Here's Why Vaseline-Soaked Cotton Balls Should Be In Every Camper's Pack

When you're going camping, it's important to make a comprehensive packing list. You need tents, sleeping bags, marshmallows, clothing, toiletry items, a first aid kit, and so much more. If you're driving to your campsite, that might not be an issue, but if you're hiking in and carrying your things in a backpack, space is at a premium. If you're planning on starting a campfire, you probably pack a lighter and some kindling to get things started. 

That kindling might not be very convenient to carry. It could get wet while you travel. What if you plan on finding it at your campsite and it's just rained? What if it's pouring when you get there? There are so many things that can go wrong with a fire, and you'll definitely need one to cook on and, if it's cold, to warm up by. This great campfire hack involving Vaseline takes up only a tiny bit of space in your pack with almost no weight and can save you on a rainy, windy night. We've also got a few other things Vaseline can be used for while camping to save you even more space. 

How the hack works

While Vaseline isn't flammable on its own (under 400 degrees Fahrenheit, per its maker, which means leaving it in the sun won't make it burst into flame), it can be used as a firestarter when applied to a cotton ball or dryer lint. Primal Survivor says that Vaseline is flammable with a wick, which is why this works, and suggests a heaping tablespoon of the substance on a cotton ball (which serves as the wick). It should burn for about seven minutes. Always pay close attention to your fire and keep all kids and pets clear.  They also say you can wrap these treated cotton balls into a piece of parchment paper, a cell from an egg carton, or burlap to keep them from getting everywhere. 

You can store these in Tupperware or a plastic baggie, so you have them on hand for starting the fire when you need them. What's even better is, if you bring the Vaseline jar, there are so many other camping uses for it. The fact that it's super cheap makes it even better.

Other uses for Vaseline while camping

There are some pretty obvious uses for Vaseline while camping, like using it as a moisturizer, a lip balm, and an anti-chafe balm. (A bit on areas you might get chaffed, like the inner thighs or under a sports bra strap, can save you a lot of irritation in the long run.) You can use it to help prevent blisters by putting it on your feet before you put on socks. 

What you might not think of is using it to help prevent frostbite and keep cold-cracked skin from bleeding too much. You can put it around the base of a tent (on the tent material) to stop little bugs from creeping in (though this won't work as well on larger ones). You can use it as a shaving cream or post-shaving balm if you bother with that while camping. It will work as diaper cream if you're camping with the little ones or to soothe dog paws if your best buddy is with you. You can make a short-lived candle out of it by putting it on the tip of a cotton swab and lighting that end.