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Survival Skills: 7 Ways Lip Balm Can Save Your Life

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January 17, 2014
Survival Skills: 7 Ways Lip Balm Can Save Your Life - 2

Lip balm, by any other name, is still a useful product in the outdoors. Go shopping for some and you'll see dozens of choices on the store shelves, offering what may be an overabundance of variations. But more importantly, lip balm can be one of those odd little items that help to steer you back on track if your outdoor adventure starts to go sideways. If you think you're too tough to use lip balm, then check out these seven survival uses and carry some anyway.  

Fire Starter
The number one use for lip balm in an emergency is fire building. Most lip balm is made from a greasy combination of waxes and oils. Both of these substances burn great, when they are soaked into some kind of fibrous tinder. Cotton balls are an excellent choice, if you thought to bring them from home. Bark fibers and other natural tinder can work just as well, when gathered in the field. To make your lip balm light a fire, wipe some onto the best tinder available and then apply an open flame to the sticky mess.    

Sun Protection
Pick a lip balm with an SPF rating, and it will keep your lips from getting sunburned. Use it on your nose, cheeks and other exposed skin too, during those sunny winter days. Survive any wilderness situation with these critical tips.

Lubricant
For many applications that require a lubricant, try a little lip balm. Wipe it on cold, or melt it so that it soaks in. I'll often use lip balm as the lubricant for the top socket on a bow and drill fire kit. It works great.

Rust preventer
Your hatchets, saws, axes and knives can all benefit from the wax and oil of lip balm, to help prevent rust or to keep it from getting worse. Wipe the tube of lip balm directly on the item, or use a small bit of cloth to wipe the balm around on the metal surfaces.

Wound Care
Apply lip balm to dry cracked skin to facilitate healing. It's also effective at sealing off abrasions, scratches and small cuts to hasten skin repair.

Trap Bait
While it doesn't exactly smell like food, many lip balms have a sweet aroma that could be enticing to a hungry animal. Maybe that fruity lip balm wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Fishing Lures
Form and shape a small chunk of the balm around a hook to simulate a salmon egg, grub or any other locally popular bait. This is probably a single-use opportunity for the glob of lip balm, but it might just land you a fish. Then you won't have to eat your tube of lip balm (which is generally not considered edible).

Leave us a comment to tell us what survival chores you can accomplish with a lip balm.

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from Tioughnioga 1/17/2014 at 02:54pm

Your mention of fishing made me think that the thin plastic of the container would be easy to carve into an emergency fish-hook. It would probably be more durable than the hooks you can chip out of glass, or the kind you make by lashing two pieces of twig together. Also, a larger piece could probably be carved into a spoon-type lure, and the whole thing, when empty, might be fashioned into a topwater Pop-R kind of bait.

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from ozarkghost 1/17/2014 at 02:04pm

I am, finally, putting together a list of items to start assembling a BOB. One of the items my most intelligent wife suggested was the lip balm. The other item, for several reasons, was at least one clean, unused pair of cotton underwear. Based on your endorsement of the lip balm, the underwear will now be included.

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from ozarkghost 1/17/2014 at 02:04pm

I am, finally, putting together a list of items to start assembling a BOB. One of the items my most intelligent wife suggested was the lip balm. The other item, for several reasons, was at least one clean, unused pair of cotton underwear. Based on your endorsement of the lip balm, the underwear will now be included.

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from Tioughnioga 1/17/2014 at 02:54pm

Your mention of fishing made me think that the thin plastic of the container would be easy to carve into an emergency fish-hook. It would probably be more durable than the hooks you can chip out of glass, or the kind you make by lashing two pieces of twig together. Also, a larger piece could probably be carved into a spoon-type lure, and the whole thing, when empty, might be fashioned into a topwater Pop-R kind of bait.

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