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    Backpack Checklist for the World

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3 Obscure Ways Activated Charcoal Can Help While Traveling

Summertime means vacation time! The warm months bring with them graduations, weddings, vacations, family reunions and a whole host of other fun events that find you packing your bags and getting out of town. Speaking of packing your bags— space is often at a premium which means beauty products, clothes, shoes and tech accessories are fighting for space in your carry-on.

To help ease the (literal) burden, it’s smart to choose single products that can pull double duty. Or, as in the case of activated charcoal, can pull triple duty and free up some serious space in that suitcase. What’s more, activated charcoal is a powder…which means it isn’t a liquid and isn’t subject to TSA flight regulations.


Most of the time, hotel shampoo is the worst. It’s drying, full of chemicals and smells awful. Thankfully, it’s so easy to use activated charcoal as an effective and easy alternative to traditional shampoo. It’s a natural exfoliant so it helps invigorate your scalp and remove unwanted build-up.

Basic Activated Charcoal Shampoo Recipe


  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp activated charcoal

Directions: Mix baking soda in water until dissolved and add charcoal. Work into your scalp and through your hair before rinsing. Remember, it won’t lather – and that’s okay!

*You can find small plastic travel-sized bottles in most major stores; just add your baking soda and activated charcoal to one each and you’re good to go.

Eyeliner and Eyebrow Gel

Any make-up product that’s going to act as a two-for-one is a magical lifesaver, right? Activated charcoal makes a perfect inky black base for any number of eye products like eyeliner and eyebrow gel. Reuse a small pot from an old gel eyeliner and load up on this natural activated charcoal recipe for your next trip out of town.

Basic Activated Charcoal Gel Eyeliner and Eyebrow Gel Recipe from Half Hippy


  • Fresh aloe gel
  • Unrefined shea butter
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Activated charcoal powder

Directions: Start with a few drops of aloe in your pot; add shea butter and arrowroot powder to make your base. You want the consistency to be a thick gel— just like a store-bought version. Once the base is complete, add a tiny bit of activated charcoal until you’ve reached the opacity you want.

Insect Balm for Bug Bites

Because of all its toxin-pulling properties, activated charcoal is an excellent ingredient in a salve to help stop inflammation and itchiness due to bug bites. If you know you’ll be spending time outdoors on your trip, it’s a no brainer to pack a small tin of this balm— your entire family will thank you for it!


1 tbsp coconut oil

1 part shea butter

5-7 drops organic lavender essential oil

1 tsp activated charcoal powder

1 tsp aloe vera gel

Directions: In a double broiler, melt down coconut oil and Shea butter. Once fully melted, remove from heat. Add aloe vera gel, lavender essential oil, and activated charcoal — mix well.

Carefully spoon the liquid into your containers. Allow to rest for 2-3 hours.

*Be sure to keep this in a cool, dry place as the coconut oil will melt in high temps.

Bonus Tip: Use Activated Charcoal for Food Poisoning! 

Activated charcoal is really such an amazing, natural remedy for many things. However, many people don’t realize how well it works for food poisoning. This can be an absolute life saver when you’re trying different foods in exotic areas. Activated charcoal won’t save your food poisoning immediately, but it will definitely stop it from progressing, and it will stop it quickly! We definitely recommend keeping this in your travel bag.

Of course, there are so many other ways you can use activated charcoal in your travel routine but these three are often the most overlooked— and thus the most important to share!

About the Author

Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free. You can find her work at Rocky Mountain Essential where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.

Author: Megan

I stand before the chamber, naked and exposed, but that is why I am here right? To glide into meditation  and see what comes from this sensory deprivation experience? To become exposed? Opening the door, I peer into the darkness beyond and take a deep breath before stepping inside, curious as to what will happen as I enter the void.

float in oakland, floating in san francisco, ego consciousness,

History: The first isolation tank was developed in the 50’s by a medical practitioner named John C. Lilly who was experimenting with sensory deprivation in combination with a psychedelic agent (mostly LSD). The initial isolation tanks were very uncomfortable and required a breathing apparatus and some pretty heavy clothing. The participants complained that these things coupled with complete submersion led to a fear of drowning which inhibited the isolation experience.

Closing the door behind me, I lay down to float in the 1200 pounds of salt and 13 inches of water. Even with the removal of the original impediments from early floating, the addition of salt, and my complete nakedness, I would drown and not just once.

As if in space, I feel weightless. There is an absence of light, sound, feeling sensation, and time. And then it begins. The show that is. The one that lives constantly and mostly quietly deep within the crevices of my mind. Images begin to appear – some memories that in most usual circumstances, might elicit some form of emotion. But this did not happen, and it was strange. As the screen flickered on.. playing its smattering of long lost and forgotten memories, I watched. Past relationships, events from my childhood, a touch of drama and trauma all take the stage. Unmoved, unattached, and without an ounce of feeling, I observe this film starring myself and a few other odd characters.

Then one solo drop of water from out of the void lands on my forehead, surprising me and forcing my eyes to quickly open. As I stare into the darkness I begin to see my reflection in the black. It is as if there is a mirror in this dark space just above me and within my reach. I stare at my reflection and without any hesitation, reach my hand out and plunge my reflection under the water. I hold her, gently, without hate, and watch as she does nothing other than to let the bubbles slowly roll from her lips as her last breath is being released.

floating, ego consciousness, floating in san francisco,

This peaceful, drowning beauty doesn’t last long though. In a split second she grows fangs and long nails and starts scratching my arms and trying to bite me. She is thrashing and fighting, with a darkness within her so fierce it surprises me. I am shocked, but not frightened as I release her, pull her to me and hug her every so gently. Holding her face close to mine, I look deep into her eyes right before I push her again under the water.


She begins to cry, to beg for her life, but only for a few seconds and then she is back to clawing at my arms. This fighting and begging makes it through a few intense rounds before all falls still and she disappears from my view. I feel a sense of ease and calm, and I begin to move my body and stretch in the tank until I am able to touch the sides. My hair has become a matted sandpaper seaweed that has molded into a peculiar shape like a flat piece of cardboard. I sit up and hug my knees close to my chest and wonder how long I have been in this tank when a gentle tapping comes from beyond. I guess it’s been an hour already – seemed only to be about 10 minutes.

I sit for a minute longer before slowly rising and feeling for the handle on the door. Opening the chamber I am welcomed by a large hanging warm towel, the smell of lavender, and soft music playing downstairs. Feeling quite euphoric as I wrap myself and prepare for a cleansing shower, I move as though I have had a heavy dose of some kind of drowsy drug, each step requiring some extra effort and coordination.

After bathing and returning my hair to its natural state, I make my way slowly down the stairs to the plush couch below where some warm green tea and honey is waiting for me. Taking the cup into my hands, and closing my eyes, I am reminded of a scene from a movie I once saw. The movie is called Revolver and towards the end, the main character gets stuck in an elevator where he ultimately meets the ego part of himself. The ego fights and screams at him while he remains calm and simply says the words : “I can see you. I can see you. You don’t control me, I control you.”

That movie and this experience have resonated with me for weeks now, and each time I can see that mean little controlling, fearful, dark side of myself trying to dictate how things will go this moment, this day, I simply tell her something similar. “I have seen you. You can’t control me, because I control you.” I have learned to integrate the light and dark sides of who I am, and can love them both for they are each a part that makes me whole.

You can find more information about floating in San Francisco/Oakland here .

For more general information about the healing benefits of floating, *courtesy of collective-evolution) click here.

Have you ever had a moment where your ego attempted to best you? What was that experience like? Do comment below if you feel inclined to do so… 


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