/// Gear Tactics: O-Ring Optimization and Maintenance Hack
By applying tacticalism, nomadism, minimalism and survivalism. The objective of the operative method is utilizing theory and skills for an enhanced lifestyle and professional life.-John Cain
Whether the purpose is to keep things out, keep things in or both, if a particular item is supposed to use o-rings, than a compromised one can potentially compromise the integrity of the gear entirely.
The problem is that not all o-rings are created equal, from cheap to premium. Furthermore, regardless of quality, all o-rings tear, crack, stretch and break – often well before the life of the gear it’s made to be used for. And finding replacements can be difficult.
A few years ago, I figured out a very simple hack to keep the o-rings in my gear “healthy” with increased life spans. Not only that, it made them work better by keeping them lubricated, seemingly indefinitely.
All you need is a ChapStick, or almost any other semi-hardened lip balm. I have dry lips so I’ve always had one of these with me for as long as I can remember so it’s quite convenient for this dual purpose.
If you don’t use them, get one anyways as they’re cheap, require very little for each use and it will go along way to o-ring maintenance and optimization.
Application Method //
I do this to all my gear with o-rings and each application lasting at least a year, but much longer for devices that don’t need to be opened often.
This keeps the o-rings from wear and tear not just from friction reduction, but from drying out.
It also adds a layer of additional water / air proofing because the consistency of the ChapStick effectively fills in the gaps around the o-ring as well as any tears or cracks in the o-ring itself.
In the years of doing this, I’ve found no downside – including no rusting of metal or deterioration.