We here at Boondocker’s Bible have actually heard some RVers claim that they don’t boondock because it makes their allergies worse. You can protect against allergies by using a combination of allergy medications instead of just relying on one, along with using some basic practices.
How to Protect Against Allergies When Boondocking
Tips for Immediate Allergy Relief
Cold wet towel – A cold, wet towel (without soap) gives great immediate relief two ways: The first is that the feel of cold and wet against the face offers a satisfying sensation when your eyes and nose are going crazy. You may even find the contrast in temperature will open your sinuses. But it also cleans off the allergens stuck to your skin. Many allergic reactions result from allergens that get rubbed into the eyes, or introduced through the mouth and nose.
Use a Wide Variety of Medications, Not Just One – Most boondockers stock up on several types of anti-allergy products instead of relying on just one. This is because each anti-allergy product is generally effective on certain types of allergens, and not all. Flo-Nase and Zyrtec work pretty well when taken together, the Flo-Nase offers more immediate relief with sinuses and airways, while Zyrtec works well with watery, itchy eyes. Try other forms of anti-allergy medications, and take them in combination.
Benadryl Works Best at Night – Benadryl (in pill form) seems to work for just about everyone, but will make you drowsy. It’s better to take it just before sleeping because it will give you a pretty good night’s rest.
Allergy Eye Drops – Just about all drug stores sell these over the counter. These provide some immediate relief to itchy eyes, but will also wash allergens away.
Tips for Long Term Allergy Relief
Buy an Air Purifier – Most boondockers with sensitive allergies will run an air purifier inside their vehicle. Make sure to get one with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter is what hospitals use to purify their air. Do not buy cheap air purifiers costing less than $100.00 because they often break or burn out. The Bissell brand of air purifiers are highly regarded (see it on Amazon).
Let Your Skin’s Natural Oils do its Job – Oils secreted through the skin are your body’s first line of defense against allergens and infections. These oils will trap pollen, fungi, bacteria, viruses and prevent them from entering your bloodstream. A few times each day, wash the areas around your eyes and nose with a wet cloth to remove allergens. Do not use soap so as to preserve the oils on your skin.
Stay Dry – Yeast and mold tend to form on the skin under prolonged moist conditions. If it has been raining at your camp for an extended period, and you’re wearing the same moist sweater for several days, yeast and mold will grow in the fabric and transfer into your body through cracks in the skin.
Turn off Fans – The ceiling fans in your RV should be turned off when camping in areas you are allergic to. Even if your fans are set to blow air out, still keep them turned off. This is because in order for your fans to blow air out, it has to suck air in from the outside.
Wear a Hat With a Wide Brim – A hat with a wide brim, like those that gardeners wear, will help protect your eyes and nose from allergens. Remove this hat before entering your vehicle.
Wear Protective Sunglasses – Sunglasses designed to fit over your prescription glasses will do a better job of keeping allergens out of your eyes. Goggles (with a strap behind your head) will also seal your eyes from pollen.
Wear a Light Sweater Outside – A lightweight sweater will prevent allergens from attaching to your shirt underneath. Then, when you’re ready to come back inside your vehicle, remove the sweater before entering.