Surviving Camping - Holistic Style

Written by Chelsea Hohnstein 


I’m not an expert survivalist, but I do know a little bit about surviving camping trips without coming home feeling like a bag of garbage. It is also well-known that between my tendencies to get injured, and my 2 dogs’ constant allergies and health problems, I am almost always well-prepared for minor emergencies.


Since camping season is here, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gems to keep on hand so you can survive a long weekend and return to “regular life” unscathed.


 Shelf stable probiotics:

This is one thing that I keep with me all the time, as they are so important for the immune system as well as for the digestive system. I have written about probiotics before, and will get around to something exclusively on probiotics…one day.

Oil of Oregano:

Oil of oregano is an anti-microbial that can help fight colds and flus, as well as a remedy for common digestive disturbances. It can be used as a natural insect repellent though I haven’t done that yet, and would not apply it directly to my skin without diluting it in some sort of carrier oil.

Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal is typically used to counteract the negative consequences of ingesting poisons. However, it is also helpful in situations of bloating and abdominal discomfort, which often occurs when eating different foods than usual and in a different environment. Do not take at the same time as other supplements or medications as it may interfere with their absorption. As well, make sure you read the instructions carefully.



First-Aid / Seasonal

Nature’s Aid: This is so versatile as it can be used for sunburns, and insect bites, as well as various skin conditions such as rashes, eczema or acne. My dogs and I both use this, because no matter how often I apply sunblock, I inevitably end up with a burn; and my dogs use Nature’s Aid almost daily due to their allergies. 

 Mozi-Q: This is a homeopathic formula that contains staphysagria, ledum palustre, urtica urens, cedron, and grindelia. It is used as a natural insect repellent that is taken internally. No one wants to smell like bug spray on day one of a camping trip, and it is safe for pets too! For more information visit:

Shea butter: Shea butter is derived from the vegetable fat of the Karite tree and contains Vitamin A, E and fatty acids. It is beneficial for dry and cracked skin, psoriasis, and eczema and overall skin health. My favorite brand is the African Fair Trade Society. For more information visit:

Japanese Mint Oil:

Japanese Mint Oil is awesome for headaches, sinus congestion or muscle tension, so it is great to rub on topically with a carrier oil (or Shea butter) if you are experiencing any pain. Since I always end up with an injury like a pulled muscle from quadding, I use this often.


I love herbal teas because they are cheap, effective and easy to cart around. Here are teas that I have around often (even in my purse) because I find they work well for specific ailments like digestive disturbances, headaches, muscle tension, cold and flu and more. I have included their properties:

 Ginger: analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive

 Peppermint: anti-inflammatory, digestive, expectorant, antispasmodic

 Fennel: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, carminative, expectorant

Red raspberry leaf: adrenal tonic, antacid, anti-inflammatory, digestive, kidney tonic,

 I hope that anyone headed away for the Canada day long weekend has fun, and stays safe!