Chapstick (brand name of lip balm) is available pretty much everywhere you shop, be it a big box store, drug store, or gas station. There are several different varieties and brands that make all kinds of claims about the level and degree of awesomeness they provide. Some of them come in a tube with a twist applicator and some come in a cream form that you can squeeze out for use. Whichever you prefer for your lips is up to you, but when it comes to survival, the stuff in the tube is the way to go as it has multiple uses from which you can benefit greatly.
1. Obviously one use for Chapstick is to heal chapped lips, regardless of the reason for chapping. Your lips could be damaged by severe cold, heat, or even wind, and Chapstick will aid in the healing process by keeping your lips hydrated and cool.
2. Chapstick can also help with the rest of your face as well. During exposure to extreme wind or cold, you can apply it to parts of your face that are in contact with the elements. The Chapstick will create a barrier against heat loss and will protect you from windburn. It is also useful in healing sunburns.
3. Since you are applying Chapstick to your face, why not mix it with a little bit of dirt? Instant camouflage! Another helpful idea is applying a mix of Chapstick and dirt below your eyes to divert glare.
4. Also with your skin in mind, Chapstick is useful in handling blisters. When you feel one coming on, apply a layer of Chapstick to stop that blister in its tracks.
5. Stop bleeding with Chapstick. Apply a layer over cuts and scraped to get bleeding to cease.
6. Chapstick is also useful as a lubricant. If you have something with working parts that are no longer working, grease it up with some Chapstick.
7. If you are having problems with your optics (binos, specs, etc) fogging up, apply a layer of Chapstick to keep the problem at bay.
8. It is possible to use Chapstick in the prevention of rust. If your knife or another tool is exhibiting signs of rust, stop it before it spreads with the application of some Chapstick.
9. Waterproofing with Chapstick is another possibility. Since water beads up and rolls off of Chapstick, you can use it to prevent water from seeping into small holes, such as in your jacket, poncho, or tent. Apply a dab of Chapstick to cover and seal the hole and water will not be able to penetrate.
10. Since Chapstick works for water problems, it only makes sense that it will be great for fire issues as well. If you are having trouble starting a fire, break out the Chapstick. Rub it on a piece of cloth or another form of tinder and ignite. You can also stick a makeshift wick in a tub of chapstick and it will burn like a candle.
Next time you are at a convenience store and your survival needs come to mind, reach for a tube of Chapstick. You may even want to reach for more than one. Since it is cheap and easy to carry, Chapstick is something you can put in your BOB and not even notice it is there until the time comes that you need it, at which point it will be ready and waiting to serve any of the purposes listed above. Also, when you've used up a tube of Chapstick, you will have a handy container in which to store items of equally valuable use.