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When purchasing outdoor survival supplies, most people initially stock the big-four basic necessities: food, water, shelter and fire-making tools. After that many will think of camping tools, communication devices, signaling tools and first aid kits. However, one category is often overlooked… skin protecting outdoor ointments.

Sunburn protection, insect repellents, lip balm and others are all very important items to stock in your survival bag. Facing hardships under emergency situations do not need to be compounded by annoying and possibly harmful skin irritations, sunburn or insect bites prone to infection if no proper medical services can be found.

Avoid a problem before it manifests itself with prevention. Spray the sun block, rub the lip balm or coat yourself in repellent and take one less worry of your list and be able to face the unexpected without irritation!


1. Ben’s 100% Insect Repellent

Fight back against the biting insects that can make a bad situation much worse. When under survival situations, the last thing you need is to deal with is the annoyance of mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas and other creepy crawlers found nearly everywhere. Aside from the irritating bites, diseases like West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and malaria could be ultimately passed to you. Ben’s Insect repellent, however, offers a good defense by creating an invisible shield between you and nature’s worst pests. This repellent works for up to 10 full hours and contains 95 percent DEET for effectiveness when and where you need it. Never, ever be stuck out in the woods without it. A seldom overlooked survival item yet an immensely valuable addition to any deep woods or outdoor kit.


10-hour protection

Convenient spray bottle

95% DEET

MSRP: $5.99


2. Burn Cream MD

Even a minor burn sustained out in the wild can become a very bothersome distraction if not treated properly, and the Burn Cream M.D. can do just that. This cream provides immediate pain relief using the highest percentage of Lidocaine (four percent) available without a prescription. It blocks the stinging pain and allows you to function normally while under survival or emergency conditions. Formulated with Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Arnica Montana and Vitamin E, Burn Cream M.D. optimizes the healing process and speeds recovery time. Its formula minimizes scarring by decreasing inflammation.


Immediate pain relief

Speeds healing

Helps reduce scarring

MSRP: $24.99


3. Malibu Aloe Vera Gel Spray

Trekking under the hot sun all day can leave your skin burned and stinging; definitely not an enjoyable way to take in the outdoors. Enjoy quick and soothing relief with Malibu’s Aloe Vera After Sun Spray Gel. This gel is formulated to be non-greasy after each application and has added moisturizers to keep your skin from drying out and peeling after a burn. A few quick sprays and you will experience cooling and soothing of your skin enabling you to enjoy your day out under the sunshine rather than regretting it. Its easy-to-apply spray can was designed to coat evenly using a 360-degree application process, so every inch of your scorched skin will find relief.


360-degree application


Soothing formula

MSRP: $13.60


4. Natrapel 8-Hour Insect Repellent Wipes

Insect bites can ruin most outdoor activities. Hours upon hours can be spent swatting or waving off insects looking for a meal on your exposed skin.The Natrapel DEET-free insect repellent wipes provide a full eight hours of protection against nature’s biting pests. It uses a 20-percent Picaridin formula, which has been clinically proven to show equal or better performance than DEET. What’s better is that Natrapel is completely safe on all your valuable gear and will not melt jackets, fishing line or other synthetic materials. Each box contains 12 individually wrapped wipes, which allows you to control the amount and the location of repellent to apply. Ideal for hikers, campers, backpackers, hunters, fisherman or anyone needing relief from ticks, mosquitoes and most other biting insects.


DEET-free formula

Full 8-hour protection

Easy-to-apply wipes

MSRP: $5.99


5. After Sting Jellyfish Sting Relief

Ocean-based survival has unique dangers not found in any other environment on the planet. Once such danger is jellyfish stings. Like thousands of tiny needles piercing your skin, a jellyfish sting can cause unbearable burning, swelling, and itching of the affected area. After Sting Jellyfish Sting Relief can stop the painful sensations upon contact and allow you to get on with more important tasks at hand. Unlike benzocaine sting relieving products that wear off in only a matter of minutes, After Sting uses a baking soda formula that eliminates the sting and irritating itch for good.


Instant relief

Baking soda formula

Reduces swelling

MSRP: $4.25


6. Travel Lite His Carry-on Wipe Combo

Easy-to-carry pouches containing easy-to-use essential wipes for men? Contained within the convenient, portable carry bag are all the necessary outdoor and personal products for men in simple one-time-use disposable wipes. Use the DEET-free insect repellent to keep mosquitoes and biting flies away. Apply the antibacterial wipes to any cuts or scrapes to prevent infection, which can become much worse if left untreated and medical help is far away. Biodegradable and compostable, Travel Lite wipes will not harm the environment upon disposal.


No spills, no leaks


Men-specific products

MSRP: $19.99


7. Outdoor Hands Skin Therapy Cream

Developed by a clinical pharmacist, Outdoor Hands Intense Skin Therapy Cream is your answer to cracked, rough skin caused by exposure to nature’s full fury. Extreme weather conditions when under outdoor survival situations can “beat up” your hands to the point of harmful cracking and peeling of the skin. This healing cream can ease the pain while repairing the irritating rough skin. It contains an effective blend of organic oils and botanical extracts that correct the damage while moisturizing at the same time. Because it contains no mineral oils or petroleum ingredients, the cream is absorbed quickly and without any greasy residue.


Relieves cracked skin

No greasy residue

Easily absorbed into skin

MSRP: $10.00


8. Outdoor Hands Poison Ivy Scrub

A relaxing time outdoors can be quickly cut short when you are exposed to poison ivy or poison oak. The unbearable itching, pain and swelling can turn your outdoor time into a living nightmare. Avoid this by using Outdoor Hands’ poison ivy scrub. This exfoliating cleanser was designed to remove urushiol, the source of allergic reactions found in poison ivy, oak and poison sumac. Use immediately after outdoor activities to limit a potential outbreak. Perfect for use by anyone when camping, hiking, canoeing, picnicking, climbing or any other outdoor activity in which you may be exposed to any itch-causing plants.


Instant relief

Gentle exfoliating formula

Limits potential outbreaks

MSRP: $12.00


9. Logic Product Group InsectLogic Bug Repel Gel

Looking for insect repellent? This natural insect repellent is formulated using 100 percent plant-based oils and botanicals which repel pesky biting pests, while moisturizing and soothing your  skin. This gel is effective against all the common bugs of the world, including fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and biting black flies. Easy to apply, DEET-free, and non-staining formula makes this insect repel gel perfect for those that want to take a more natural approach to direct skin application repellents. Its citrus scent replaces the harsh chemical smell like some other products have and its easy to use large mouth jar allows for easy and complete application.


100% plant-based oils



MSRP: $15.30


10. Chopsaver Gold

This soothing lip balm contains only all-natural ingredients, including proven healing herbs, like arnica, calendula, comfrey and white willow. These provide much needed natural oils and moisturizers for delicate skin. Soothing emollients, such as shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil, apricot oil, aloe and vitamin E also are infused in this balm. The Chopsaver Gold formula also includes two FDA approved sunscreens to protect your lips from the intense sunshine.


100% all-natural

Two FDA approved sunscreens

Herbal formula

MSRP: $13.35


11. BioUD Insect Repellent Pen

BioUD repels blood-thirsty mosquitoes and ticks so you can enjoy the outdoors without the constant itching and scratching caused by nature’s irritating pests. Its DEET-free formula keeps mosquitoes away for up to 4-1/2 hours and dangerous disease carrying ticks for nearly two full hours. Continue to apply this protective spray throughout the day for a long lasting shield against diseases caused by bites, including West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. For added protection apply directly to clothing. Easy to carry pocket size allows for fast application outdoors and on the move.



Repels ticks and mosquitoes

Protects for hours

MSRP: $3.60


12. BioUD Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent

Spraying insect repellent on your skin when outdoors is great. But what about your clothing and supplies? Flying biting insects and ground-dwelling ticks can easily crawl or land on your gear and travel with you until they can find an unprotected area of skin. Using BioUD clothing and gear repellent can solve that very problem. It uses a powerful, yet DEET-free, repellent which sends mosquitoes and ticks away before they have a chance to take a bite of your skin. A few pumps is all it takes to apply an even coat of protection that will last for hours depending upon which type of insect you encounter. Avoid an irritating, itching bite and worse yet, a possible insect-transmitted disease that can take you down and out for a few days or even several weeks.


Apply to clothing


Easy application pump spray

MSRP: $8.95


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.