Pack Smart and Hit the Trail
By Linda Shelton
With summer at its peak, it’s time to trek up those winding trails into the woods for some hiking, campfires and maybe even some lakeside basking in the sun. Though camping means being one with nature, the great outdoors also means harsh ultraviolet rays, pesky bugs and dirt under your fingernails. Here are a few items to pack that will make that scenic hike a little more comfortable.
1. Insect repellent. Wearing insect-repellent clothing is the best way to protect yourself from bothersome bugs. However, you may want to arm yourself with a secondary line of defense by carrying either an organic, DEET-free bug spray or a sunscreen that includes bug-repellent agents.
At the top of the repellent line with these properties is EcoBlends Superior Insect Repellent, made with natural oils. A great sunscreen/insect repellent combo is SPF 30+ California Baby Natural Bug Blend, made with titanium dioxide and infused with herbal bug deterrents citronella, lemongrass and cedarwood.
2. Sunscreen. Even if you’re wearing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing, don’t leave the sunscreen behind. Soleo Organics, Goddess Garden and California Baby are top rated by the Environmental Working Group, and all contain the minerals zinc or titanium for the best UVA protection — at least SPF 30+ — without the hazard of absorbable chemical ingredients like oxybenzone.
3. On the Trail Wash-up. Use a multipurpose product as a body or hair wash, or for washing dishes, clothes or gear. Citronella Wilderness Wash is biodegradable and paraben-free, and contains citronella and sandalwood essential oils that not only smell good, but also keep bugs at bay.
To become an expert adventurer, check out other hiking essentials in “Be Prepared!” in the July/August 2011 issue of VIVmag!
Photo credit: Courtesy Red Mountain Resort