When you’re making a survival kit or 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 chapstick.
Here are 20 survival uses for it:
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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
Chapstick can also be used as a 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 chapstick on it to prevent a blister from forming.
7. Reduce Glare
If you’re in a bright desert or snowy area, dip chapstick in black ashes and rub it under your eyes. This will keep you from going snowblind.
8. Use It On Tinder
Rub it on q-tips, cotton balls, lint, cloth, gauze, or even dried bark to make tinder that catches fire easily.
9. Make a Candle
Cut a q-tip in half, rub the cotton end on the chapstick, then turn it over and stick the other end into the chapstick 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, chapstick 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 chapstick. Also, if you put it on screws and nails it will be easier to drill or 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 chapstick 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 waterproof.
17. Clean Glasses
Rub a dab of chapstick 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 chapstick 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 chapstick 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 hook and fishing line, etc.
Any type of lip balm/chapstick will do, but I prefer Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.