All year long we dream of wild and sunny summertime camping adventures. As plant people, some of our favorite camping activities include identifying mushrooms, taking pictures of wildflowers, and discovering new plant friends. Camping is a non-negotiable ritual for many of us here, as it helps us reset and reconnect with both ourselves and the plants in their natural habitat.
As herbalists, we always have our essential tools and plants handy – even when camping. We never leave home without our plant identification guide in tow, whether we’re hiking or doing an overnight trip. This way we can learn more about the origins and benefits of all the wild plants we find along the trail. Whenever possible, we try to pack a camping stove and kettle so we can continue to support ourselves with the power of herbal teas.
Camping can also have its challenges. Many of us fall prey to windborne irritants and bigfoot anxiety–but herbs can help! Here are eight of our must-have plants for any summertime camping trip, many of which are easy to bring in the form of tincture, tea, or bitters blend. We prefer packing tea pouches as they’re lightweight and easy to prep, all you need is hot water.
Many of these herbs are easy to find in stores in our top tea blends. Here’s how we use them in the wild:
Chamomile – Soothing and calming. We love placing cooled Chamomile tea bags over tired eyes to calm and soothe after a long day under the warm summer sun. Or, wind down with Cup of Calm, infused with nervous system soothing chamomile, lavender, passionflower, and catnip.*
Peppermint – Cooling and uplifting, perfect for relieving bloated tummies and as a topical refresher post hike.* If you’re feeling bloated after one too many snack bars (or smores), try a cup of Peppermint tea to untangle your tummy. If you’re a little too hot and need a spritz, refresh with our Peppermint and Rose Water Mist.
Lavender – Relaxing and restorative, ideal for unwinding around the campfire or to quell any occasional camper’s anxiety.* Try it in our Chamomile with Lavender tea to soothe the nerves after hearing all the bigfoot stories. Or, if you enjoy the soothing scent, simply bring lavender essential oil with you and apply a drop to your pillow before bed.
Turmeric – Warming and relieving, turmeric has been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to support everything from digestion and the respiratory system to everyday discomfort. We use our Turmeric with Meadowsweet and Ginger tea to support our body as it responds to aches and pains post hike.* We think it’s the next best option after a hot tub!
Dandelion – Bitter and cleansing. Bitters help optimize digestion, relieve symptoms of gas, bloating, upset stomach, and occasional nausea.* Try sipping on our Roasted Dandelion Root tea as a hearty morning brew, or simply take Urban Moonshine’s Original Digestive Bitters before or after meals to give the gut some extra support.
Passionflower – Uplifting yet relaxing, it helps to reduce nervous system woes and promotes restful sleep.* Sip it in our Nighty Night tea or take some of Urban Moonshine’s Hit the Hay while stargazing so you can sleep soundly through the nighttime noises.
Nettle – Nourishing and tonifying, a wild food and medicinal herb that supports the whole body – including healthy eyes, nose and sinus.* Try it in our Nettle Leaf tea or Urban Moonshine’s blend, Aller-Blast, where it’s combined with adaptogenic reishi.
Echinacea – Protective and stimulating, this herb fires up the immune system when you need it most.* When you’re feeling run down from all the elements or fellow campers are experiencing seasonal woes, rev up your immune system with our Echinacea Plus tea or Urban Moonshine’s Immune Zoom.
Being away from technology and close to nature is often therapeutic enough, but we think bringing these plant allies along will make the trek even more enjoyable. You can learn more about dandelion, passionflower, peppermint and more of these medicinal herbs here.
These wild spaces also remind us of the significance of the work we do, and the importance of protecting these ecosystems. Many of our plants are collected in their native habitats, like licorice and raspberry leaf, and are done so mindfully through traditional knowledge and a commitment to the FairWild Certification. Learn more about how we’re walking our talk in our most recent Sustainability Report. We’re wishing you happy trails, full of plant medicine.