Candle wax can be an invaluable resource to have on hand during a survival situation.  It’s cheap, easy to work with, and can be transported or stored with ease.  Here are a few examples of how you can put wax to work for you in the field so that you can conserve resources and save time accomplishing certain tasks.

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Take some wax and melt it down in a pot.  Cut some fabric into strips that are about an inch wide, and drop them into the hot liquid.  Let them soak for a minute or two before carefully lifting them out and letting them dry in another pan.  The pan will collect wax drippings that you can recycle and use in the future.  The strips will not only be perfect for fire-starting, but they will also be waterproof, and this can come in handy when you’re trying to get a fire going in the rain or snow.

Strengthen Bird Shot

Bird Shot shells are cheap, which is one reason why they are so popular.  However, they tend to scatter, and this reduces their velocity as the pieces hit targets.  Coating them in wax will help them to stay together after being fired, and this can significantly increase the force of impact.  Consequently, using wax can actually mimic the benefits of more-expensive shells without having to spend the extra money.

Cut off the bottom third of an aluminum can to use as a container for the pellets, and heat it with a torch.  At the same time, fill a pot with wax and melt it down over a flame.  Carefully cut off the end cap of the shell and place the pellets into the heated can before putting it into the melted wax.  Scoop some of the wax into the can and let it soak for a couple of minutes.  Next, use a spoon to move the pellets back into the shell before ladling in some wax.  Make sure that the top of the shell, and exposed pellets, are coated with wax before letting everything dry and harden.

Trim off any excess wax from the sides and bottom of the shell, and you’re good to go.  You’ll be amazed at how much more-powerful your shot will be as the pellets will strike the target in a more-concentrated manner.

Waterproofing Boots

Melt down the wax and use a ladle to drizzle it over boots.  Let it harden before repeating the process a few times so that you end up with a nice, even coat.  While wax will eventually peel away, it can hold up for hours if you’re walking carefully.  This simple solution may be just what you need to keep your boots warm and dry, and you can easily reapply a coat as needed.  Just remember that the boots need to be clean and dry before applying the wax, otherwise it will just drip off before hardening.

Liner for Shelter

Take a big piece of fabric, such as a bed sheet, soak it in hot wax, let it cool, and you now have a waterproof liner for your shelter.  This will not only keep moisture out, but it can also provide some insulation to keep you warm as well.  Best of all, you can use some of the material as an emergency fire starter as well.

Hopefully these tips will help to get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to come up with some of your own ideas.  Share some wax tricks that you come up with so that we can all benefit from taking advantage of this excellent survival resource.