While a first-aid kit likely isn’t the first thing you’re thinking about packing for the cottage—a new bikini, cute sandals, cocktail ingredients and sunscreen usually top the list—it’s definitely something you should take with you. Nothing is more of a bummer on a summer weekend than having to deal with a cut, bite, food poisoning, allergic reaction or painful skin reaction. And while you can usually pick up a solid first-aid kit, complete with bandages and gauze, I think you should consider adding a few other things.
On the most perfect of perfect weekends in April (just check out the bluest blue skies below), I headed to Viamede Resort to enjoy the sun, views and hiking (and its fine-dining, local, farm-to-table restaurant, Mount Julian—from now on, this is how I cottage). The 131-year-old landmark sits front and centre on Stoney Lake, with 65 acres of land for me to hike, play soccer, swim, or indulge in some quite and relax. It’s still cottaging, so thankfully, I packed a few extra things in my first-aid kit.
A Post-Sun Product
I’m not just sun savvy—I’m sun-phobic. I’ve got my arms covered. I’m wearing a hat. I’ve got my sunglasses on. And I’m covered in sunscreen. But even without a burn, I feel the heat. Sun Bum Cool Down was the perfect addition to my first-aid kit. While its aloe vera soothes sunburned skin, it’s also great to apply to skin that’s red from windburn, itch and dehydration. I love that it’s lightweight and smells like summer. After my shower, I would spritz this all over, get in my jammies and sit outside on my Viamede balcony in the cool evening air. It was heaven.
A Skin-Healing Balm
If your skin is angrier, say from a painful sunburn, a cut, scratch, blister or allergic reaction, this healing balm is the bomb. The thick, gooey cream instantly relieves my sore feet after a hike. There’s no scent, so it’s not irritating for a break in the skin (a.k.a. the blister on my foot). You can use it for body and face. I just used a dollop with a Band-Aid, and two days later there was no trace of my blister.
You’d think the funnest bottle I had with me in cottage country would have been this white wine below. But another bottle that kept me in high spirits as this mandarin-scented sanitizer. I know, I sound like I fell off my Muskoka chair, but hear me out. When I was hiking the grounds at Viamede, playing pick-up soccer or skipping rocks from the dock, I didn’t want to stop what I was doing to run back to the cottage to wash my hands before grabbing a snack. Plus, Life Brand Mandarin Pomelo Hand Sanitizer is good for cleaning your hands when prepping food, too. And, this Life Brand Mandarin Pomelo Hand Sanitizer was small enough to slip in my pocket. And I didn’t even notice it when I won at soccer, 21-2.
Sure, first-aid kits come with the standard nude bandages (whose skin is that colour anyway?). But when I got a few blisters from our hike (a vacay is a good excuse at any for a new pair shoes, amirite?), I was much more inclined to sport these pretty ones instead. Plus, there’s a fashion connection: Band-Aid Isaac Mizrahi Loves. <3