Vaseline, the most popular brand of petroleum jelly, is surprisingly useful when it comes to prepping and survival. It has many different uses, from fire starting, to wound dressing.
In todays article, I am going to cover 12 different uses vaseline, or any petroleum jelly for that matter, has in a survival situation, and why you should think about adding petroleum jelly to your preps.
Vaseline Survival Uses
1. Dry Chapped Skin and Sun Burn
Starting with the obvious, vaseline is primarily made for dry skin. In a survival situation, you may not be too concerned about getting dry skin, but, in reality, it can be very sore, and could even get infected, so when working in the outdoors, just like you may have to in a survival SHTF situation, it does no hard to protect your exposed skin with some vaseline.
2. Protect Small Wounds and Cuts
Vaseline has a melting point just above skin temperature, so it will fill any small wounds or cuts and create a barrier between the cut and dirt. Vaseline is also great for protection against wind burn, just apply a thin layer onto your skin and you are set to go.
3. Lubricate and Protect Metal Parts on Tools and Gear
Petroleum jelly is great for lubricating shower doors, door hinges… the list goes on. It can also be used to protect tools, such as knives from rust. Steels like 1095 High Carbon tend to rust quickly when exposed to moisture, so you can dry your tools off, and apply a thin coating of vaseline to protect them from rust.
4. Lubricate Old Zippers
There’s nothing worse than a zipper jamming. You can use vaseline and wipe it along the zipper, this will act as a lubricant, and allow the zip to run freely, without jamming and breaking.
5. Clean Dirty and Sticky Hands
The chemicals in vaseline make it great for removing sticky substances from your hands, such as tree sap. Just rub a little into your hands, or the area you want to clean, and wipe off with a clean cloth.
6. Lubricate Old Locks and Keys
Apply a small amount of vaseline onto a key, and insert it into the lock. The petroleum jelly will transfer onto the pins inside the lock, and act as a lubricant, making the lock open easier with the correct key. It’s good practise to do this every few months, as it helps make you locks last longer, and wear slower.
7. Moisturise Dry Lips
When working in the cold outdoors in winter, most people get chapped dry lips. To prevent this, you can apply vaseline before you leave the house. If you do find yourself with chapped lips, vaseline will also help sooth them, and heal the chaps.
8. Protect Old, Dried Leather
A coat of petroleum jelly on some old leather will help to restore it, and also add a layer of waterproofing to the leather. This is a great way to waterproof leather knife sheathes if you don’t have any beeswax or leather waterproofing resin.
9. Protection from Frost Bite
Frostbite is a serious condition, and depending on where you live, it can be a real threat. Applying some vaseline on your nose, lips and other exposed areas can help protect from frostbite.
10. Fire Starting with Cotton Balls
Most preppers know this old trick. Rub some vaseline into cotton balls, and put it in your bug out bag. Throw a spark at the jetroleum jelly cotton ball with a firesteel, or even light it with a lighter, and you will have a blazing cotton ball which should burn long enough to allow you to get your tinder lit.
11. Shave without Water
When you have no other options, you can use vaseline to shave. Just apply it to the area in question, and shave as normal, then wipe off afterwards.
12. Prevent Chafing when Walking Long Distances
Everyone hates rubbing clothes, specially when it causes irritation to the skin. Petroleum jelly can be used to prevent this, just apply some to the area the is affected by the rubbing, and you are good to go.
Hopefully this article highlights the importance of vaseline in a survival kit, and why you should have some in you preps. If you know of any more uses for vaseline in survival, leave a comment below!