Last weekend marked the first summer camp-out for friends and family. Our destination? Central Wisconsin for the annual Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. When camping, I try to pack light, but certain key items that went into my kit definitely came in handy to prevent and soothe a few summery maladies over the weekend.
I brought along a non-Deet natural insect repellent that actually worked out very well. Once each morning and evening, we sprayed down ankles and legs, arms and the back of our necks with a mixture of citronella, bay, cedarwood, lavender, vetivert, patchouli, juniper, tea tree, lemon peel, tansy and goldenseal oils. The only place some critter landed a sizeable bite was on my pinky finger, probably because I washed my hands a lot and rinsed off the repellent.
My son wasn't as lucky. A spider nabbed him on the back of his thigh during the night in his tent. Never fear. A small tube of homeopathic sting gel was at the ready. He applied it to his leg with much relief. As small as the bite on my pinky finger was, it seemed to cry out like a banshee for attention on the way home. All was calm, however, after the application of the water-based gel that contains homeopathic doses of echinacea, ledum and urtica.
I also brought along aloe vera gel in case anyone wasn't liberal enough with sunscreen, got burned and needed treatment. Fortunately, little damage was rendered. In addition, rich melanine reinforcements were also on duty in the complexions of my Mexican husband and Mexo-European son.
It's often hard to sleep in strange surroundings, so I brought along Valerian herb caps in case someone couldn't sleep. But after a long day which started with an early rise, a propane stove prepared breakfast of oatmeal, fruit and tea, a full schedule of lectures to attend under the myriad tents of the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair, and an evening of cooking, dining, cleaning and fun events like a drum circle and a little stargazing, we were out like lights for the most part.
I awoke with a headache and stiff neck one morning -- sleeping bags aren't always blissful on the bone structure. I had brought along aspirin, but my husband first wanted to try smoothing Bach's Rescue Remedy cream onto the back of my neck. The pain drifted off immediately. I could almost picture the pain's phantom rise off my shoulders. Strange, and beautifully blissful.