary citrus essential oils, which means that exposure to ultraviolet light alters their composition, so they may burn your skin. Even oils that aren’t photosensitive can lose their potency after prolonged exposure to the sun. Best to keep them in bottles made of dark glass that can filter out the sun’s UV rays.
Have you ever used essential oils on a camping trip? Do share your experiences below!
Author Bio: Paul Turner is the man behind TakeOutdoors.com which he shares all his knowledge and experiences on camping. Going to camping this weekend? You may want to check out his post on how to bear-proof your campsite.