|Camping and Backpacking Essentials
Summary: Carefully choose which supplements and other supplies to take when backpacking or camping and medical help might be far away.
Squeeze bottle of Miracle II soap. Highly concentrated, safe for the environment, completely non-toxic and can be used for dishes, body soap, hand soap, shampoo, washing clothes and gear, brushing teeth, and as a wound wash. Miracle soap is safe enough for internal use, and a drop in a liter of drinking water assists in hydration by greatly reducing the surface tension of the water, making it better absorbed..
North American Herb & Spice Oreganol Super Strength - put a drop on the toothbrush to brush teeth, use as topical antiseptic especially good on fungal infections (don't apply to broken or sensitive skin or anywhere near mucous membranes), mix two drops with two ounces of water to make insect spray, use internally for any infectious acute illness, internal parasites, or diarrhea, or add a drop to a food dish to give it a spicy oregano flavor. Two to as much as six drops is mixed in an ounce or two of water to take internally. Also can be used internally to discourage mosquitoes and other biting insects, but it's not as effective as garlic (or high potency B vitamins) used in this manner. The regular strength North American Oil of Oregano can be used instead. It is not quite as concentrated, but comes in a 0.45 oz instead of 1.0 oz bottle so is even smaller.
Now Deodorant Cream - Tiny jar of cream underarm deodorant can also be used as a moisturizing foot deodorant, a zinc sunblock, for hemorrhoids, for fungal infections like jock itch and athlete's foot (does not usually cure them reliably but keeps them at bay), chafing, and skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema as well as to dress minor cuts and scrapes. Not really that great an underarm deodorant for strenuous exercise, but useful for so many things!
Gaia Extra Strength Echinacea Supreme - Snake, spider, and insect bites or stings, acute illness especially from viruses and bacteria. Use in large amounts soon after a spider or snake bite to stop the enzyme which dissolves the tissues which causes most of the long term problems. This does NOT prevent neurotoxic effects - only enzyme damage - seek immediate help for poisonous bites either way! The Gaia Extra Strength product is the strongest full spectrum extract available. The potency of an echinacea extract can be told by how much it numbs the tongue. Poor quality extracts numb the tongue little if at all. This product is so strong it not only numbs the tongue, it numbs the entire mouth and throat, which can be uncomfortable for a few minutes. A dropperful can be mixed in an ounce or two of water before use to reduce this sensation.
Emergen-C - Muscle cramps, acute illness, allergies, snake or spider bites, general health and endurance. This does NOT prevent neurotoxic effects - only enzyme damage - seek immediate help for poisonous bites either way! These effervescent packets of vitamin C and minerals must be mixed in water before use. They come in a variety of flavors, with and without sugar. Although Emergen-C only has a small amount of vitamin B12 (25 mcg), it still can cause sleeplessness if taken too close to bed. Use in large amounts (5 packets or more) for serious bites (along with echinacea) or allergic reactions. A box contains 36 packets. Oregano oil goes well mixed in the Emergen-C solution. Each packet contains a gram of vitamin C along with 200mg potassium, 60 mg magnesium, 50mg calcium, and a few other vitamins and minerals.
Other items that may be helpful and don't take up much room or weight are a Hulda Clark zapper (with TENS pads instead of copper pipes) and a gas grill piezoelectric spark device, which may be useful to treat mosquito and other minor insects bites and stings. Strike 8 or more times in a circle around the bite or sting. It can also be used to start fires using alcohol or other flammable liquids.
For a stove, look for a propane stove, or an alcohol stove that can burn non-toxic food grade alcohol, such as high proof rum or grain alcohol (like Golden Grain or Everclear). Food grade alcohol can be used as a topical antiseptic of course, and a couple of teaspoons will combat intestinal bacterial infections (the oregano oil works better). It can also be used in the Hemingway rum treatment for lung infections. Here's a DIY alcohol backpacking stove which can be made for the price of a few beers, and a penny. Here's another DIY model and yet another.
For food, read the recipe for turf's Date Nut Protein Bars, a high density raw food that was developed for camping and backpacking. Also see the Kalyx website, which sells an excellent dehydrated vegetable mix, plus other dehydrated food products. On the Kalyx homepage, under Foods, click Meal Mixes (there's currently nothing in the Camp Foods category) and scroll down to Soup Vegetables 1 lb. They also sell Hearty Vegetable Stew Blend in 1 lb packages, but most of the dehydrated vegetable mixes are only available in 25 lb packages. Most of the Kalyx products of this type (as well as bulk herbs) are foil packed Frontier brand.
Kalyx also carries Lexan cutlery (should also be used at home instead of metal utensils if practicing Toxic Metals avoidance) plus lexan bowls, cups, plates, etc. Kalyx carries a lexan coffee press, which is not recommended since it weighs over a pound. Instead, see this article on "Cowboy Coffee" but using a paper coffee filter (or a paper towel) is still recommended to filter. Some people won't go without good coffee in the morning even when they're in the middle of nowhere. And don't like coffee without cream. Of course, one should not use hydrogenated- oil-non-dairy-corn-syrup-solids-infested crap like Coffeemate. Luckily for coffee with cream campers, a company called Netrition is now marketing dried real dairy cream. Also useful to make creamy sauces for gourmet trail dishes and provide saturated fat for sustained energy levels.
Safe insect repellants can be made oneself with essential oils. 4 oz of aloe juice or vodka mixed with a tablespoon of neem oil is a good one and very inexpensive. Adding a few drops of lemon tea tree or catnip oil make it work better. Also add a few drops of soy lecithin to preparation which contain alcohol, water, and oils to emulsify it better. Next most effective oils are probably eucalyptus, citronella, cedarwood, and any of the mint oils. Using more than just a few drops of essential oils (not including neem, which is a mild cold-pressed oil) per 4 oz of base can make these irritating to the skin, so start with a minimal amount. See Essential Wholesale for good prices and selection on these ingredients. Also, using high potency B vitamins and/or garlic supplements can help repel insects. Try them before camping to ensure they are effective enough for this purpose before not taking a topical insect repellant along since they can have little effect on some people and be completely effective for others.
A conversation from the Electroherbalism listserver regarding a gas grill-like starter used for insect bite relief that originally proposed as a site treatment after vaccinations to help prevent some of the possible ill effects.
The device was named "Click Don't Scratch" if I remember correctly. The original poster stated that it could be purchased at Whole Foods too, but I haven't had any luck here in California. Try the link at:
http://www.drugstore.com/qxp91461_333181_sespider/click/dont_scratch_insect_bite_relief.htm THIS is not longer available. There is a similar formula product now called Insect Bite Relief.
>I think it was on this list a long time ago that someone mentioned a
>personal zapper for around 10 bucks at their Wal-Mart, for stings and
>bug bites, etc. I looked in our Wal-Marts around here and couldn't ever
>find one and no worker ever knew what I was talking about. So, are you
>saying that one of those punch type grill lighters (that I can find
>anyplace) is the same type of zapper? I didn't think about those things
>as being a zapper, but I guess they would be. hmmmm
>"tossed down to live among angels, who have forgotten what they are, I
>strive to remember" RLV 1998
>High voltages detoxify venoms and could probably help against other
>toxins, especially if done soon after the injection. The most portable
>high voltage device is a piezoelectric gas grill sparker. Maybe using
>this numerous times around the injection site would provide a little additional benefit.