Monday, May 30, 2011

Beauty Products to Bring Camping!

Camping. It’s my absolute most favorite thing to do in the entire world.  Sitting around a campfire for an extended period of time, away from the real world while exploring, eating, and drinking to your heart’s content; what could be more perfect? Unfortunately, we haven’t done as much camping as we would have liked in the past few years.  But this summer, it’s going to be a camping bonanza in this household. We WILL GO at least once a month, if not more often. Maybe. Okay probably not, as the husband’s job is completely and 100% dependent on technology, with some inevitable work on the weekends. Perhaps maybe going twice this summer is a good goal.

I’ve been going camping ever since I joined Girl Scouts in the first grade, and I haven’t stopped since. It’s an addiction, an obsession, a compulsion. By the time I was in fourth grade, not only did I go camping several times a year with my troop, but I began spending the entire summer at sleep away camp. Oh Camp Crowell/Hilaka.  It was the place that taught me to be independent, taught me to love nature, and most importantly, it taught me how to survive in the woods alone. I build fires in the rain; I learned how to rescue people in a kayak; I learned how to keep young campers calm during a tornado warning in a dark, scary basement; I learned how to eat meals with both hands tied behind my back; I learned how to distinguish between different types of owls and frogs, and I learned how to be myself. Sadly, after years of fighting, Camp Crowell/Hilaka is now up for sale, due to an evil regime of greedy, money hungry non-Girl Scouts. Poo on them.

Nevertheless, every time I set up my tent in the woods, or cook my pie iron pizza over the fire, I am reminded of camp and how it made me who I am today. So naturally, I am eager to share my love for the woods with my fellow (wo)man.  Unfortunately, I hear several excuses from my friends as to why they don’t want to come camping: they can’t go without washing their hair, they are afraid of being eaten alive by bugs, they don’t want to go without makeup, don’t want to go without showering, etc. etc. Well here’s the good news: you can still look fabulous while camping!

A few things to remember: use as little fragrance as possible, unless it is a fragrance that repels insects. Whether or not you are camping in bear country, it is extremely important to limit your scented products. Of course, if you are camping in bear country, it is even more important. Products are often marketed as being “unscented” or “fragrance-free,” and there is much debate out there about which is really best. The FDA has no sort of laws or regulations regarding these two phrases, so use with caution. Generally, “fragrance-free” means that a product has no fragrance added, but may have the scent of the ingredients that it is made with.  “Unscented” generally means that things have been added to mask any natural fragrances occurring in the ingredients,  including fragrance itself. Yes, a fragrance to mask a fragrance. It is all very confusing. Basically, keep an eye out for ingredients and let your nose be your guide. Any product labeled as “unscented” or “fragrance-free” may still have some sort of discernable scent, so use caution. For camping, you want to use the least  amount of scented products as possible.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for beauty products to bring camping with you!
California Baby Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent Spray, $13.50
purchase on

You just can't go camping without bugspray. It's impossible. This is one of my favorites, not only because it is natural but because it actually works!  It contains pure citronella oil, as well as several other essential oils that aid in the repellent of insects. It smells SO MUCH better than any commercial bug spray that you will find, and since it is natural, you can feel much better about using it. However, if you are going to be truly in the deep woods, or near lots of standing water, you may need a repellent with DEET in it. However, I find that this works great for the average camping trip and your average outdoor activities. Remember: always spray on your insect repellent far away from your tent, as it may affect the waterproofing.

ExOfficio Insect Shield Paisley Bandana, $12
purchase on

I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS THING!! Okay, so after a few days of not washing, no matter how much dry shampoo I use, my hair is just not cute. This is why I always bring a bandana when I go camping; it covers up the nasty and is actually quite backwoods chic. But this takes the camping bandana to a whole new level: it is infused with an odorless insect repellent that lasts up to 70 washes!! Amazing! I have a few of these, and I will wrap one around my head and hook the other ones around my backpack, beltloops or my shoes. It's a bit stiff at first, but after a few washings you're good to go! This thing really works, and it comes in about 6 different colors, so you can get one for every member of the fam. You can even tie one around the dog's neck!

Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo, $23
purchase on

$23 seems like a lot to spend on a product that you will be using for camping, but it's definitely a great product to have around for day-to-day use. I like the Fekkai one for camping for a few reasons: #1 it comes in a fairly small package that packs away easily and #2 it is fragrance free. Here we go again with the "unscented" vs "fragrance free" debate, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't have much of a scent to it at all. Just sprinkle a tiny bit around your scalp, comb through, shake your head a few times, and you're good to go! Those of you who aren't hip to the bandana craze, this is perfect for you to take along. 
KINeSYS Fragrance-Free Spray On Sunscreen SPF 30+, $19
purchase on

Unlike 99.9% of sunblocks on the market, this one has no discernible odor whatsoever, which makes it absolutely perfect for camping. Whether you are camping on a beach or shaded under a canopy of trees, you always need to remember to put on your sunscreen! It's alcohol free, so it won't dry out your skin and it's water-and-sweat proof, so it won't run into your eyes. Most importantly, it is completely unscented and fragrance-free, so you won't attract any bears either.
Sure Unscented Anti-perspirant and Deodorant, $3.19
purchase on

Pretty obvious here, but you definitely want to bring an unscented deodorant. Remember, unscented typically means that the actual fragrance of any ingredients will be masked, so this product has no scent whatsoever. Because you don't want mosquito bites in your armpits. 
Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation, $14.99
purchase on

When you are camping, packing space is at a minimum, so you want to bring as many multi-tasking products as possible. This one is awesome, because it is an SPF 50 sunscreen as well as a foundation for your face. Just buff a bit of this into your skin every few hours, and you will have that natural, flawless skin look and be protected from the sun's damaging rays as well. This product comes in four different shades, and has a really nice matte finish that keeps shine at bay, yet is still natural looking. Love it! 

Revlon Grow Luscious Waterproof Mascara, $8.99
purchase on

As a rule of thumb, I really on wear powder and mascara on camping trips, the rest of the stuff just takes up room. To each his own however, and if you really only feel comfortable with a bit more makeup on, by all means, bring some along. I find that mascara alone can really open up the eyes, especially when used correctly. When applying, wiggle the brush back and forth at the base of your lashes to add depth to the eye line before you sweep it across your lashes. The Grow Luscious is great because it is waterproof, and actually conditions your lashes as well so that they grow longer and stronger! 

Campsuds Biodegradable Cleaner, $7.00
purchase on

CAMP SOAP! You've got to have camp soap on camping trips! It is multi-purpose, concentrated, and biodegradable - definitely perfect to bring along as it doesn't take up much space. You can use it to wash hands, dishes, laundry, basically anything that gets dirty on your trip! The fact that it is biodegradable is awesome, as it helps reduce the carbon footprint that camping inevitably makes. It does have a slight pine-y fragrance, but I have found that it does not attract animals or insects in the slightest, so it is safe to bring along wherever you may be camping. 

Nice 'N Clean Baby Wipes Unscented with Aloe, $5.49
purchase on

Baby wipes are absolutely indispensable on camping trips, especially when there is no running water. They are great for cleaning the hands after cooking, a quick wipe down as an alternative to a shower, and they make great makeup removers as well. Of course, they need to be unscented because the cleansing product will stay on your skin. There are many, many "unscented" and "fragrance-free" baby wipes on the market, and these ones are really one of the only ones that are truly unscented. Don't leave home without these bad boys, you will find hundreds of uses for them out in the woods.
Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap, $8
purchase on

It can never hurt to have this stuff in your kit. This soap will wash away the itch found in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac with jewelweed, the only ingredient proven to counteract the poisonous urushiol found in those plants. After exposure, you have about an hour window to use this soap, and the chance of you getting poison ivy (or oak or sumac) is greatly reduced. You can also use this after the rash has already started, and it will really help with the itchy ooziness. Definitely another essential, because who wants their camping trip to be ruined with a nasty case of poison ivy?
Coghlan's Featherweight Unbreakable Mirror, $3
purchase on

And last, but certainly not least, you've gotta have a mirror! This one is perfect, as it is small and unbreakable, yet large enough to be able to see your entire face. It packs up super easily, and has a handy little hole at the top so that you can tie it up to the tree and have both hands free for makeup or skincare application. Also, it doubles as an emergency signal mirror if needed. Always with those multi-tasking products!

That's all for now guys! Thanks for reading =)


  1. Wow! What great products you discovered! Way beyond what we used at GS camp. I think m favorite is the bandana but the Campsuds is cool, too. I miss camping.

  2. This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.