When it comes to items necessary for a prepper to include in his or her planning, lip balm isn’t typically one that comes to mind. Chapped lips are bad, but when you’re talking about surviving a major disaster, it’s an ailment most people could deal with.
While yes, chapped lips are far from a prepper’s first priority, these little sticks of balm are worth far more than their ability to heal lips. That tube of lip balm can do everything from protecting your knife from rusting to helping you start a fire. Let’s look at some of the ways lip balm can help you in your planning and prep.
Ok, we might as well start with the actual use of lip balm and how well it handles chapped lips. While we may think of chapped lips as a minor annoyance, when you’re dealing with an emergency scenario where you may be outside in the sun for extended periods of time, possibly with little water, your lips can start to chap pretty quickly.
Chapped lips that go unchecked can lead to bleeding; without proper medical care, open wounds can easily become infected. It would be a real shame if after all your prepping and planning that you’d be taken out by chapped lips, now wouldn’t it?
2. Fire Starter
The issue with starting a fire often isn’t finding something to catch on fire but rather something that will hold a flame for an extended period of time while the larger items catch. If you were to light a Q-tip on fire, it would burn out in seconds, but add some lip balm to the tip and you’ll get minutes instead of seconds out of it. This means you can build an amazingly simple fire-starting kit out of Q-tips, lip balm, and a lighter or flint and steel.
3. Blade Protector
The thing about using knives in a survival situation is that everything you do with them is bad for their longevity. It’s hard to keep a knife oiled when you’re using it to eat with as well as cut kindling, right?
Rub lip balm directly onto the blade to keep it from rusting while saving its ability to be used for food. Sure, you might get a light peppermint taste to your food, but it’s better than oil.
4. Zipper Fixer
Zippers have a real knack for getting stuck at the worst time possible. When stuck, it’s nearly impossible to get them un-stuck without breaking the zipper entirely, which while fine for your workout sweatshirt, isn’t very good for your bug-out bag in an emergency.
Rub lip balm along both sides of the zipper run to lubricate it and keep it from sticking. Once lubricated, your zipper will run smoother and even gain some water resistance.
Most lip balms include an SPF 15 to keep your lips from getting burned from being in the sun all day. Lucky for you, there’s no difference between the SPF in lip balm and the one in your favorite beach sunscreen.
While it may not be comfortable, you can use lip balm as an emergency sunscreen anywhere on your body. Best of all, if you’re already burnt, the balm will protect while helping ease your burn.
6. Blister Protector
You can keep blisters from forming where your shoes, bag, belt, or anything else rubs constantly. Rub some lip balm onto the area to keep a blister from forming.
The balm will lubricate the area as well as soothe any irritation that may still happen.
7. Leather Conditioner
Just as lip balm protects your skin, it can protect leather and keep it from cracking. Whether you’re talking about leather on your boots or shoes, your belt, or a sheath for your knife, some lip balm can help keep the leather moisturized and ready to work.
8. Hiding Spot
When you’ve used all the balm up in your tube, don’t throw the tube away just yet! You can use it for hiding small items in something that few people would think about stealing. Cash, notes, medication, even small survival items can all be stored in the empty tube.
If you wear glasses or goggles and can’t stand them getting fogged up whenever it gets wet or hot outside, you can run some lip balm on the lenses and polish it off with a fresh, clean cloth.
Doing this will put a high polish on the lenses but will also leave an invisible film on the lenses that won’t let fog form on it.
We’ve covered this one in a few of the tips above, but lip balm can be used as a general lubricant. Tools, folding knives, hinges, and even thread, screws, and nails can all be helped by adding some lip balm to them.
Screws and nails will go in more easily, threads will flow smoothly, and other items will move with ease all thanks to that little tube of balm in your pocket.
As you can see, lip balm is far more useful than it seems. Hopefully these tips convince you to add a tube or two of lip balm to your everyday carry and your bug-out bag. For its size, lip balm may be one of the most useful tools you can have.