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Something For Nothing #4 - Petroleum Jelly.

In any survival situation you must make the best of what you have. But what if what you have isn’t the best?

Well if you have Petroleum Jelly, you have a fantastic survival tool. No matter the brand, most jellies are the same. Most people simply refer to all petroleum jelly as Vaseline. Which, let’s be honest, is fantastic marketing by Vaseline.

Still, regardless of what’s on the label, let’s see what it can do.

#1 – Skin Care. Because it’s your first line of defense.

Hands, arms, legs and basically anywhere else you have skin, which is everywhere. It's also great for chapped lips. Do NOT use on sunburns.

#2 – First Aid.

Petroleum jelly can also work well as a barrier cream to keep dirt and germs out of open wounds. Combining this with a solid bandage is an excellent way to keep wounds clean and safe. Petroleum jelly can also help protect from the effects of frostbite.

NOTE: Never ever use petroleum jelly as a first line treatment for burns or any other wounds where the skin has been seriously breached.

#3 – Lubrication. Mind out of the gutter, we’re talking tools here.

This applies to things like socket and regular wrenches as well as keys and the locks they go in. It also works for zippers that get stuck, but you don’t have to be in a survival situation to need that.

#4 – Washing Hands. Things that water can’t handle, petroleum jelly often can.

Engine grease is one of the hardest things to get off hands. But petroleum jelly handles it quite nicely.

#5 – Leather Care.

Working some petroleum jelly into dry or cracked leather can restore some moisture and help prevent further degradation.

#6 – Chafing. No one likes chafing.

Basically, if two things are rubbing together, petroleum jelly can help.

#7 – Cotton Ball Firestarter. For those times you just can’t make fire with sticks.

Super simple. Take a cotton ball, roll in petroleum jelly, set somewhere safe and light on fire. Quite possibly one of the best fire starters possible, you can pretty much skip the tinder step entirely.

#8 – Candle.

The process to make a candle is very similar to the Firestarter above.

#9 – Shaving.

Without access to shaving cream, sometimes you just must use something. Petroleum jelly happens to be a fantastic shaving… grease.

#10 – Pest Control.

Spreading some jelly on a strip of paper and hanging it will attract and trap flies and other unwanted pests. Then you can dispose of them however you wish easily and with as much gusto as you feel appropriate. Bugs are gross.

I’m certain there must be more uses, can you think of any? If you do, remember to make notes and let us know in the comments below. Until next week, here are some links to keep you going!

Link 1, 2, 3, and 4.

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