Kids’ Almanac (July 25-August 1)



What’s in my overnight bag?

Thank you for your supportive feedback about last week’s piece, What’s In My Backpack? This week I am sharing What’s In My Overnight Bag? I have eight essential supplies when our family goes on an overnight visit to see family and friends.

1. You have already read about my excitement about Wright Naturals Bug Stuff, a locally made natural bug repellant that really works! When I had deer flies buzzing around my head in New Hampshire recently, I applied the Bug Stuff and it was like turning on a switch. My head immediately went from being surrounded to absolute peace. You can buy it locally or visit the website at

2. I also shared with you previously about my O’Tom/Tick Twister. I discovered it in the Wild Earth nature program’s first aid kit when I was unable to get a grip on the tiny tick I found on my son during our overnight. The smaller O’Tom/Tick Twister removed it quickly and effortlessly, I couldn’t believe it! I ordered it as soon as we got home. The set comes with two sizes in each package. I keep one set in my car and one in my home first aid kit so I don’t have to remember to pack it, it’s always with me. For more information, visit


3. I had heard that jewelweed is a good antidote for poison ivy, so when my arms got torn up from these toxic leaves last year, I ordered some Jewelweed Salve from Vicki Harkness at Perry Hill Farm in Millbrook. This stuff feels magical and is so healing. I use it all the time and I still have the same container. How is that possible? You can order salves or soaps and more with Harkness at the farmers’ markets in Amenia, Millerton, Rhinebeck, and Hudson Valley Hospital Center or online at

4. Whether you have a daughter, are a daughter, or know a daughter, you may have experienced the painful realm of utis (urinary tract infections). Cranberry juice, alas, never quite seems to do the trick. But ever since my friend introduced me to D-Mannose Powder, I’ve never looked back. It’s a sweet white powder that helps relieve utis from the moment it’s ingested. It can be eaten straight as a powder or dissolved in liquid, the effects are pretty immediate, and we always pack it for our overnights. D-Mannose Powder is available at the Health & Nutrition Center in New Paltz and other local health-food stores. Please consult with your doctor before trying it, though.

5. Glow sticks are lots of fun for all ages, so I always try to include a few packages when we go away. They’re always a hit!

6. To know me is to know how much I love having wet wipes close by. I feel fearless with wipes. My kid drops a 50-cent Burger King vanilla ice cream cone in her lap? No problem, I’ve got wipes. My Mexican Coca-Cola from Mole Mole gets jostled in the car? It’s okay, I’ve got wipes. I keep some in the car, I take a package on hikes and picnics, I have wipes at the movie theater, and they’re great for overnights because I know exactly where they are without disrupting the activity going on or the host. I like the unscented kind with the flip top because it seals better and they last longer.

7. I carry a bottle of disposable foam ear plugs in case my kids are overwhelmed by a loud sound system at a concert or another event. They’re also handy for overnights to block out unfamiliar sounds that can disturb sleep.

8. I bought myself a Thera-Band from Pilates of New Paltz, and I toss it into my overnight bag because it’s so light and easy to pack. This thin strap of rubber helps me stretch out during driving breaks and it inspires gentle morning warm-up stretches even I don’t want to do a regular workout while I’m away.


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