When thinking of the essentials to pack for a glamping trip, our minds jump to a sturdy pair of walking boots for the days of adventure ahead, and our favourite book to curl up with for cosy evenings by the fire. Yet there is another companion we can bring with us on our travels to enhance the experience of our trip - essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Whether it be the airy scent of pine, sun-warmed grass, or summery sprigs of lavender, when wandering outdoors our senses are enlivened by Nature’s perfume. Scent carries memory; it has the power to whisk us away to times gone by whilst stirring our emotional landscape. It also has the power to impact our mental and physical wellbeing, and essential oils have been used in aromatherapy practises for centuries to do just that.
Stored away in roots, stems, flowers and bark are compounds - known as essential oils - that give plants their aromatic scents. Every plant and tree has its own unique compounds, each with varying effects and benefits. Through a process of distillation, it’s possible to harvest these compounds, allowing us to bottle up nature’s essence and experience its many benefits. A glamping trip whilst surrounded by nature is the perfect time to experiment with essential oils.
Selecting and using the best essential oils for a glamping trip
When it comes to your glamping trip, there are many ways you can use essential oils, from enhancing your relaxation to practical uses such as creating sunburn salves.
Due to their increasing popularity, there are many on the market. When choosing the oils for your trip, it’s advised to opt for a 100% pure, naturally distilled essential oil, especially when they will be used on your skin. Brands such as doTerra, Tisserand and Neals Yard are reputable aromatherapy brands that sell high-quality oils.
Essential oils can be used in their undiluted form in various ways around your glamping site. If you are already a lover of essential oils then you might have your own diffuser for the home, but may wonder how to diffuse your favourite scent when on your travels. Take a look at this beautiful, portable diffuser by Neom Organics. It's perfect for packing in your weekend bag and there's no need to add water to dilute your oil of choice.
When using essential oils on the skin it’s best to dilute them in a carrier oil or water to reduce the risk of skin irritation. It’s important to be mindful when using essential oils, as some are not suitable for children, pregnant/breastfeeding women, or in proximity to pets. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure.
Carrier Oils and Storage
Carrier oils allow for the topical use of essential oils on the skin. There are varying oils that can be used, with some of the most affordable and attainable choices being: jojoba oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil, all of which can be purchased from local supermarkets and health food stores. When diluting essential oils, a general marker is 5 drops per 1 oz (30ml). If you’re concocting a mix that you want to use over the course of your trip, purchase a blue or brown-tinted container to protect the oils from UV rays, and ensure the lids can be securely fastened to prevent oxidation and keep your tincture fresh.
There are hundreds of essential oils to choose from, but we’ve selected our favourites to create this guide for the perfect essential oils to take with you on your glamping trip.
Lavender | Calming ambience
Let’s begin with one of the most well-known, versatile and calming essential oils - lavender. Abundant in the summertime, few of us are strangers to the purple shrubs that grow widely across the UK. Kept on bedside tables to enrich sleep, or crushed between palms and rubbed on wrists and ears as perfume, lavender has been used for centuries.
It goes without saying that your glamping trip is a time to relax and unwind. Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your pillow or a tissue on the bedside table will infuse the air with its soothing scent and complement a peaceful night’s sleep. It can also be applied topically to the soles of the feet and the temples for the same effect.
Immersing ourselves in nature means we also immerse ourselves in its wildlife, and with that comes insects. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of its main compound linalool, one remedial use of lavender essential oil is to soothe irritating insect bites after a day spent adventuring outside.
Natural Insect Bite Salve
If you’re making your salve on-the-go, you can take a teaspoon of carrier oil and add 5-8 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix the two together, and apply directly to bites. Additionally, if your glamping site has a bath, add 15 drops of lavender essential oil mixed in equal parts with a carrier oil to your bath water to soothe your mind and body.
If you’d like to make a salve to take with you before your glamping trip, why not try this recipe by The Nerdy Farm Wife.
Peppermint | Uplifting mood
Peppermint is another versatile and popular essential oil in aromatherapy practices. Its main compound, menthol, has been shown to have uplifting effects.
One of the bonuses of a glamping trip is the option to wake with the sunrise and experience the benefits of rising early. However, it’s no secret that adjusting to earlier mornings can take a bit of getting used to. Inhaling uplifting essential oils such as peppermint first thing in the morning can invigorate our senses as we get out of bed to catch the day’s first light. Try massaging a few drops mixed with equal parts of carrier oil into your palms and rub under your nose whilst taking slow deep breaths. A vial of peppermint essential oil is also great to carry around with you throughout the day for a revitalising boost.
Following a long day of exploring outdoors, try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a chosen carrier oil, or even your favourite moisturiser, and massage it into your feet and legs for therapeutic relief for aching muscles. To soothe sun warmed skin, work on 5 drops per 1oz, add the peppermint oil to cold water, soak a flannel in the solution, and apply to sun-kissed skin.
To make a cooling spray to take with you throughout the day, add peppermint essential oil and water to a small spray bottle. Make sure to shake before using to evenly distribute the oil and water.
Uplifting diffuser blend
One of our favourite uplifting blends to diffuse in either an electric or portable diffuser is a combination of 2 drops of peppermint, orange and lavender. This mix of oils is known to create a positive and elevating atmosphere.
Eucalyptus, Citronella, and Tea Tree | Natural remedies
A key part of any glamping holiday is spending as much time immersed in nature as possible. As a result of embracing nature from dawn till dusk, you might encounter the odd insect when out and about. As all our hideaways are on the luxurious side, your interaction with creepy crawlies should be minimal compared to camping, but nonetheless, it's nice to have a natural repellent if the time does strike. When it comes to keeping insects at bay, there are many repellent sprays on the market, but a lot of them contain harsh chemicals. For a more natural option, try combining these three essential oils into a spray to apply at dusk if you feel necessary. As the sun begins to set and the dew begins to fall, this is when insects can be more noticeable.
Natural Insect Repellent Spray
In a 100ml spray bottle, combine
● 50ml boiled or spring water
● 25ml witch hazel or vodka (optional, but it does increase the effectiveness!)
● 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
● 25 drops citronella essential oil
● 15 drops tea tree essential oil
Geranium essential oil has been proven to deter horseflies, and can also be added to this mix.
Earthy Essential Oils: Frankincense, Cedarwood, Pine
Earthy essential oils are renowned for their calming and grounding qualities, making them the perfect oils to enhance relaxation and connection to your surroundings during your glamping trip. The woody, herbaceous, musky aroma of these essential oils brings nature indoors and continues to stimulate your senses after a day wandering through nature. Try adding 15 drops to your bath for a peaceful evening as you soak and unwind.
Another way to experience the benefits of earthy essential oils is by applying them to the skin via a roll-on. Make your own by combining them with a carrier oil and adding them to an empty vessel like this rose quartz roller, or perhaps purchase a ready-made one such as the Meditation blend from Neals Yard. Try applying to pulse points on the wrists, temples, and neck throughout the day to enhance your sensory experience.
A glamping retreat offers a relaxing and uplifting experience for your mind, body and soul. Why not try just one of the essential oils discussed in this blog and see if it enhances the magic of your time in nature.