Essential Oils for Hiking and Camping

Essential oils are an essential for camping and outdoors where you'll enjoy the good, the bad and the "bugly". I've got some great recipes further down this article that we use in our family all year long. These blends are staples in our home and have even made it with us to India 3 times, Africa, the National Parks in Colorado and Utah, and the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

These pure liquids come from plants, flowers, leaves, bark and stems of plants. In order to be a therapeutic grade and potent oil, there are several factors that play a role in the potency of an essential oil. Of course, we're talking about plant oils that have no synthetic additives or fillers that would not only dilute the pure oil, those fillers are most likely harmful if applied to your skin. Since there are no regulations in the essential oil industry that keep a company from putting fillers in their supply and still calling it therapeutic, Young Living has been a pioneer in establishing quality control in the field of aromatherapy. Young Living is the world leader in growing, harvesting, distilling, testing and packaging many of their essential oils. Invest in the best quality ingredients from Young Living where you can rely on consistently potent products. This is especially true if you are going to mix together oils that are going to be used for the great outdoors where you want the most effective measures to combat the bad and the bugly so you can enjoy your time outside. 

Essential oils are the lifeblood of the plant and protect it from harmful insects like aphids, mosquitos, ticks, stinkbugs and beetles. Just as animals have some scent defense mechanisms in their bodies, plants also release scent to either deter their pest enemies or attract them. Genetically modified plant material will most definitely affect an essential oil's potency and potential to continue to deter those same insects. 

Young Living offers their Seed to Seal guarantee for families as a promise to provide you with the purest plant oils that have no fillers or additives to dilute their effectiveness.

So which oils are the most effective at putting a shield on your and your family while you're camping or hiking? 


I like to mix up a blend of oils and I often change up the blend. Aromatherapist generally recommend that you shouldn't use any essential oil regularly for more than 3 weeks at a time. Just take a little break for a few days. Consider essential oils like vitamins for your skin and personal care. You wouldn't eat only carrots all day long every day, would you? Just the same, peppermint essential oil is a great oil, but your body's chemistry can become complacent if you use it time and time again. Here are essential oils that I use in my outside spray blend:

  • Lavender - Safe for everyone, young and old including infants. Simply apply therapeutic grade lavender (I only recommend Therapeutic, food grade lavender tested for potency) directly to exposed skin (Neat).
  • Peppermint - Safe for children over 6 diluted with a carrier oil. Peppermint is stimulating so avoid using right before going to bed. Also has a cooling effect on the skin, good for hot days.
  • Lemongrass - powerful oil that should be diluted before applying to the skin. This is a hot oil and should not be used on young children. Effective when applied to clothing from a spray bottle. Do not apply to the face.
  • Citronella - Make sure you use pure therapeutic grade citronella oil, not just a fragranced oil which will not repel those bugs. Dilute before applying to skin.
  • Cedarwood- Adds a woodsy fragrance to a spray, it helps repel other insects such as sand flies.
  • Geranium - Has a more floral aroma but blends well with the tree oils. Geranium is the underdog in aromatherapy, it's a great all around oil that is often overlooked. It's great for the skin, hormones, and in this case a great addition to a camping spray. 
  • Palo Santo - An earthy, musky essential oil that comes from a wood. In South America, the people burn the wood and the smoke deters insects. The essential oil will bring a subtle smokiness to your blend.
  • Palmarosa is similar to lemongrass but it is more gentle on the skin.
  • Thyme - Has a very strong aroma that may be softened when blended with other oils. It is a strong, hot oil, so only add a couple of drops to your blend if you'd like. It blends well with lemon eucalyptus.
  • Purification Essential Oil blend - Contains citronella, lemongrass, lavandin, rosemary, melaleuca & myrtle essential oils. This is a powerful blend that mosquitos and other flying insects dislike. Mix 8-10 drops of Purification blend with a teaspoon of vegetable oil and apply to exposed skin. This blend is also excellent for bringing relief to any insect bites and stings. Apply  1 drop directly to the location as soon as possible after a bite or sting to lessen itching & swelling. (test first on a small area for sensitive skin).
  • Thieves Essential Oil blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata & rosemary essential oils. Helpful when mixed in a spray bottle and misted on the skin. Also a good option for treating an insect bite when applied topically. Dilute 1:1 with a carrier oil or witch hazel and apply on location as needed.
  • Melrose Oil blend of melaleuca alternifolia and rosemary essential oils. Apply neat or diluted 1:1 onto location to relieve pain and itching from stings and mosquito bites. Mix in a spray bottle and apply to clothing or exposed areas of skin.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is recommended as a powerful mosquito repellant, effective as much as DEET products, without the side effects and neurotoxins of chemicals.

Essential Oils for Mosquitos and Ticks

DIY Outdoor Repellant Here are a couple of more blends we've used in our family. You can mix up your own combination of essential oils to have on hand. Add the essential oils to a glass spray bottle, the same method as making your own air freshener. You can also add the essential oil blend to a vegetable oil and apply to the skin before exposure to mosquitos. Making your own repellent makes sense if you want to live a life with less toxins. These combinations are quick and easy to mix and you'll know what ingredients you're putting on your body.

Adult Camping Spray #2, mix together in a 4 ounce spray bottle and shake before each use, or add 1 drop castille soap or bath gel base to emulsify the oil

  • 15 drops Purification essential oil blend
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • enough purified water, aloe vera, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to fill the bottle

Kiddie Camping Spray #3, mix in a 4 ounce spray bottle, shaking before each use, or adding 1 drop of catille soap or bath gel base to emulsify oil:

  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops palo santo essential oil
  • 8 drops palmarosa essential oil
  • 8 drops geranium essential oil
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil or Melrose essential oil blend
  • 8 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • enough water, aloe vera, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to fill the bottle

Alternatively, apply lavender directly to exposed skin, mixing with a vegetable oil to extend the time between applications. The oils in these blends may also be used for pets.

Got the sting? Lavender, Thieves, Purification blend and clove oil all may work to comfort someone if they've been stung. The key is to apply it as soon as possible to calm the skin. If you get bit by  Often the itch will go away in 10-15 minutes. If you wait too long, the venom will hit your system and it's often harder to stop the itch. Use lavender for little kids, Thieves and Purification blend for older kids and adults. The oils will also keep bites clean and support skin health. This information is not intended as a substitution for medical care to those allergic or sensitive to insect stings.

Have you gotten Young Living Essential oils at a 24% discount yet? If not, join us in the Pure Home and Body Community. When you get a starter kit like this one and use member #1003003 as your sponsor and enrolled, I'll send you some essential oil goodness to get you started on your oily journey. Plus you'll be connected with our group and get some great support in adding aromatherapy to your daily routine. Join now!

Join me in discovering more energy, better overall health and fewer chemicals in your home when you add Young Living supplements to your daily routines.

You can order any Young Living Products at a 24% discount when you get a Lifetime Wholesale Membership. Just order a Premium Start Living Kit like the one above which includes some Ningxia Red and essential oil samples as well as your Lifetime discounted membership.

  • No monthly minimums
  • Lifetime access to awesome products at discounted prices
  • Membership into the Pure Home and Body Facebook Community
  • Order the Premium Start Living Kit on your first order and I'll send you some essential oil goodies as well!

Make sure you use my member number #1003003 in the sponsor and enroller field to get the extra oily surprises.

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