Uses of Chapstick During Emergencies; Pucker Up

Chapstick During Emergencies

Chapstick is something that should be carried at all times. I use it on my lips and on occasion my elbows and hands.  But there are quite a few different ways that this tiny tube can be used.

Uses of Chapstick During Emergencies

Check out just a few below that I found over at (don't let the name fool you, they actually have some great survival tips!):

While it might seem silly or even impossible, chapstick can actually help save your life… and not just because it keeps your lips nice and pretty.

Capable of being utilized in a number of ways to help endure your survival, these little tubes of topical salve are a cheap, easy-to-use, and readily available supply that no proper preparedness or anti-Zombie folks should be without.

Protect Your Skin

We all know that when applied directly to the lips, chapstick can help reduce the risk of painfully cracked and dry lips, but did you know that it works on the hands and face just as well?

In fact, chapstick can act as a protectant against biting winds and bitter colds no matter where you put it (though it’s more effective in some places than others).

Applied to the face and ears, chapstick can help decrease the risk of heat loss, frostbite, and windburn and the same can be said when applied to the ears or hands of an individual.

Start A Fire

Many of the chapsticks available on the market today are petroleum-based. That means that they will burn well even in wet and somewhat windy weather. Small slices or smudges of chapstick can be used as stand-alone fire-starters.

However, to achieve a longer/stronger burn time, try working some chapstick into a cotton ball or throughout your tinder pile.

This is exceptionally helpful when dealing with damp wood or when trying to light a fire with little natural tinder available.

Treat A Wound

Small cuts and abrasions – like the kind you might get from shaving, handing a bit of wire, gardening, or working your way through brambles – can be treated with just a little bit of chapstick… though I’d recommend not using scented kind as the oils may irritate the wound.

Always clean your cuts, no matter how small, before applying any topical treatments.


Mixed with a bit of dirt or ash, chapstick can be made into a fairly effective camouflage for use in some survival and disaster situations, though we doubt it’ll help you fool the Undead. They have an uncanny way of finding humans no matter where they are.

With all the ways chapstick can come in handy during a disaster or survival situation, maybe it’s time you went out and grabbed a few sticks for your Bug Out Bag, Emergency Kit, and Every Day Carry.

Can you think of any other ways to use chapstick in a survival situation?

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 6, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

10 Responses to :
Uses of Chapstick During Emergencies; Pucker Up

  1. John says:

    It seems that Chapstick salve could be used to
    make wicks for a candle or a time lapse fuse, by squeezing it into a string material. It also brings to mind, the use of Vaseline for
    similar applications.

  2. Laura G. says:

    Interesting, makes sense. Tampons also make great firestarters. And since they usually come individually wrapped in a waterproof wrapping, are great in bad weather. Just open and fluff them up, they light with just a spark.

  3. Amac says:

    I think vaseline is more practical, especially when it’s cold. Chapstick gets hard when it’s cold but vaseline can still be applied to face, ears and hands to reduce the affect to cold wind on the skin. I have used it in many adventure races during cold weather.

  4. Chris says:

    Chapstick is light weight and thus it is easy to carry more than one in a bag or pack. The use I like it for is waterproofing the seams of my boots. It can be used on the entire boot also by rubbing it over the entire boot surface and then using a hair dryer to warm the boot. If you are in the field. You can use a heat source from a fire or even a lighter. If using a lighter make sure not to get the surface too close to the flame when heating evenly. The chapstick will melt and be absorbed forming a waterproof shield.

  5. Dr Dean says:

    Chapstick is also great for lubricating screws before driving them into hardwood and for lubricating lightbulbs before screwing them into a base.

  6. Sharon says:

    My outdoor-type husband repeatedly offers chap stick to anyone else with a bobo and somewhat jokingly claims that in a “pinch” you can use the medicated type on hemoroids! But you might not want to apply directly from the stick or refuse to share a stick with someone who does! Ha! He will be so happy to read your article and learn that others shar his view. Thanks!

  7. Dave says:

    I use Chapstick to put a protective coating on the edge of my carbon 5 steel knife, helps to prevent rust.

  8. Jan says:

    I suppose you could use it to oil anything like a gun maybe. I used to think my Dad was different for carrying Chapstick in a pocket or glove box. Never was without it — never saw another guy carry any. Maybe something he picked up in WWII, Army when he had to survive sometimes on his own in a foxhole in France, Germany in the Winters. Off subject maybe, but he also believed in Mentholatum Ointment for same reasons and more. My Grandma had sent some in WWII when he wrote her and said the guys had lice. He wrote her back and asked her what the jar of this was for and she wrote back and said to put it around the hair line and it would get rid of it. And he said it worked. And I only thought it was for colds, scratches and insect bites. Bet there is a lot in our cabinets that can be used multi-purposely. I often use Camphophenique(sp?) for a lot of things. Better than Carmex for fever blisters. And when I have had poison ivy or oak — it seemed to help heal pretty fast and take away itching and pain. A 1.5 oz. bottle is easy to carry and lasts years.

  9. sam says:

    chapstick contains benzene…a known carcinogenic. Burt’s Bees is a much better choice.

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