Gear Review: Bag Balm First Aid



Spending most of my life ski racing in Vermont and New England, a small square tin of bag balm was always in my ski pack. The Vermont based company was started in 1899 to soothe and restore dairy cows’ chapped udders. However, as anyone who is into Alpine skiing knows a little bag balm on a subzero day on your cheeks can ward off frostbite and windburn.

Bag Balm is one of those companies which is an iconic image of winter for many of us. Recently Bag Balm has been mixing it up creating new products beyond their original. Their new Bag Balm First Aid builds on their original formula adding in Benzethonium Chloride, an antimicrobial agent.


Bag Balm First Aid is made up of five ingredients:

  • Petrolatum
  • Benzethonium Chloride (antimicrobial agent)
  • Lanolin
  • Paraffin Wax
  • Purified water


But what about it in real life? 

So Bag Balm sent me a tin of their new Bag Balm First Aid, and I wondered – How am I going to use this? I didn’t have any open cuts, scrapes, or anything that needed first aid, and I wasn’t about to take a spill to try out a new product. That would be stupid.

However, I did end up going on a long trail run/hike while at my inlaws family reunion. I hike Mount Timpanogos here in Utah. The total run/hike was over 13 miles and was the most extended adventure I had done in a while.  When I was training for Ultras and other extreme endurance events, I always use to put a little cream between my thighs to ward off chafing.

Worth the early wake-up and chafing to see this…

This run, however, I spaced as I left the tent at 3:45 am without doing any chafe prep. By the time I was back down to the bottom, I had a nice rash forming from my shorts chafing against my skin on either thigh. I got home the next day and saw the Bag Balm First Aid and had that lightbulb moment.

While I didn’t go on the adventure wanting to chafe I was glad that the Bag Balm First Aid was there waiting for me. I applied some to my rough skin, and within a day or two, the rash and irritated skin was back to normal.  Quick and simple.

The new formula has the same texture and consistency as the original, but I was thankful for the antimicrobial properties. Next time I go for a run, I will remember to put on the Bag Balm BEFORE I leave, not after the fact.


Bag Balm First Aid

Who is it for? Any endurance athletes who are prone to chafing will find Bag Balm a good option when looking for an anti-chafing agent. And if you are like me, it works well for after-care as well as pre-workout care.

In addition to Bag Balm Original and Bag Balm First Aid, the company has also recently released Bag Balm Pet to help keep your Pet’s paws, noises, and other areas moist and soft.


Get Yours

Bag Balm First Aid

Bag Balm Pet

Bag Balm Original

Bag Balm Hand and Body




*Bag Balm sent me this product to review. The opinions and experiences are my own and were not influenced by the free product I received. This page contains Affiliate links to Amazon. 

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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