Summer Safety Tips to Protect Against Tick-Borne Illnesses & Skin Cancer

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Learn important outdoor summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer.

Outdoor summer safety tips. Learn important summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer. Which is your biggest concern? Getting skin cancer or contracting Lyme disease? You may be surprised to learn that equal numbers of people fall victim to both each year. As these numbers have increased considerably to around 300,000 cases of each per year, it makes sense that summer skin care should be a priority. By carrying out a few essential summer safety tips, you can help prevent you and your family from getting sick.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips

Which is your biggest concern? Getting skin cancer or contracting Lyme disease? You may be surprised to learn that equal numbers of people fall victim to both each year. As these numbers have increased considerably to around 300,000 cases of each per year, it makes sense that summer skin care should be a priority. By carrying out a few essential summer safety tips, you can help prevent you and your family from getting sick. Keep reading to discover these essential summer safety tips that target potential summertime threats.

Why Is Summer Skin Care Important?

Summer skin care involves more than just protecting your skin from the sun. Ticks, which can potentially infect their host with Lyme disease or even a red meat allergy, are also becoming increasingly common. This makes not just skin cancer, but the possibility of a lifelong illness from chronic lyme disease, an equal concern. Learn important summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer below.

Concern Over Potentially Toxic Ingredients In Sunscreen

You may have heard that are new concerns regarding sunscreens. A recent medical study by JAMA showed that certain chemicals used in sunscreen – specifically avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule – are actually absorbed into the users bloodstream during use. Unfortunately for us, these levels are much higher than approved by the FDA.

However, as sunscreens have not been subjected to the same standards as drug safety testing, there have been no safety inspections on sunscreens thus far. This means that the chemicals in many of the sunscreens on the market are potentially poisoning our bodies. What we don’t know, is if these chemicals are putting us at risk for future illnesses or cancer.

What I found especially scary is how long three of the aforementioned chemicals stay in the bloodstream. Not only do levels of all of these chemicals exceed the maximum safety levels set by the FDA after the first use, three are still detectable after a seven day period. Especially troubling are the results of study on oxybenzone. A chemical banned from sunscreens in Hawaii as it’s toxic to coral reefs, oxybenzone also shows up in womens breast milk.

Unfortunately, no one knows the long term effects of using sunscreen with these ingredients. As of yet, more testing needs to be done to ensure consumer safety. There simply is no concrete answer as to if these ingredients cause cancer over time with continued use. Kind of scary right?

Outdoor Summer Sun Protection Safety Tips

In order to keep your skin safe from cancer, wearing clothing that covers exposed skin and applying sunscreen are two very important summer safety tips. However, with new insight on the potential dangers of chemicals found in sunscreens, it begs the question, what kind of sunscreen should you use?

What Types of Sunscreen Should I Use?

Barrier sunscreens, or mineral based sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, and are free of the previously mentioned chemicals are considered to be safe and effective at protecting skin from sunburns. (Some brands to consider are Waxhead, Bare Republic and Australian Gold.)

It is recommended that you opt out of making your own sunscreen unless you can test its effectiveness. There are numerous reports across the internet in which homemade sunscreens did not offer the protection thought. Thus resulting in bad sunburns. (So DIY at your own risk.)

One only needs to refer back to the debacle with The Honest Company sunscreen during 2015 to fully realize the challenge in make a safe and effective product. There were multiple reports after the original sunscreen was reformulated to reduce the amount of zinc oxide. Extensive sunburns were reported after this change, that while more aesthetically pleasing (bye bye white marks!) it missed the mark on sun protection. (You can read more on this issue here.)

The risk of skin cancer, unfortunately, seems to keep rising. In 2018 the World Cancer Research Fund reported 300,000 new cases of melanoma. This marks melanoma as the 19th most commonly occurring cancer among men and women.

Why Protecting Yourself From Tick Bites Is Important

While the thought of skin cancer is certainly scary, contracting Lyme disease – or even an allergy to red meat – from a tick bite is becoming increasingly common. And quite honestly, just as terrifying. Like melanoma, the CDC reports that 300,000 Americans contract tick-borne diseases each year. While there were 30,000 cases reported to the CDC in 2013, they believe that the actual number of cases is ten times this amount.

The month of May typically marks the start of tick season. This means starting now you should already be taking precautions to protect yourself – and your furry friends – from tick bites. In addition, as we had a mild winter across much of the United States, tick season is expected to be considerably worse this year over previous years when winter temperatures were much colder. It is important to keep in mind, however, that just because tick season starts in May, that doesn’t mean there’s not a year round risk.

Common Disease Carrying Ticks to Watch Out For

Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick)

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. However, the black legged tick, also known as a deer tick, does. It’s prevalent across much of the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central part of the United States as well as Illinois. Cases of lyme disease have been reported from Virginia to Northern Maine. This disease causes fever, headache and fatigue as well as characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the joints, heart and the nervous system. This in turn can lead to chronic pain, similar to that of fibromyalgia. (Learn more about Lyme disease here.)

A few years back my neighbor contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. He had headaches so intense he was unable to work for six months coupled with crippling pain. After which he was only able to go back to work part time. If you suspect you may have been bitten by a deer tick, immediate antibiotic treatment can reduce or prevent the symptoms of Lyme disease. However, the best course of action is still prevention.

Deer ticks must be attached to their host – whether pet or human – for 36 to 48 hours in order to transmit the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that causes lyme disease. Therefore, checking yourself and your animals for ticks once you’ve been outside in wooded and high grass areas can help prevent transmission of the disease. While wearing protective clothing and using a tick repellent can prevent tick bites entirely.

American Dog Tick

The American dog tick, on the other hand, is also one of the most common ticks in the US. However, it is often misidentified. While dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease, they can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans. Ehrlichiosis is an emerging concern for areas where this tick is found, East of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ehrlichiosis causes a variety of symptoms that include fever, headache, chills, malaise, muscle pain, gastrointestinal distress, confusion, red eyes and a rash. Approximately one third of adults and half of all children who contract ehrlichiosis experience systems. As with Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis can be fatal in some cases. However, early treatment with antibiotics is often effective.

Lone Star Tick

Finally, the lone star tick – which is also common in my home state of Virginia – can pass along what is called alpha-gal. Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule that the lone star tick can transmit from mammals to humans. When this happens, our bodies develop antibodies against alpha-gal. This in turn results to a life threatening allergy to red meat.

The allergy causes symptoms in humans ranging from hives to violent vomiting and diarrhea – or worse death from anaphylaxis shock. People who have this allergy, like those allergic to bee stings or even peanuts – must carry an EpiPen with them in case of accidental exposure. Additionally, UVA has also conducted research linking those sensitive to the alpha-gal gene with a much higher risk of heart disease.

The lone star tick is especially dangerous as it will actually hunt its next meal. Research has shown that this tick can sense mammals and humans from 60 to 100 feet away. The tick then gravitates towards mammals, rather than patiently waiting for someone to walk by. A recent news story in our area reported that doctors in Richmond are seeing approximately 100 cases per week of people who have been infected with alpha-gal from tick bites.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips to Prevent Tick Bites. If you live in areas that are prone to ticks, or you are visit high grassy or wooded areas, you should be taking precautions to prevent tick bites. Learn how to keep you and your family safe from tick-borne illnesses.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips to Prevent Tick Bites

If you live in areas that are prone to ticks, or you are visit high grassy or wooded areas, you should be taking precautions to prevent tick bites. Here’s how to keep you and your family safe from tick-borne illnesses.

    • Wear light protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. (Ticks are easier to see on light colored clothes.) A head covering is also recommended. Tuck or tape your cuffs into your shoes to prevent ticks from crawling inside underneath your clothes.
    • It’s recommended that you spray an insect repellant that contains picaridin, rather than DEET, onto your clothing and hands. (Avoid spraying insect repellent onto your face. Apply with your hands instead, avoiding mucous membranes.) Be sure to wash skin and clothes once you return indoors. Other DEET alternatives include natural tick repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil.
    • When hiking, walk inside the center of the trail to avoid being brushed by foliage that may contain ticks. If camping, avoid sitting in areas with leaf litter.
    • Check yourself, as well as pets and children, for ticks every two to three hours. Most ticks are unable to transmit a disease until after the four hour mark. While removing ticks within 36 hours makes transmission of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease unlikely.
    • If you find a tick on your clothing, it can be easily removed with masking or cellophane tape. To remove ticks on skin, grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Then firmly and gently pull the tick straight out. Alternately, you can also use a cloth or tissue to form barrier between your fingers and the tick prior to removal. Always wash the infected area with soap and water following tick removal, followed by an antiseptic.
    • If you’re worried about infection, you can save the tick in a small vial of alcohol. This way the tick can be identified if you do get sick or want to take preventative antibiotics to protect against Lyme disease. Or if you experience an unexplained illness accompanied by a fever after visiting a tick prone area.

Don't let bugs ruin your summer fun! Repel mosquitoes and deer ticks with this non-greasy insect repellent body butter recipe made with natural essential oils! This insect repellent body butter is crafted with a blend of natural essential oils including lemon eucalyptus essential oil which has been shown to not only repel biting insects, but deer ticks as well.

Alternatives to DEET

According to UpToDate, insect repellents containing the active ingredients DEET, IR3535, or picaridin are the most effective at preventing tick bites. However, these products must be reapplied frequently. Further, DEET products are not safe for use on small children under two months of age. Nor are they safe for adults at concentrations of higher than 30%. This chemical repellent can cause adverse neurologic reactions, such as seizures, as a result of overexposure. In addition it can also cause hives and blister-like lesions.

Due to the potential toxicity of DEET, picaridin is now recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a safe alternative to DEET. It should be applied every two hours. Picaridin is non-greasy and odorless. And it won’t irritate skin or stain fabrics. While there has been no indication of toxicity reported from use on humans, picaridin has caused liver toxicity in rats.

Should you choose to use an insect repellent with picaridin, I recommend Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent or Natrapel 8 Hour. Both of these insect repellents contain 20% picaridin.

While potentially less effective, natural alternatives are considered safer than chemical tick repellents. WebMD states that the application of Citriodiol (which contains 30% lemon eucalyptus oil extract) three times daily significantly decreases the risk of tick attachment if you live in tick-infested area. You can purchase REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent on Amazon. Like Citriodiol, it also contains 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus. And it doesn’t smell like bug spray.

You can also make a natural insect repellent at home. I have an insect repellent body butter recipe made with a blend of essential oils, including lemon eucalyptus to help repel mosquitoes and deer ticks. You find that recipe here.

What Is Your Biggest Outdoor Summer Skin Care Threat?

While it’s important to be diligent at preventing both sunburns and tick bites with the above summer safety tips, I’m curious which you find the greater concern? I posed this same question to my boyfriend, Greg. He stated that after watching me struggling with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, he’d definitely go the skin cancer route. Neither, however, would be his preference. I’ve seen photos of the damage caused by skin cancer and the radiation used to treat it. It’s not pretty. And I imagine it’s also quite painful.

The point is, however, both of these threats are scary and potentially life threatening. I’d love to hear you thoughts on these two health topics as well as your own summer safety tips you take to keep your and your family well. So be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.

Discover more ways to keep your family well by exploring some of the ideas on my Natural Health and Wellness Pinterest board. You can also follow me across your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on PinterestBlog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter to stay in the loop.

The 12 Best Outdoor Activities To Enjoy This Fall

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This post is sponosored by Wiivv. All opinions are my own.

Whether I’m adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv custom insoles are making every step even better. So you don’t feel left out, I’ve put together a collection of the 12 best outdoor activities for fall. These activities are perfect for bringing friends and family together – even if you’re an empty nester like I am. (Not to mention you’ll have some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

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I suffer from fibromyalgia. This means more than my fair share of painful days. However, one of the best natural treatments for tackling fibromyalgia pain is to stay active. Therefore, comfortable shoes are a must. Unfortunately, due to both my body’s limitations as well as a low arch, even walking can sometimes be painful. With Wiivv’s custom insoles, my feet are pain free after a walk on the greenway or a hike up my favorites trails. I also no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort when I want to spend a night out dancing to one of my favorite local bands.

I can’t even imagine if I had to be on my feet all day for work without my Wiivv insoles! (Especially since my favorite shoes are busted, stained and have literally no arch support.) They make such a big difference. I highly recommend them for anyone who’s been experiencing foot pain. They’re perfect for shoes with no support, new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet and old shoes in which the insoles are completely worn out. Because they are 3-D printed to fit your feet, you always get a perfect fit.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Decorate the pavement with sidewalk chalk. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Lucky for me, my hometown of Roanoke, VA has made a LOT of progress over the past decade to make our city more friendly for foot traffic. They’ve invested in both a greenway and our river. They have built boat access docks for kayaking as well as bike rental stations throughout the downtown area. Because Roanoke is nestled in the valley and surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains, hiking and camping trips are super convenient. We also have quite a few wineries in the surrounding area, including one on our very own mountain top.

If you don’t live in an adventure filled locale, don’t worry. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting on your thinking cap and coming up with creative solutions. Or take a day trip to somewhere close by and really make those fall memories that you’ll remember for years to come.

With the weather finally starting to cool down from a stifling summer, fall is the perfect time to slip your sole insoles into your favorite hiking shoes. Or try Wiivv’s custom sandals, made to fit your feet, for comfortable walks around town and down by the river. Following are some of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, I’d love for you to share your own favorite outdoor activities for fall in the comments!

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Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall

Go on a bike ride.

While mountain biking is totally plausible in my area, a simple leisurely bike ride on the greenway or around downtown Roanoke is the perfect outdoor fall activity for the entire family. There are 30 miles of urban trails that connect to scenic nature spots, charming neighborhoods and our bustling downtown area.

If you don’t own a bicycle, check to see if your local bike shop rents bikes by the hour. Or look into areas that offer bike sharing. Zagster is a bike share network lets you rent bicycles from any of their convenient pick up and drop off locations by the hour or through a monthly membership.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go on a picnic. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go on a picnic.

Picnics also make great outdoor activities for fall. You can live pretty much anywhere and plan a fall picnic. However, my favorite picnic spot is one of our local wineries, Vahalla. Not only can my friends and I enjoy a wine a tasting at this winery, they also offer seating and picnic tables. So you can buy a bottle of wine and enjoy it outside with your own picnic lunch!

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I love the view from the top of the mountain at this winery. And that there are fewer insects in the fall makes the event even more enjoyable. There are wineries all over the United States. So even if you don’t have a winery in your city, there’s a good chance you can find one close by – or at least within an hour or so of your home.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Take a trip to the zoo. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Take a trip to the zoo.

It was a complete surprise to me that one of my most favorite outdoor activities for fall would be a trip to the zoo. Because zoos are just for kids, right? Wrong. Our local zoo, Mill Mountain Zoo, runs fundraising activities for adults throughout the year. A worthy cause, the money goes to support animals that are unable to be released back into the wild as well as to support breeding programs for animals at high risk for extinction.

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They also do a lot of educational work with local schools – something that my roommate, Bambi, is in charge of. I think her favorite part of her outreach however, is taking animals to visit residents at our local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Some of their regular fundraising events include a monthly Breakfast with the Animals and their semi-regular event, Brew at the Zoo.

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Brew at the Zoo is probably my favorite event that I’ve attended. Not only is there live acoustic music (I can dance FOREVER with my new Wiivv insoles) but there’s also beer from local breweries and a food truck. This fall they are also hosting their annual Zoo Boo fundraiser. This family friendly event offers trick-or-treating for kids and costume contests as well as performances and “spooktacular” art activities – all outdoors!

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If you have a zoo close by, I highly encourage you to check out their events page. It’s a safe bet they offer a variety of adult themed, outdoor activities for fall that allow you not only to socialize, but will make you feel like a kid again!

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Go hiking.

I grew up hiking with my family from a young age. So it has always been another of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s not always something my body will let me do. So when I hike, I tend to stick to the easier trails that are under four miles round trip.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Living by the mountains we have hiking trails everywhere! One of which is just a short 20 minute drive down the road. Nestled within a residential neighborhood, Read Mountain Preserve offers several trail options. My favorite of which is the Buzzards Rock lookout.

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I fully admit that I’ve started up this mountain and had to turn around not even a quarter of the way up as the my body wouldn’t cooperate. However, I was able to make this hike last weekend. Reaching the top of that mountain was exhausting, but incredibly amazing. My Wiivv insoles really helped on this hike. And those shin splints I usually get after my first hike of the year, were almost nonexistent this go around.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

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As my boyfriend, Greg, only just moved to Roanoke last December, it was his first time on this trail. So it was quite the adventure for both of us. I also love hiking up Cascade Falls which is located just outside of Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go on a nature walk. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go on a nature walk.

You don’t have to live anywhere in particular to take a nature walk. You can simply explore your local neighborhood and forage for acorns or pinecones to take home and use as part of your fall decor. Or take photographs of the different fall leaves to look up what kinds of trees are in your area as an educational experience for the family.

We actually have a wonderful local artisan from Floyd, VA who hunts for fabulous fungi that she later dries and uses to make unique one-of-a-kind jewelry for her small business, Woodland Wonders.

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Go river tubing.

Tubing on the river is fun in the summer, but it’s glorious in the fall. As I’m fair skinned I burn like mad if I’m anywhere near water during the summer – even with SPF 50. So I actually enjoy river tubing as one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. Not only do I not have to contend with the heat, but there’s also less of chance I’m going to look like a lobster by the end of the trip.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Go kayaking. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Go kayaking.

If floating lazily down the river isn’t really your speed, consider kayaking instead. The 45-mile Roanoke River Blueway is a water trail that offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tubing and wading – all while taking in the local wildlife. This waterway passes through and around Roanoke, Virginia and its surrounding counties. The Roanoke River has 17 public access points, some of which also offer picnic areas and playgrounds.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Visit your local farmer's market. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Visit your local farmer’s market.

Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is visiting the Historic Roanoke City Market on Saturday mornings. The walk through the market is always enjoyable. In addition to seasonal plants, fruits and vegetables that can be found at our market, there are also some pretty amazing artisans that sell their handmade soaps, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and photographs. I can’t think of a better way to spend a shopping trip than with a mix of an outdoor walk and pleasant conversations from fellow crafters.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall - Take a walking tour of local art galleries. Whether I'm adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv insoles are making every step even better. So you don't feel left out, I've put together a collection of fun outdoor activities you can enjoy this fall. (Not to mention some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)

Take a walking tour of your area’s local art galleries.

Roanoke is lucky enough that we have quite a few art galleries located downtown. All of the galleries are within walking distance of one another. On the first Friday of each month, all of the galleries participate in an event coined Art By Night. The local art galleries stay open late for this free event so those who work during the day have the chance to attend.

I love walking to and visiting each of the galleries in our downtown urban spaces and seeing new works by local artists. Many of the galleries also offer free hors d’oeuvres and wine. Which, I’m not gonna lie, makes the event even more enjoyable.

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Hunt for river rocks.

Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is rock hunting. This past summer Greg and I spent a lot of time at a local park doing just that. This park, in particular, has several easy hiking trails as well as a creek running through it. (My mom would bring me to this park when I was little and I used to bring home crawdads I’d find in the creek.) So we had a great time exploring the creek for the length of the park and collecting rocks that we took home to paint later.

I’ll admit, I got super excited when Greg and I found a painted art rock someone had hid along the greenway this summer. So, of course, that inspired me to paint and hide rocks as well. Unfortunately we’ve not had any fruitful finds on our hunts since, but we really enjoy the process of finding, painting and hiding our rocks nonetheless.

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Jasper also accompanied us on a few of our adventures. Unfortunately he was not as interested in the water as we were. And being that he has short, stubby little legs, I can understand him not really getting into traipsing through a creek that left his belly soaking wet. We did spot a crawdad on one such trip. It was so large it almost looked like a lobster. Jasper, being the grumpy little man that he is, was even less interested in the crawdads. But I think deep down he secretly enjoyed the park regardless.

Attend an outdoor Halloween inspired event.

Halloween means even more fun outdoor activities for fall. While walking through a haunted house is never really on my bucket list (I was terrified by someone grabbing my ankle in a haunted house when I was four) most localities plan extra events centered around this holiday.

While we don’t have a local amusement park to celebrate Halloween outdoors, we do have mini golf. Yep, mini golf. This October, the Explore Park in Roanoke County is hosting its first ever Haunted Woods Mini Golf event for Halloween. This event will feature 18-holes of miniature golf accented with ghouls, goblins and frightening decor. While the glow-in-the-dark golf balls will help you on your journey along the way. So be sure to check out your city’s local government or event page to find out what’s happening in your community this Halloween.

Attend a fall festival.

Fall festivals always top my list of favorite outdoor activities for fall. I alway enjoy our local Harvest Festival on the Roanoke City Market. However there also events at local farms where you can enjoy hayrides and corn mazes. Or swing by a local fall wine or beer festival to enjoy a tasting of the latest seasonally inspired brews.

Our annual Go Outside! Festival (or GO Fest for short) in Roanoke encourages people to spend more time outdoors with activities like on-site camping, a BMX stunt show and live music events. There’s also a air flying dog show that’s always fun to watch. Or you can learn about wilderness first aid or play a round of air golf.

There are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy this fall, it’s hard to pick just one. So why not try them all? (Just don’t forget to take your Wiivv custom insoles or sandals along with you on your journeys!)

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities for fall in your area? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

How to Make an Easy Bug Repellent Recipe

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Natural Homemade Easy Bug Repellent Recipe - Effective and requires as few as TWO ingredients!

Do you need an easy mosquito repellent recipe to help combat biting insects this summer? This simple, yet effective natural homemade bug repellent recipe needs as few as two ingredients and won’t require you to buy a lot of expensive essential oils. Here’s what you’ll need and how to make it.

How to Make a Natural Easy Bug Repellent Recipe to Keep Mosquitoes and Other Biting Insects Away This Summer

Natural Homemade Bug Repellent Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.com

Ingredients:

2 oz. distilled water
2 oz. witch hazel
2.5 ml Bug Off Synergy Essential Oil Blend

Instructions:

If you don’t have witch hazel you can use all distilled water and vice versa. Simple combine all ingredients in a glass bottle with a fingertip mister and shake well. (Use a graduated plastic transfer pipette to measure out the essential oil.) To use simply shake before using then spray liberally onto skin and clothing.

To create a smaller batch simply use 12 drops of the essential oil blend per 1 ounce of liquid. For larger recipes, 20 drops is equal to 1 millimeter.

If you like this recipe, you may also like my natural homemade dry shampoo recipe. There are no food ingredients like you find in other homemade dry shampoo recipes that can attract bugs – no one wants those at a festival or out camping! – and the dry shampoo not only smells fantastic, but it also helps to repel biting insects as well! For more recipes like this one be sure to follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest and my DIY Bath and Body board for more health, beauty and skin care recipes.