*Multi-Purpose Petroleum Jelly*
By: RedDawn
11 February 2004

We all know the importance of carrying as little as possible in the camping pack, and making those things we do carry do more than one task. One thing you never want to leave home without is a container of petroleum jelly. The best use my husband and I have found for it is keeping "hot spots" to a minimum on those long ruck marches. Before you put on your socks, rub your feet with a moderate layer of petroleum jelly to reduce the friction between your foot and the sock. This also keeps those blisters you got from the last hike from rubbing. Petroleum jelly also prevents chaffing in other areas around the thighs and crotch or under areas your backpack straps rub.

Another handy use is for preparing tinder. Put a liberal amount on a cotton ball, knead it in well, then squeeze out the excess. Fluff out the cotton ball again and lay it out on top of bigger tinder. A simple spark will light it off and will burn for approximately 30 seconds, depending on the size of the cotton ball and how well you fluffed it up. The petroleum cotton ball will resist moisture and make it much easier to light a fire in rain or shine.

Of course, there are the normal uses for petroleum jelly such as a moisturizer for your hands or as chap stick. It works well to relieve the itching for a wound that is healing. It can also be used for other personal hygiene, such as intestinal lubricant if you’re constipated. Put a little jelly on your finger and lick it.

Petroleum jelly can be used to grease your weapon when applied in small amounts when you’re out of gun oil. It can loosen up your camo compact if it’s dried out. If you wear a beard and also carry a pro-mask (gas mask), you may not be able get a good seal. Putting a liberal amount of petroleum jelly on your beard may help to improve your seal.

We’re sure you’ll find many more uses for petroleum jelly as you go along. Check out your local dollar stores for large containers of petroleum jelly at great prices.

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