A Must-Have Supply for Camping

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img_7557I am a huge fan of anything that can save, time, money or space. I like doing two things at once or repurposing items that are often thrown away, and I especially love things that I can use for more than one purpose. I was thinking while camping last week that everyone who camps needs to know about my favorite item on the packing list:  Shaklee Basic H2 (formerly Basic H). It’s an all-purpose cleaner that has (literally!) 1000 uses. At home I use it as the refill for my foaming handsoap pumps and to make baby wipes. Here is a bit of the conversation inside my head while packing for camping last week:

“Got toilet paper? Check. Got the H2? Check. Where’s the handsoap? Oh…Basic H2. Do I need dishsoap? Oh…Basic H2. Should I bother packing shampoo and soap? Oh, right…H2. Don’t forget the bug spray for the kiddos! …H2 again.”

I am totally tickled that I didn’t have to pack all this:


But only this ONE bottle:


Shaklee Basic H2 is totally biodegradable and safe for the environment, which is super important while camping, and it’s safe for my family’s skin. I made up a fresh batch of wipes for the trip, not just for diaper changes but for wiping hands and faces and grills and tables. (Brief description of how to make homemade wipes in a green cleaning breakdown.)  I try to create as little waste as possible, even while out of my home, so I did use a washcloth as often as possible to wash tables and faces, but sometimes conserving water is most important when you have to haul in your own. (We didn’t even go through the whole box.)  I like that H2 is concentrated, so I don’t need to use very much and I don’t have to throw away or recycle many bottles.

things-i-love-thursdayFinding an effective bug spray that is natural and safe for little ones can be a tough job. When my friend who sells Shaklee told me that Basic H can work as an insect repellent, I was surprised and skeptical. I didn’t believe it worked until I was working in my garden getting pummeled and eaten alive by mosquitoes. I came in within two minutes of going outside and tried the Basic H2, dabbing it on my skin with a paper towel. I was (very pleasantly!) surprised when the skeeters left me alone when I returned to my work!

Now I’m not affiliated in any way with Shaklee. I don’t sell it, and I don’t even use any of their products other than this one (as you’ll find out in 2 weeks, I just use vinegar and baking soda for most of my cleaning). I’m a big fan of the Basic H though. If you go looking for it, try to find an independent distributor in your area to purchase from. It’s important to support families and stay-at-home-moms who are trying to earn income this way. Here’s my friend’s site if you don’t have your own distributor.

frugal-fridaysA bottle of Basic H2 costs around $12 or so, which sounds expensive until I tell you that I’ve had my bottle for over two years, and it’s made dozens of refills of foaming soap, countless containers of wipes, come camping and protected our family from pesky mosquitoes through three summers. That’s a bang for your buck!

By the way, did anyone who saw my photos so far of the camping trip notice the winter hats and mittens? That, to me, is the most hilarious part, not just that we captured a fun family vacation. It was August, and we wore winter clothes. When we woke up, it was 42 degrees. Sheesh. We could see our breath by dinnertime! Is anyone else impressed with my kids swimming in Lake Michigan’s 50-degree (or so I hear) water? :)

More camping stories and frugal, enviro-safe tips!

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17 Bites of Conversation So Far

    • Katie says

      Jill, I wonder, too! Amway (it has a different name now which is escaping me) is just down the road here. Is it a natural product?

  1. says

    You had me at “bug repellent”! I’ve been frantically searching for something that isn’t terribly expensive, that won’t necessarily end up wasted if we don’t care for it, that the cure isn’t worse than the disease so to speak. I’m off to look for a local distributor . . . thanks!!!

  2. says

    hey, full disclosure: I DO sell this stuff, but it is amazing and chemical free (my huband and I went chem-free on all our skin and hair and cleaning supplies a little over a year ago).

    Young Living’s Thieves products: household cleaner (concentrate that can be made into a number of products), toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, essential oil, throat lozenges, floss, and more.

    It’s called Thieves because it’s made from an essential oil recipe that was discovered by the thieves of the plague times. They used a combination of anti-viral oils to rob the dead and dying plague victims without getting infected. When they were caught, they were given the ultimatum: tell the recipe or be put to death.

    I swear by this stuff, especially during flu season(I wouldn’t think of getting a flu shot)

    Honestly, for me, therapeutic grade essential oils (different from what you buy in the local health food store) are truly ‘God’s love made manifest’ for us to heal with.
    .-= Jessica Waters´s last blog ..foodiegrrl: @ApothecaryJeri YOU TOTALLY ROCK, girlfriend!!! =-.

  3. Sherilyn Medkeff says

    I have been using Basic H for over 30 years now. It is the only soap I take camping, because it is bio-degradable. At home I use a small amount in warm water to clean my wood floors and windows. I have also used it for hand washing clothes. When my children move out they get a bottle of Basic H. By the way, I love this web site. Just discovered it today.

    • Katie says

      Welcome aboard! What a great testimony to Basic H. That’s so cool that you give it as a “going away” gift to your kids! 😉 Katie

  4. Amanda Brookens says

    I am new to this site, as well, and LOVE it! I have used Shaklee Basic H and H2 for years and have the same bottle I bought over 2 years ago. I use it for diaper wipes, all purpose, camping…you name it, I’ve used it for that purpose! Great stuff and great recommendation :-)

  5. says

    Do you have a resource for how to dilute it for everything? I’m going on a mission trip to the Philippines next summer and it would be EXCELLENT to have ONE BOTTLE for shampoo/body wash/bugspray/hand soap/shaving cream/laundry detergent…I even read you could soak your contacts in it. HELLO!!!!

    • Katie says

      Bugspray = dab on full strength w/paper towel, soap and shampoo, I just use a tiny drop, full strength. If you have a foaming soap dispenser, it’s about 1-2 Tbs and then fill the rest with water. ?? I have a sheet somewhere…but it’s really lost! Maybe try a Shaklee rep? Good luck – what a great idea for your mission trip! :) Katie

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