As the summer begins to wrap up and the weather, thankfully begins to cool, more people are wanting to spend time outside. Evenings spent curled up in the backyard around a campfire, sipping tea is a stable around this time of year for many people. Being able to go out and enjoy the sunshine during the day and the cool weather at night makes fall the most popular season of the year but there’s still some natural annoyances everyone has to deal with, like sunburns and bugs. So instead of staying in the house, hiding out from the sun and bugs, you can make your own outdoor essentials:
Bug bite salves
People can’t agree on most things, but it’s a safe bet to say no one really likes mosquitoes, in fact, one could say they are the bane of most people’s lives during the warmer months. Add in ticks and honestly, the desire to stay in the air conditioned building is totally understandable. Camping is fantastic but too many mosquitoes and the trip is ruined. Hiking is wonderful, especially when you can bring your furry friends, but ticks are a very real threat and one bite from an infected tick and you could end up with lyme disease. That’s why bug repellents are so important and finding safe, natural repellents is even more essential. Thankfully, there are lots of natural bug repellents available, some are likely to even be in your spice cupboard. Some natural bug repellents that will repel mosquitoes include: basil, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, marigold, lemon balm, and thyme. For ticks specifically use: lavender, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, cedar, and rose geranium.
Sunburns are mostly avoidable with proper sunscreen usage but let’s be honest, how many of us actually remember to put it on before it’s too late? For those forgetful people, sunburns are painful, itchy and just overall unpleasant. There are some really easy ways to get relief though. Aloe Vera is known by the majority of people to be helpful and quite soothing in treating sunburns. There are others though, like St John’s wort, lavender, calendula, and coconut oil. You can make a beautiful salve by infusing coconut oil with any of these herbs or their essential oils and adding a little melted beeswax to it. Allow it to cool and voula! You’ve got a salve that’s going to not only give you wonderful pain relief, but that’s going to help speed up the healing process!
Bug Bite Salve
Ok so maybe you didn’t get a chance to make a bug repellent or you did but those nasty buggers got you anyway or you stumbled into some poison oak, either way, you’ve got some itchy bites/rash and it’s super unpleasant. Just as there are plenty of herbs to help repel bugs, a lot of those same herbs help to deal with the itchy aftermath of bug bites or contact with poison ivy/oak. Plantain is one of the best plants out there and it grows all across Canada. Don’t confuse Plantago with the cooking banana like plantain though! Lemon balm is another herb that is absolutely great for soothing those bites. You can make a great salve by infusing coconut oil or another carrier oil with plantain and lemon balm, add in a small amount of beeswax to create a balm. Pro tip: Pour it into cleaned out chapstick tubes for a compact, easy to apply balm!
There are so many wonderful things about summer and fall. So don’t miss out! With these summer essentials, you can tackle those hurdles and enjoy what remains of the season before winter leaves you longing for those summer days!