9 Great Survival uses for Chapstick (Lip Balm)


In my EDC (Every Day Carry) I have a small but mighty selection of items that are helpful each day or could be very helpful if faced with a serious emergency. My Sypderco Tenacious G-10 knife, a trusty BIC lighter, a Keltec pf9 9mm, a parachord bracelet, a Leatherman Wave multi-tool and…


Yep, my father’s side has a genetic predisposition for chapped lips and dry skin, so each and every day I carry a little tube (or two) of Chapstick. (Mostly Burt’s Bees)

Now when you’re looking at preparedness, redundancy and multi-use items are key. You want a few simple items that can do multiple things. Think versatility. So as a prepper, having a single use item in my pocket daily kind of “urked” me a little. That’s when I started researching multiple uses in survival situations for lip balm (aka Chapstick).

Here’s what I’ve found so far.

9 Great Survival uses for Lip Balm:

  1. Chapped lips – (duh, thats why we buy it in the first place)
  2. In extreme cold weather, you can rub it on the exposed parts of your face. The thin layer helps prevent heat loss by limiting radiation and air convection.
  3. Lubrication for your fire bow drill, etc.
  4. It is a great firestarter! It works just like petroleum jelly. You can rub it on a piece of cloth, lint from your pocket, a cotton ball, gauze pad from your first aid kit, or even on natural tender. I always have a cotton ball or two stuffed in my match case to keep the matches from ratteling around and in my little pill vial I use to carry some basic medicines.
  5. Emergency waterproofer. You can even use it to plug a small hole in your tent, poncho, or tube tent that is leaking in the rain.
  6. Rub it on a hot spot on your foot to help prevent a pending blister (lubricant).
  7. Mix it with some black ash and rub under your eyes to keep the glare down (great for desert or snowy terrain).
  8. Do the same above to camo your face for hunting, works much better than mud and is kind of water resistant.
  9. Not as good as oil, but I think it is a decent expedient rust preventative to rub on carbon steel knives.

So what do you think? Did I miss any uses that you’ve found? Do you have an item that could replace my trusty chapstick? Leave your comment below and let us know what you think!

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Expert Prepper
Skip Tanner is more than a writer, avid outdoorsman, hiker and international survival expert. He is also the creator of The Ultimate Survival Guide Books, The Family Survival Garden Guide, Becoming a King in the New World Guide and ExpertPrepper.com. Skip's been studying, sharpening, and expanding his skills every day since he was 15 years old. At expertprepper.com, he brings you the news you need to know as well as breakthrough information from some of the best authors and experts in their field. Together, they share their deepest secrets of survival with you.


  1. Elise

    September 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    You can also use the container as a capsule to hold lint or other fire-starting substances.

  2. charles

    September 28, 2013 at 1:50 am

    it will also burn like a candle…just push a wick into it

  3. Heather Burns

    September 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    1. Cut an empty tube lengthwise in half and use it as a finger splint
    2. Melt end of tube to a piece of bark and use as a water chute for salt water conversion app.
    3. Melt two tubes together and use for Cricothyrotomy (the thinner tubes are better for this, but work with what ya have)
    4. Put it around the seals of flashlights, boxes, etc. to improve water resistance.
    5. Cut a small flat piece off, put a magnetized needle through it and make a survival compass.
    6. Run your fishing line around or through it and use it as a float.
    7. Use it to “lock” you knots in place.

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