I already know what you’re thinking: what does lip balm and survival have in common?
Also known as chapstick, this inconspicuous piece of gear which is to be found in almost every woman’s purse has quite a lot of survival uses.
Ideally speaking, when it comes to DIY EDC kits, survival kits and bug out bags, the best thing would be to pack those with items which have multiple uses, for space saving reasons obviously. And lip balm definitely qualifies.
Lip balm is not just for protecting one’s lips, though this was its initial purpose. It can also be used as a survival tool. Just as many preppers never leave the house without duct tape, after finishing reading this article you’ll probably carry lip balm on your EDC from now on.
Another great feature of lip balm is that it’s available pretty much everywhere. You can find the stuff in gas stations and drugstores, on the Internet, in big box stores and so on and so forth.
Also, there are many brands and different varieties of lip balm, which are all making wild claims about their magical properties and what not, including the level of awesomeness they’ll deliver.
Regardless of the marketing, you should always go for the tube lip balm, this is the best option as it has multiple survival uses.
Start a Fire
Lip balm can be lit up and used for starting a fire! Yeah, you got that right. Lip balm is a petroleum based product and that makes it flammable, hence if you’re out there in the wild and you need to start a fire real quick, just smear a small quantity of lip balm on any flammable object, like a cotton ball, cloth, lint, dry bark, gauze or whatever (they all work well) and they’ll ignite very quickly.
Lip balm is awesome for igniting tinder without wasting precious fuel or matches.
Make a Candle
Here’s a neat trick for maximizing your chances of survival in the dark: if you stuff a matchstick vertically down into the lip balm tube, a half inch or maybe more, thus creating a balm-coating, you’ll end up with an improvised/emergency candle that burns slowly and also makes for a pretty good fire starter.
You can also melt the lip balm and insert a wick in the container, hence ending up with an emergency candle.
Video first seen on SensiblePrepper.
Treat Small Cuts
Lip balm can be used for a variety of medical emergencies. To begin with, you can protect abrasions with the stuff, treat small cuts (thus preventing them from infecting), ameliorate scrapes from grime or dirt just by smearing some lip balm on the affected area.
Keep in mind that you’ll only require a light coating.
Stop Minor Bleeding
Lip balm also stops minor bleeding. If you’re going to hike long distances, you can prevent your heels and other areas on your feet from getting blisters by rubbing a little lip balm on them.
Protect Your Skin
Lip balm will provide you with some sort of lubrication and thus it will prevent you from getting blisters.
Another thing to remember: if you’re outdoors in extreme weather conditions, you can use lip balm to protect the skin on your exposed body parts from cracking and drying, think fingertips or your nose.
Also, you can reduce glare from extremely bright places (like in the desert or snowfields) by making a mixture from lip balm and ash, which must be rubbed under one’s eyes.
You can use lip balm as sunscreen in an emergency, as most of them include a sun protection factor of 15 to keep your lips from getting burned by the sun.
Camouflage Your Face
Another cool thing about lip balm: if you mix it with a little bit of dirt, you can use it for camouflage.
Video first seen on Erkin.
A soothe and irritated nose can be a pest, especially in a survival situation. However, you can get fast relief from that irritated skin around or inside your nose by applying some lip balm with your finger over the respective areas.
Protect Pet’s Paws
Lip balm is great for protecting a pet’s paws from ice in wintry conditions. You’ll have to coat the paw pads with lip balm before walking on snow or ice, as the lip balm will work as a barrier to protect sensitive paws.
Lubricate Your Gear
Lip balm is great in emergencies for its lubrication properties. For example, you can use it for unlocking a zipper, to prevent nails from splitting wood (you’ll have to rub some over the hardware before hammering in nails) or to rust proof gear. You can also use lip balm for sealing up a leaky seam in your jacket or your tent, or to wax a bowstring.
Keep Blades from Rusting
Lips balm also makes for a great blade protector for your survival knife. Keeping your knife well oiled when you’re not using it will prevent it from rusting.
Protect Leather Gear
Speaking of protection, lip balm is an excellent leather conditioner, whether we’re talking about your skin or the leather on your shoes and boots or the sheath of your survival knife.
Remove Stuck Rings
Lip balm is great for removing stuck rings pr other items. For example, if your ring gets stuck on your fat finger, whether we’re talking about a wrong fit or from swelling, a little lip balm will save the day.
If you’re wearing glasses, you can use lip balm as a defogger. Just rub some lip balm on the lenses then polish them thoroughly with a clean cloth. In this way, you’ll leave an invisible film of lip balm on your lenses that will prevent them from fogging (works with goggles and binoculars too).
Hide Small Survival Items
Even the empty container can be used for storage purposes. Once you’ve used all your lip balm, the plastic tube will make for the ideal place to store things like basic survival gear, i.e. matches, a fishing hook and fishing line etc.
Next time you’re cruising your local convenient store, don’t forget to grab some tubes of lip balm. Is dirt cheap, easy to carry and an essential item to have in your EDC/BOB or survival kit.
Now that you know how to use lip balm in an emergency situation, discover more valuable survival secrets from our forefathers.
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This article has been writen by Chris Black for Survivopedia.