Submitted by Eric Daniel
While out on AT recently I made an interesting discovery. Carmex brand lip balm. Ok, granted, it wasn't an honest to God real discovery - I've known about Carmex lip balm for ages (I have a bazillion of those jars all over the place) and I know that Carmex comes in squeeze tubes now, as well as the traditional stick. But for years, while in the field, I've almost exclusively relied on either ChapStick brand lip balm, or the GI issue stuff the medics hand out when we go to the field.
Now, the one issue I've always had with my ChapStick is that it always seems to unscrew in my pocket. As you may or may not know, the lip balm is in a tube with a little wheel crank at the bottom of the tube. You turn the wheel, which drives a threaded rod in the center of the tube, which pushes the lip balm up out of the tube, so you can use it. Well, rolling around in my pocket always seems to crank that wheel in the proper direction to push the stick out (I wonder if the fellers in Australia have this problem), which means that I have to crank it back in every time I want to use it. This isn't a deal breaker or a therapy requiring issue, it's just annoying to have to "reset" your ChapStick every time you want to use it.
Well, apparently, the folk over at Carmex must have been having the same problem I was, since on their tubed lip balm, the wheel at the bottom of the tube has a friction lock on it. This lock (and I've no clue how it operates, except to say that you can hear it "click" as you crank the wheel) provides sufficient friction on that central rod that it won't accidentally advance the stick in your pocket, which, all things considered, I thought was a good bit of attention to detail.
Now, if only I could police up all those little jars and get them converted to sticks.