40 Survival Uses for Chapstick

Survival Uses for Chapstick

Chapstick and lip balm are in almost every purse or desk drawer. They make life much easier for someone with chapped lips and have many survival uses as well.

Some ways that chapstick can be used for survival are:

  • A candle
  • Sunblock
  • Prevent blisters
  • Soothe bug bites
  • Ring removal
  • Firestarter
  • Preventing rust
  • Waterproofing
  • Nose Relief

Although these are some of the most common ways that chapstick can be used for survival, there are many more. Below are 40 ways that you can use chapstick for survival.

40 Survival Uses for Chapstick

Survival Uses of Chapstick

Nose Relief 

I suffer from bad seasonal allergies, and I catch at least one or two colds each fall or winter. Because of this, I know how irritating it can be when your nose becomes irritated from being blown or wiped numerous times.

Chapstick can be used to soothe the pain caused by this. Simply apply some to the area where the pain is, and you should start to feel relief soon. 

Soothing Bug Bites

Bug bites can be itchy, painful, or both. Chapstick can also be used to soothe bug bites. Apply some to the affected area. Varieties with menthol are the best for this purpose.

Reduce Cuticle Pain

During a survival situation, you will be using your hands a lot. This excessive use, combined with harsh conditions, will cause your cuticles to peel. This can get painful quickly. Also, having broken skin will make you more susceptible to infection. Apply a little chapstick to your cuticles to soothe the pain and help them heal.

Prevent Blisters

Chapstick can also be used to prevent blisters on your feet and hands. Apply a small amount to your heel or anywhere else that tends to blister before you set out on a hike. If you are going to be using a shovel, rake, or another tool for an extended period of time, put some chapstick on your hands where blisters are most likely to form. Doing these things will allow the chapstick to absorb the friction your hands or feet normally would.


If you are out in the sun and forgot to bring sunblock, a tube of chapstick can serve as a decent alternative. In fact, some chapstick is actually SPF rated to protect lips from the sun. Apply the chapstick to your nose and other areas that are most likely to burn. Be careful that none gets in your eyes.

Chapped Hands

Chapstick can also be used as a moisturizer for chapped hands. It will soothe the pain and help it heal faster just like it will for your lips.

Stop Bleeding from Small Cuts

This is very similar to the previous use, but chapstick can also stop bleeding from small cuts, such as shaving nicks and paper cuts. Add a little chapstick to the cut area, and it should stop the bleeding quickly and reduce the pain.

Reduce Glare

Chapstick can also help you protect your eyes from the glare off of water, snow, sand, or bright concrete. Mix some ash with chapstick and apply it under your eyes. This will reduce the amount of light that is reflected in your eyes. This will make you more comfortable and could protect your eyes from damage, such as snow-blindness.

Remove Rings

My ring is a little harder to remove than it was when I first got married. That is mainly because I have gotten fat. If you are experiencing something similar, you can use chapstick to help you take off your ring much easier (and with less pain).

After an injury, it is important to remove jewelry before fingers start to swell. This could prevent further damage to the person’s body. Being able to use chapstick to slide the ring off right after an accident could also prevent emergency personnel from having to cut it off later. 

Wind Blocker

Windburn occurs when your skin is subjected to harsh windy conditions. You can use chapstick to form a barrier between your skin and the elements, whether it is your lips or another part of your face, like your cheeks. This could make a survival situation or even just a cold windy day a little more bearable.

Finger Splint

If you break a finger or toe, you can use a chapstick tube to create a temporary splint in a survival situation. Use a knife to cut it into vertical sections. The sections’ sizes will depend on how large the finger or toe is that needs to be splinted. Use cordage to secure the sections in place on either side of the broken appendage.

Chapped Lips

This is pretty obvious, but chapstick can also help soothe and heal chapped lips.

Gun Lubricant

If you are in the field and don’t have any gun oil, you can use chapstick as grease in a pinch. Apply small amounts of chapstick to pistol slides, rifle bolts, and other moving parts.

Bow Lube

Chapstick can also be used to lubricate strings and cables on different types of bows. Run it along the string and rub the chapstick into it. If you have a crossbow, you can also use chapstick to lubricate the rails. 

Tool Lubrication

If you have tools with moving parts, you can use chapstick to make them operate smoother. Use a small amount on plier joints, crescent wrenches, and other hand tools.

Padlock Keyholes

Chapstick can be used to help you insert a key in a stubborn padlock. Apply a thin layer to the key and attempt to insert it. As the key goes into the slot, the chapstick will lubricate the lock making it easier to remove and use later.

Free Up Zippers

If you have a stuck or stubborn zipper, you may be able to free it up with a little chapstick. Run the chapstick against the surface of the zipper. Then, try to work the zipper back and forth a few times. As you do this, it should distribute the chapstick and lubricate the zipper evenly.

Bow Drill

If you are ever unfortunate enough to have to use a bow drill to start a fire, you can use chapstick to make the process easier. You want all of the friction to occur at the drill’s base since this is what starts a fire. Unfortunately, the top part of the drill, the socket, can create additional friction which can slow the drill down.

To solve this problem, apply some chapstick to the bottom of the socket and top of the drill. This will lubricate both parts, allowing them to move against each other easier. This will allow the drill to move faster and create more friction on the hearth board which will help you create a coal.

Thread Lubrication

Chapstick can also make it easier to work with rusty nuts and bolts. If you can access any part of the threads, apply chapstick to as much of the threaded area as possible. It won’t help you break it loose, but it can make turning it a little easier. This also works well if you have to insert a rusty bolt or attach a nut to it.

This also works well if you need to insert a long screw into a piece of wood. Lubricate the threads with chapstick and the screw will go into the wood much easier.

Driving Nails

Just like chapstick can make inserting screws easier, it can also help you drive nails. Apply some chapstick to the nail before you drive it in. The chapstick will reduce the friction between the nail and the wood, making it easier to drive.

Tenon Grease

If you play a musical instrument, such as a saxophone, you can use chapstick to lubricate the instrument’s tenons, making them easier to assemble and disassemble. You can also use chapstick to lubricate slides (not valves) on brass instruments, such as trumpets.

Quieten Doors and Drawers

My wife and I just adopted our first baby, and he is now six months old. While it is amazing, once he is asleep, we have to act like ninjas to avoid waking him up. Chapstick can be used to eliminate squeaky door hinges and drawers.

When dealing with door hinges, remove the pin from the hinge. Wipe off all of the crud that has built up on it and apply some chapstick. Use your fingers to coat the entire pin. Reinsert the pin into the hinge and do the same thing with other hinges. After you lubricate each pin and reinsert them, move the door back and forth several times. This will distribute the chapstick and eliminate or at least reduce the squeaking.

As far as drawers go, run the chapstick along the bottom of the drawer or its slides. This will reduce the amount of noise they make as they open and close.

Protect Knives

Your knife is one of your most important tools in a survival situation. It is very important that it remains clean and free of rust. You can use chapstick to provide a protective coating on your knife.

You can also use small amounts of chapstick as a way to lubricate moving parts on folding knives. Take a dab of it and poke it into the sticky joint. Move the blade back and forth to spread the chapstick.

Fire Tinder

Many preppers and survivalists know that adding vaseline to cotton balls makes an excellent fire starter. However, what some of them don’t know is that they can use chapstick for the same purpose.

Rub some chapstick into cotton balls or dryer lint and then use a lighter or some other method to light it. The chapstick will allow the cotton or lint to burn longer than it would without it. This will give you a better opportunity to get a fire lit.


Chapstick can also be used to make a survival candle. Take a cotton swab (Q-tip) and cut about an inch off from one end. Then, use your fingers to spread and stretch the cotton fibers on the section that you cut off, rubbing chapstick into it as you go.

Place the cotton swab segment into the tube of chapstick, allowing about 1/4 of an inch of cotton to remain above the top. When you light it, the cotton swab will act as a wick as the fire burns.

Survival Lantern

Chapstick Survival Lantern

You can make a chapstick candle much more effective at heating by using it as part of a lantern. To do this, make a chapstick survival candle as described above. Next, retrieve a soda can.

Take the soda can and cut a vertical slit down the side of the can. Next, make horizontal cuts on both sides of the vertical slit. This will allow you to make outward-opening double doors. Light the chapstick candle and set it inside the coke can.

The coke can will help reflect the heat back towards you. This will be very helpful if it is very cold and you only have a small candle to generate heat.


I mentioned earlier that chapstick can be used with ash to prevent glare. You can use the same principle to create camouflage face paint. Take the chapstick and mix it with ash or similar materials. Rub it on your face to help you blend in with your environment.

Waterproof Hole Patch

If you have a small hole in a poncho or other item, you can use chapstick to create a waterproof patch. Take a small lump of chapstick and press it into the hole. This will probably work best if you can press chapstick together from both sides of the hole.

Seam Sealer

Unwanted water leaks can cause discomfort and gear damage during a survival scenario. One of the most common places for water to enter into a tent or backpack is from its seams. This is because of the holes that are created while sewing them together.

Use a tube of chapstick and run it over the seams on your tent or pack. Be sure to apply a decent amount. This will help plug the holes and allow water to run off of the seams instead of soaking into them.

Fog-Proof Glasses

You can also use chapstick to help prevent your glasses from fogging up. Apply chapstick to your glasses lenses right from the tube. Be sure to coat both the front and back. Then, use a soft cloth to rub the chapstick and remove the excess. The residue that remains should form an invisible fog-proof layer.

Remove Sticker Gunk

Removing a sticker can sometimes leave an annoying layer of adhesive that is difficult to remove. To deal with this, apply some chapstick to the adhesive. Let is sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off.

Keep Boot Laces Tied

You can also use chapstick to make sure that your boot or shoelaces do not come loose. After you tie your shoes, add a small amount of chapstick to the knot. This will help it stay in place.

Protect Leather

If you have a leather holster, pouch, belt, or other small items, you can use chapstick to protect them from the elements. Rub chapstick onto the leather and use a rag or finger to spread it evenly. This will create a protective coating on your gear.


You can also use flavored chapstick as a bait to capture small animals. Critters can be drawn into traps by its sweet smell.

Wax Sewing Thread

If you need to use your sewing kit to repair gear while in the field, you can use chapstick to wax sewing thread. This will help reduce stretching and make it more water-resistant. Before you use the thread, press it into the top of the chapstick using your finger and pull it through to apply a coating. Then use your fingers to spread it evenly and remove any excess.


You can also use the chapstick tube’s cap as a makeshift thimble. While it may not fit over your thumb, it may be able to fit over one of your smaller fingers. Before you try to use it, scrape the end of it over a rock to create a rough texture. This will help prevent the needle from slipping as you are pushing it through.


Few thieves will try to steal someone’s chapstick. Because of this, the chapstick’s tube makes an excellent diversion safe for cash and other small valuables. Before you use it for this purpose, be sure to clean out any residue that is left after the chapstick is gone.

Tinder or Match Case

A chapstick tube can also be used to hold fire tinder or matches. If you are storing matches inside, be sure that it is clean. The residue could ruin the matches. However, if you are storing cotton balls or dryer lint inside of a chapstick tube, it isn’t necessary to clean it out. The remaining chapstick will actually help the tinder stay lit longer.

Mini Survival Kit

Clean chapstick tubes can also be used as miniature survival kits. They can hold small items such as fishing hooks and weights. They can also be used in larger kits to keep items separated and organized.

Fishing Float

If you need to use your survival fishing kit, you can use an empty chapstick tube as a float or bobber. Simply tie it to your fishing line and use it to tell when you may have a bite.

Similar Posts