When you’re making a survival kit or a bug out bag, it’s best to pack items that have multiple uses. This way you’ll be prepared for all types of situations without taking up more space than necessary. There are dozens of versatile items, but today I want to talk about chap stick. Here are 20 survival uses for it:
1. Moisten chapped lips. Well, duh! But I had to include this lest someone leave a smartass comment chiding me for leaving it out. You know who you are.
2. Moisten chapped hands and scrapes. This helps them heal faster and keeps them protected from the elements.
3. Stop small cuts from bleeding. Obviously this won’t work for deep cuts, but it’s great for little cuts like if you cut yourself shaving. It will also keep dirt and other things out thereby reducing the chance of infection.
4. Protect your skin from the cold. In extremely cold weather, rub it on exposed skin to help prevent frostbite.
5. Protect your skin from the sun. Chap stick can also be used as sunscreen. It’s not as effective as regular sunscreen, but it will do as long as you’re not in the sun all day. Just don’t get any in your eyes!
6. Prevent blisters. If there’s a spot on your skin that is getting rubbed raw, put some chap stick on it to prevent a blister from forming.
7. Reduce glare. If you’re in a bright desert or snowy area, dip chap stick in black ashes and rub it under your eyes. This will keep you from going snowblind.
8. Use it on kindling. Rub it on q-tips, cotton balls, lint, cloth, gauze, or even dried bark to make kindling that burns easily and for a long time.
9. Make a candle. Cut a q-tip in half, rub the cotton end on the chap stick, then turn it over and stick the other end into the chap stick and you’ll have a small candle. It won’t burn all evening, but it is a good temporary candle that will make it a lot easier to get a fire started.
10. Lubricate your bow drill. The bearing block needs to be lubricated so the spindle will spin more easily. If nothing else is available, chap stick will do.
11. Lubricate threads. I’m talking about the ones on metal twist caps or outdoor light bulbs. This will prevent them from rusting.
12. Lubricate zippers that are stuck. This will make them easier to move and make them a little more water resistant.
13. Lubricate tools, screws, and nails. Any tool with moving parts and friction can benefit from chap stick. Also, if you put it on screws and nails it will be easier to drill / hammer them into place.
14. Keep knives from rusting. Just rub it directly onto the blade. Very helpful if you’re on the move and it’s raining.
15. Patch holes. If you have any tiny holes in your poncho or tent, a little chap stick will plug it up.
16. Protect leather. Rub it all over anything leather such as a sheath or shoes. This will protect the leather and make it somewhat water proof.
17. Clean glasses. Rub a dab of chap stick all over the lens then polish with a thin cloth. This will clean the lens and keep them from fogging up.
18. Take off a ring. If your hands swell up, rub chap stick on your fingers and the ring will slide right off.
19. Hide cash. Take off the caps on both ends, clean it out really well, then roll up some cash and stick it in there. Great way to hide money.
20. Make a tiny survival kit. Several little things can fit into an empty chap stick tube such as pills, a tiny compass, a q-tip (for kindling), strike-anywhere matches, steel wire, the tip of a pen for writing, piece of an X-Acto knife, a hooking and fishing line, etc.
Any type of lip balm / chap stick will do, but I prefer Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.