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Summer Survival Kit: 4 Essential Products for Your Family

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Summer fun season is in full force! As a physician assistant and health coach, I wanted to share some essential summer products our family uses and the criteria I have for what I use in our home.

One of my go-to resources is The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization that is committed to the health and safety of both people and the environment. Their website has a ton of great information, including a water safety rating, consumer guides for food sources, and Skin Deep where you can check the safety ratings on all of your skincare products.

So, my first criteria for our summer essentials is that the products meet the EWG’s criteria for a healthy rating. We either use the EWG-approved products, or they rank others on a scale of 1-5 based on the safety of ingredients. My threshold is anything that ranks a 3 or below, with the goal of choosing those that rank at a 1 or 2 if I can.

The second criteria is making sure I can easily find these products at my local grocery store, Costco, or Amazon so they’re easily available at the last-minute if I need them.

Reasonably priced is also an important factor for our family of 7. There are a lot of amazing natural products out there now, but if their price tag is too high, it's out for our family.

Lastly, criteria number four, is that the product has to work well! There are some natural products I’ve tried that we couldn’t even get through the entire bottle because it simply wasn’t working well.

Rest assured all of these recommended products meet the above criteria! Here are the summer essentials we use:

We use this Two Peas stick sunscreen on our faces and ears. It works really well because it stays on the skin, it’s easy to use, and it’s unscented, too. It’s also baby-friendly!

I have five kids who just want to get out and play in the pool or lake right away, so we don’t have time for lotion sunscreen! If I can’t use a spray sunscreen, it’s just not going to happen. There are so many good ones out there, but they’re expensive. We love that we can find this Alba Botanica even at Costco!

This product is one that’s not rated on EWG, but after researching all of the ingredients, I feel comfortable with this product for my family. We’ve tried a lot of natural bug sprays that just don’t work. This one has passed the test of even our toughest camping trips.

4. “Owie Spray”

This always goes in our camping toolkit! When we’re out and about, it’s almost guaranteed that one of my kids is going to take a major digger, so I’ve found an at-home formula that helps heal and keep them from getting infected. In a 2-ounce spray bottle:

  • 15 drops of lavender oil

  • 15 drops frankincense oil

  • 15 drops melaleuca or tea tree oil

  • Fill the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil (or distilled water)

I put anything I make with essential oils in a glass container because oils can adhere to plastic. Some oils can also be sensitive to light, so choose a darker colored bottle, too.

I would love to hear what products work best for you when you’re camping and enjoying the great outdoors in the summer! Leave them in the comments below!

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