While Chapstick might be one of the most common items on the market, it can be co opted for a number of survival uses. You can find Chapstick at nearly every retailer in existence and most people have a tube within reach. Be it in their pocket, desk drawer or handbag, Chapstick is around.
The reason for its popularity is simple. The chafing and dry cracked lips can be a real pain.
Would you believe me that there are as many as 20 survival uses for your little tube of Chapstick? When you finish reading this article you will look that that small EDC item in a whole new light.
#1. Chapped Lips
Let’s get that one out of the way! The reason we carry Chapstick is to avoid that painful cracking and drying in our lips.
#2. Fire Accelerant
When it comes to fire, every little bit helps. You should have a collection of tinder, combustion devices and maybe even a few candles as part of your fire kit. Chapstick is another great little addition to that kit. Chapstick is made from wax or camphor and most of the time its combination of both.
Camphor is a terpenoid from evergreen trees. It is a highly combustible ingredient much like the volatile oils in pinewood. So, your Chapstick is a great way to get tinder off and running if you need a little extra help.
Related: Five Emergency Survival Tools
#3. Small Waterproofing Tasks
Because of those base ingredients, you will find that Chapstick is great at small waterproofing tasks. If you have small holes in pouches, bags, tents or rain gear it can be used to keep water out of those items.
These same properties will allow for you to waterproof things like knives and the threads on flashlights. It is not a long-term solution but it can be a big help if you find yourself moving in the rain without the option to stop and setup shelter.
#4. Windburn Protection
On the Christmas of 2018 Colin O’Brady was on the last leg of his record-breaking, solo trek across the Continent of Antarctica. He spent two months pulling a sled across the tundra and as you can imagine he faced a lot of things.
Colin used tape and Chapstick to deal with the wicked Antarctic winds. You can use Chapstick in the same way, on your nose, ears, and face to help deal with windburn in cold weather.
#5. Foot Care
One of the most important body parts to care for in a disaster is your feet. Your feet are what drive you in a survival situation. Because of the friction that long hiking creates Chapstick can act as a barrier between those hot spots and rubbing materials like socks and boots or shoes.
#6. Light Lubrication
Whether you are working with rusted screws, sticking tools or a bow drill set you can use a little Chapstick to keep things moving. This lubrication can make all the difference. A little Chapstick goes a long way as a lubricant.
#7. First Aid for Cuts
Small cuts can really benefit from a little Chapstick. If you have a would that is large and bleeding it will not be of much use but small cuts that need protection can be covered in Chapstick if you have no bandage. Or it can be combined with a bandage to effect healing that way.
In the same way that it affects your skin and protects it from windburn, your Chapstick can be used as an effective sunscreen. Many people leave the home without sunscreen and that is a real problem if they find themselves out in the sun for prolonged periods without protection.
Related: 7 Ways to Lighten Your Bug Out Bag
#9. Zipper Repair
A stuck zipper at home can be a real pain. However, if your tent door zipper, bugout bag zipper or coat zipper is malfunctioning in a survival situation, it could mean your life. By running a little Chapstick up and down your zipper it can make that zipper run as it is intended.
#10. Rust Protectant
If you are fighting rust on things like knives and threads, you can use Chapstick to coat those metals and keep them from rusting.
#11. Clean Glasses
Chapstick can also help clean lenses. You can rub it on the lenses and then wipe them off with a cloth to clean the lenses and make them easier to see out of.
#12. Small Diversion Safe
An empty Chapstick tube can be cleaned out and used as a small diversion safe for a roll of bills. While you won’t be able to store lots of money, a few of these sticks can be placed in a bag or around the home to conceal cash and assure you have money on hand at all times.
#13. Quick Candle
By using a cotton swab cut in half you can create a quick candle to help with starting a fire or just lighting your way. Fluff the cotton at the end of your Q tip and dipping it in your Chapstick you can then turn it around and stick the other end into the Chapstick. Light the tip and you will have some flame and light.
#14. Create a Makeshift Lantern
If you have a smaller flashlight you can use the cap of your Chapstick, over that flashlight, to create a makeshift lantern. This can be very effective if you require lowlight situations in a tent.
#15. Mix with Ash
By mixing a little Chapstick with some wood ash you can create a substance that can be applied under your eyes to prevent sun glare. You can also use this mix as a camo to cover your entire face.
#16. Leather Care
If you keep a lot of leather gear, you can use Chapstick to coat that gear and protect it from wear.
This can be anything from a leather sheath to a hat. If it is leather, the Chapstick can protect it from the sun and weathering.
#17. Fishing Float
Since Chapstick repels water you can coat fishing lines and even some light cotton or tinder to create a fishing float.
#18. Finger Splint
You can use the tube of your Chapstick in tough times, as well. By cutting a tube in half you can create a simple finger splint for first aid.
If you are trapping food, you are going to need some bait to entice an animal into that trap. Admittedly the more fruity and flavored the Chapstick the better.
#20. Micro Tinder Holder
Those empty containers don’t need to be thrown away. Instead, you can fill them with dryer lint or other tinder and store these in your pack.
There is only so much room in our bags and pouches. Therefore, you consistently hear calls to include multi-function tools and items in packs. There is nothing more space-efficient or multi-use as a tube of Chapstick.
You can use what’s inside and even the container and lid! Because it is so small you will also be able to store a few tubes and not even notice the difference in space or weight.
Did I miss any uses? Let us know in the comments below about the types of survival uses that you have used Chapstick for in the past.