Frugal & Simple Camping {and Giveaway!}

At least once or twice a year, our family has a tradition of camping at the beach. (Here in the Pacific Northwest, they are usually “wooded” campgrounds, with forest hiking trails nearby, too.)

We encounter fluctuating temperatures, with cool ocean breezes, chilly nights, and summer sun in midday. Along with that, we run into thistles & thorny bushes, hordes of mosquitoes in the damp air and tall grasses, and plenty of scrapes and bruises from hiking and children’s playtime.

I have tended to be an “overpacker,” hauling spare supplies “just in case,” but I’m learning to pare down to the basics.

So, what has earned a spot in my bag of essentials?

Without a doubt, Crunchy Mamas products have a permanent place in my travel pack. (I even carry them in my purse everyday, anyway.)

Bug Off Stick

I love being able to deter mosquitoes, without icky chemicals on my little ones. As soon as I pulled the cap off the Bug Off, my husband was especially impressed. “Wow, they do this well!” (It’s highly fragrant, rich with good oils. It’s not one of those wimpy cosmetics with a faint perfumed smell. Plus, it contains organic oils, not synthetic scents that would make my allergies go crazy!)

I’ve found that I can apply it lightly, with good results, since it is so fragrant. If I smear it on heavily, the kids tend to get dirt and grass stuck to their arms and legs. (Or, just make sure they are wearing long pants/shirts, and then only apply it to hands & faces as needed.)

I’ve noticed already this summer, that if I send the kids out to play, and forget to apply the Bug Off, they will come back covered in new mosquito bites, so this seems to live up to its name!

I carry this Scab Stick in my purse everyday. It is the perfect “all-purpose owie cure” in a portable stick. (I just applied it today to someone’s foot in the grocery store parking lot, actually.)

I often joke that “Gravity is extra strong around my boys!” They’re at that age where they crash or trip and fall over anything, plus, their rough-housing and energy-filled outdoor explorations often result in some scrape or another. (Plus, this doubles as a soothing balm on bug bites, if you do forget the Bug Off!)

I had a bunch of thorn/nettle scrapes covering my legs after a recent adventure, and I applied the scab stick right away. The stinging pain went away immediately, and everything healed within a couple days!


I am in love with the Achy-Breaky product! When I’m not traveling, I keep it in my bedroom to apply to muscle aches at the end of a long day. I’ve seen other “muscle pain” ointments commercially available with a couple similar ingredients, mixed with the addition of icky chemicals. Instead of fillers, they include other nourishing essential oils for a quality product.

This is a great natural choice, with the arnica to help inflammation, plus the menthol for that “cooling” sensation (and you don’t walk around smelling like a stick of gum- like I remember from my high school track team years!). The stick-dispenser keeps your hands clean and makes it simple to apply, instead of a messy cream.

Nobody’s Business

This one might seem a little silly, and it’s probably not as “essential” as the others, but I’ve been thankful for it a few times lately!

I keep it in my purse, and was glad I had it when the baby messed his diaper as soon as we arrived for my chiropractor appointment a couple weeks ago. I quickly changed his stinky diaper, and spritzed the toilet spray around the small treatment room.

I’m thinking I’ll keep it on hand for smelly outhouse trips with small children while camping/traveling this summer!Other summertime staples that are nice to have are the healing & nourishing lip balm (lime is a fabulous summery scent, and my kids love the sweet orange) for days in the sun, plus the Crusty Foot stick for summertime pedicures or after long hikes.

Crunchy Mamas has also offered a discount for Frugal Granola readers! Use coupon code FRUGAL for 20% off! (Expires in 1 month, one time use only.)

Along with our healthcare needs, we also seem to eat constantly on road trips. The Family Camping Handbook (“Real Food in the Big Woods”) from Kitchen Stewardship is my “go to” guide to keep camping going smoothly with small children.

Not just a cookbook, she includes all sorts of tips for managing set-up and clean-up away from home. The menu plans and checklists are handy to make quick work of packing up the kitchen frugally, so we don’t end up with unplanned restaurant expenditures, or forget to take any essentials! 


The winner of today’s giveaway will receive a set of the above mentioned products from Crunchy Mamas, plus an ebook copy of the Family Camping Handbook! Just fill in the simple entry form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 6/23/13. No purchase necessary. This post is sponsored by Crunchy Mamas, but all opinions are my own.

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