Home Remedies for Campers -
Not scientific but effective
Certaintly not high tech, each of the following remedies were things I had on hand and helped. One not listed, because the ingredient isn't a standard in my pantry, is a yogurt facial. I discovered this remedy when work had me flying a lot and now use it wheneven altitude, environment, and age makes my face feels tired and old. Simply take a small amount of plain yogurt, smear it all over your face, and let dry. Rinse off with cool clear water.
Aching Back - a plastic zipper bag of crushed ice applied to the sore area two or three time a day for no longer than 20 minutes. After 2 or 3 applications, alternate a warm moist heat, such as a hot wash rag, with ice bag and do some gentle stretching. NOTE: On ounce of prevention is easier. More than an hour in one position, like when driving, is a good way to develop an aching back. Take breaks and stretch your muscles.
Blisters - Wash the blister well with soap and water. Using either a sterile lancet (available at drug stores) or a sterilized sewing needle make a pinpoint at the base and edge of the blister. Allow the fluid to drain onto a gauze, apply an antiseptic cream, and cover the flattened blister with a clean bandage. NEVER, Never, never remove the outer bubble of skin.
Dry Skin - Limit showers to warm, not hot, 3-minutes affairs, and use a mild soap. Long, hot showers and scrubbing with harsh detergents removes the natural oils from our skin causing the problem. Besides harsh detergents are hard on the environment. Apply a moisturing lotion or oil right after your bath while your skin is still sightly damp.
Sore Feet - Roll those little water bottles filled with cold water underfoot. If a particularly long day on your feet is planned, stick the bottles in the freezer. The ice acts as an anti-inflammatory. Follow with a foot massage and your feet will be very happy.
Stomachaches - Try a small handful of dried blueberries and a sip of water. The blueberries contain an antibacterial compound that soothes the tummy. A cup of hot peppermint tea can be effective.
Urinary Tract Infections - Drink a tonic of half a teaspoon of baking soda in 8-ounces of water to relieve the burning caused by high acid level in urine until you can get to a doctor. Be sure to increase your water intake also. (Not for sodium restricted diets.) If burning persist, see your doctor asap.
Tension headaches - Massage a couple of drops of lavender oil into your temples to relax the muscles in your head and neck area. Continue the massage to behind the ears and than up and down the neck. The circular motion of the massage and the scent of lavender do help. Cool compress of lavender-scented water is also helpful. No lavender oil, use a lavender-scented lotion or even soap.
Skin rash - Either add Chamomile to bathwater or use a chamomile solution in a compress applied to the problem area. Chamomile's azulene content will quiet skin irritated by too much sun, wind, poison ivy, or dry skin.
Bug Repellent (from Bessy Ranger District, Nebraska National Forest)
Put everything in a spray/misting bottle. Shake well but let settle before using.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup Avon Skin-so-soft Bath oil
- 1 Tbsp Eucalyptus oil
FAMILY FIRST-AID KIT
There are many first-aid kits commercially available in drug stores and out-of-doors equipment shops. These kits tend to be pricey and I was never sure if it had all I might need in an emergency. The following is condensed from all my readings over the years and provided what I think are of first-aid kit must haves:
- Sunscreen - Very important as a sunburn can ruin a vacation faster than a day of bad weather. Remember to apply throughout the day.
- Aloe vera - Aloe cools burns from the sun or other heat sources and other skin inflammation.
- Pain relievers - What works for you at home should be brought.
- Antiseptic - Antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide, for cleaning a wound and an antiseptic cream for preventing infection.
- Bandages - Both adhesive and wrap-around style bandages, of assorted sizes and shape, to cover such things as blister, keep dirt out cuts and scraps, and prevent wounds.
- Tape - Surgical tape works well, but duct tape is effective in keeping gauge bandage in place.
- Personal Information - To often overlooked, your name, address, allergies, current medications (include over-the-counter drugs), and emergency contact numbers could be the most important items in your first aid kit.