MAY 21, 2021
10 Best Camping Health & Wellness Tips & Tricks
For many people, getting outdoors is a way to escape from everyday tasks and challenges — and this includes complex beauty routines and rituals. After all, a full face of makeup and perfectly styled hair aren’t necessarily compatible with outdoor activities, especially when you have limited (or no) access to water and electricity, let alone a mirror.
That doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself and have to accept looking like a sweaty, dirty mess while you enjoy the great outdoors. With a few simple tricks, you can stay fresh and relatively clean and look great in the process.
Staying hydrated isn’t only important to your beauty routine. Every part of your body needs water to function properly. When you get dehydrated, your circulation, body temperature, joint mobility, and natural waste removal processes can all suffer. The result? You may feel dizzy or fatigued, have a headache, or in extreme cases, become ill or lose consciousness.
Staying hydrated also benefits your skin. Drinking water helps the outer layer of your skin, the epidermis, stay hydrated and keeps it from feeling rough and looking dull. There’s also evidence that drinking water can help remove toxins and heavy metals from your body, keeping them from clogging pores and causing acne.
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of water. Although the standard recommendation is to sip at least 64 ounces of H2O every day, when you’re active outdoors, you may need some extra fluids to replace what’s lost by sweating. Carry a large water bottle or tumbler with you that can refill as needed. Snacking on fruits and veggies with high water content, like berries, melons, oranges, grapes, carrots, and leafy greens, can also give you some extra hydration.
Even if the sky looks overcast, wearing sunscreen is a must when you head outdoors. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s rays and helps reduce your risk of a painful sunburn, as well as skin cancer and sun damage that can contribute to signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots.
Choose a water and sweat-resistant sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, and apply 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Reapply every 80 minutes or every 40 minutes if you are swimming or sweating. Be sure to protect all exposed skin; covering your entire body requires about a shot glass full of sunscreen. Don’t forget to protect delicate areas like the top of your ears and your scalp.
Staying clean while enjoying the outdoors isn’t always easy, but there are ways you can wash up to look and feel fresh. Not to mention, you want clean hands before you eat to avoid getting sick — hand sanitizer can kill germs, but it won’t remove dirt and grime.
If you’re camping, don’t forget to pack some fresh water for washing up, especially if you won’t be staying near a freshwater source or at a campground with facilities. If a stream or lake is nearby, bring a portable jug to store some extra water at your campsite, so you can wash up without leaving the site. Don’t forget to bring some biodegradable soap as well to protect wildlife.
Bringing along some disposable makeup remover wipes, baby wipes, or a no-rinse cleanser like micellar water can also help keep your face clean. Removing dirt, sweat, and other impurities keeps them from clogging pores and causing acne breakouts or blackheads.
Even if you tend to have oily skin, regular moisturizing is key to a healthy, hydrated complexion. If your skin is dehydrated, it’s likely to produce more pore-clogging oil to compensate, causing breakouts.
Moisturizing is also vital to reducing the signs of aging, including fine lines. The right moisturizer keeps your skin’s moisture barrier intact, giving you a healthy appearance. When you’re on an outdoor adventure, moisturizing may not be at the top of your priority list, and you may not want to carry yet another beauty product in your pack. Simplify by choosing a multifunctional product like a BB or CC cream that combines sunscreen, moisturizer, and tint, that will blur imperfections while providing protection.
For the best results, moisturizers should be applied to clean skin. After washing with clean water, smooth on some moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp.
Use an Appropriate Hair Style
Outdoor activities, especially when it’s windy, can leave your hair a tangled mess. Carrying a small, high-quality hairbrush and running it through your hair every so often can keep it smooth and snarl-free, but choosing the right hairstyle is also helpful. Styling your tresses in a low braid, French braid, or even two braids helps keep them tangle-free and under control. Avoid messy buns or ponytails, which can quickly turn into tangled disasters while swimming, boating, and hiking.
Consider a Hat
A hat can be a lifesaver when enjoying the great outdoors. Not only does a cute baseball cap or sun hat cover up greasy or dirty hair and help reduce tangles, but they also provide extra shade from the bright sun and sun protection. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat when the sun’s rays are most intense is recommended to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
While a scented antiperspirant can cover your natural odors, it can also attract wildlife and pests. Instead, backpackers and campers recommend getting used to your natural aroma and just washing odor-prone areas with soap and water when you get to camp.
Another option is to use an unscented, natural deodorant that kills odor-causing bacteria without perfumes or additives. A salt-based crystal stick only needs to be moistened with water and applied as usual to eliminate the stink.
Keep Your Clothes Clean
Clean clothes and outdoor adventures don’t always go together, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in the same dirty, sweaty T-shirts. While you will undoubtedly have some dirty laundry to tackle, you can keep your clothes somewhat clean by:
- Choosing moisture-wicking clothing made from synthetic polyester and wool.
- Bringing a change of clothes and washing the dirty ones each night with fresh water and biodegradable soap.
Bringing a dedicated set of sleeping clothes.
Washing up by taking a dip in a stream or lake.
- Starting each day with clean socks and underwear.
- Staying cool during the heat of the day to reduce how much you sweat.
Use Fewer Beauty Products
Although you shouldn’t give up certain aspects of your beauty routine (like washing and moisturizing) while enjoying the outdoors, consider your activities a chance to simplify and reduce how many products you use. Not only is it better for your skin and hair to use fewer products, but it’s also better for the environment as well. Cutting out products that may not be adding to your well-being reduces the amount of waste you produce from packaging and empty bottles and tubes. Even switching to multi-function products can have a positive impact on the environment, and save you time.
At the very least, adopting a clean and natural look while you’re enjoying the outdoors reduces how much you have to carry and gives you a break from the elaborate routine. You might even find that you prefer a more low-maintenance approach to beauty.
Bring a First Aid Kit
No outdoor adventure is complete without a first aid kit. From bug bites to cuts, scrapes, burns, and other injuries, there is always the potential to get hurt when you’re doing anything outside. Having a first aid kit handy allows you to treat minor injuries and prevent infection in the short term. In the long term, promptly caring for injuries can speed healing and lessen or even prevent scarring. Always pack a basic kit when you leave home, and be prepared to use it when necessary.
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