This Camping Hack Proves Those Annoying Trick Birthday Candles Aren't Totally Useless

It's the eternal struggle: stuck zippers. And we don't just mean on your jeans or you coats. Have you ever been hiking or camping, and the zipper on your backpack, sleeping bag, or your tent has gotten stuck in its own teeth? The dang thing just won't move, but if you pull too hard, you risk breaking the zipper altogether. You definitely don't want to have a broken tent zipper in the middle of a rainstorm. Fear not, fellow camper, because the internet has come to the rescue, as she always does.

TikToker Alex Costa shared a video on the platform to his more than 1.6 million followers that offers a rather genius solution to a stuck zipper. He suggests taking a small amount of candle wax (yes, you read that right) and rubbing it all along the zipper to ease the zipper back along the teeth and get things zipping again. Of course, how many of us are carrying around scented candles during a hiking or camping trip, right? Well, it turns out that those small trick birthday candles that you plop on top of your child's birthday cake (and have used over and over again) might actually be a handy multi-tasking tool to use on your next camping adventure. How does it work? Let's take a closer look.

Birthday candles are the perfect fit

If the zipper on your tent or sleeping bag gets stuck in its own teeth, it turns out that rubbing a lubricant along the teeth can help get that zipper zippin'. Zippers sometimes get snagged on their own teeth because they're rusted a bit, they're old, or they're dirty. Really, when you're hiking or camping, eventually everything gets pretty dirty, so let this be your warning that your zippers will snag at one point or another.

So if you head to your local dollar store and stock up on stick birthday candles (we like the trick ones because they can be reused!), you will be prepared when the zip hits the fan. Additionally, those cute little trick candles can be used as a fire starter for your campfire — even in inclement weather — they'll stay lit and make you look like a fire starting pro. What's more, stick birthday candles are small enough that they will barely take up any space in your pack, but we would suggest keeping them in a Ziploc bag so any color on the candles doesn't rub off on your gear inside your pack. Keeping them in a small tea tin is another idea to keep them from snapping in half. In terms of usage for unsticking a stuck zipper, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the candles aren't frozen and at room temperature so the wax will glide easily onto the zipper teeth. Give the teeth a few rubs and then gently try the zipper again. Who knew something so simple could make such a difference in your camping adventures?