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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Toiletries > Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub > Test Report by Kathleen Waters


INITIAL REPORT - March 02, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - June 13, 2010


NAME: Kathleen Waters
AGE: 59
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 35-acre/14-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.



Manufacturer: W.S. Badger Company Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $10.00 for 2 oz. (57 g) tin, $5.50 for 0.75 oz (21 g) tin
Listed Weight: 2 oz (57 g)
Measured Weight: 2.8 oz (79 g), including tin
Badger Balm Winter Rub
Picture Courtesy of Badger Balm

Other details:

USDA Organic Ingredients: *Extra Virgin Olive Oil, *Castor Oil, *Golden Yellow Beeswax, Extract of *Ginger, Essential Oils of *Blue Gum Eucalyptus, *Tea Tree, *Rosemary, *Peppermint, *Tangerine, Gum Benzoin, *Ravensara Aromatica, *Lavender & Thyme.

* = Certified Organic



Since I'm very familiar with Badger Balm products - I own several different items - I had a good idea of what to expect before the Aromatic Chest Rub (hereafter called simply, the "Rub"). However, I did check out the Badger Balm website to see what the ingredients for this particular product are. With no trouble at all in navigating the website, as I expected, all the ingredients are recognizable extracts with names I can pronounce. No 35-letter chemical hieroglyphics to puzzle over, thank goodness.

The attractive blue and white tin sports - what else - a badger in the middle of the top and the ingredients and contact information on the back. A short slogan - "Breathe Deep, Breathe Easy, Rub It In" rings the side of the tin which is just over 2.5 in (7 cm) in diameter. The tin appears to be small enough to fit in my smallest jacket/shell pockets but not so small as to be impossible to find in my more roomy pack compartments.
The color of the actual Rub is hard for me to describe. It is sort of an opaque yellow/beige, what I would think of as "beeswax". My husband thought it was more a "mustard", so I'm going to say is it "non-descript"! The texture is solid, not at all yielding when I press my finger onto it. Application of the Rub is accomplished by - surprise! - rubbing my fingers over it and then over my skin.

Surprisingly to me, is that the fragrance of the Rub is not very strong, something I anticipated by virtue of its function. I can pick out the peppermint and lavender scents with just a bit of the eucalyptus.
Contents of Rub
Contents of Rub Tin - taken with a flash


The Badger Balm tin carries no instructions beyond "Rub it in" but then the product title pretty much says that. Searching the website, Badger Balm describes the Rub as a "warming chest rub". Alternately, "a half a teaspoon full" can be put into a humidifier or pot of hot water and the resulting steam breathed in. The Balm can be used to "soothe and ease the minor coughs, colds and stuffy noses."

The Badger Balm's website also cautions, "This is not a medicine or a drug however. This is a traditional remedy that supports your body's innate ability to heal itself. If symptoms persist, seek professional assistance."


I'm a pro at rubs in general. Not only did I raise two kids back when doctors advised spreading pungent-smelling sticky goo on them at the first sign of a sniffle, I love to use hand salve, cuticle creams, joint rubs, etc. I think there is something soothing about massaging a sweet-smelling ointment into my skin. So, as soon as the Rub arrived, I immediately tried it out.

I used the "three-finger-method" of application. I took the middle three fingers of my left hand and in a circular motion rubbed the balm pressing slightly until I had a noticeable film on the tips of my fingers. Spreading it across my chest, I noticed the Rub was absorbed almost on contact leaving no greasy, sticky residue - just softer skin and a pleasant faint, but definitely minty, scent. Happily, my blouse did not then stick to my skin as it does with some other skin products I have used.

While I don't look forward to having a chest cold, I do look forward to using the Rub!


I have been a Badger Balm fan for a while now, owning (and using) several of their other products already. I have never tried a chest rub before though, short of that awful smelling, sticky stuff my mom used to dose me with as a kid! Initially, I'm quite pleased with the relatively mild scent and light consistency of the Chest Rub and look forward to using it in the field.

This concludes my Initial Report for the Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub. Below, after three months, I have posted the results of my field testing of the product.



Weather conditions in my neck of the Colorado woods have been really crazy this spring; with temperatures from below freezing up to the mid - 80s F (30 C).

We've even had a couple of freaky May snowfalls and more spring rain than I've become accustomed to seeing over the past couple of years. And I can't forget to mention the wind! Gusts up to 50 mph (81 km/h) have been quite common.

Added to my time in Colorado, my recent trips to New Jersey and Florida with humidity and temps (in Florida) up to 95 F (35 C) and I can attest the Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub has been in a wide variety of weather conditions.

Most of the field "testing" of the Rub took place in Colorado where the terrain was high desert with lots of valleys and hills-to-mountains. Elevation, at minimum, was over 5000 ft (1500 m) and at maximum, around 11,000 ft (3400 m). However, my one "good" cold was (and is still ongoing) in Michigan where the temperatures have been in the mid-80s F (30 C) with ridiculously high humidity levels over 86%.


When the test period began, I feared it would be rather hard to test a cold product when I didn't have a cold. And as the field testing period was rapidly running out, I despaired of the validity of my report. Fate (and a runny-nosed grandchild) intervened at the last minute - well the last two weeks, anyway - and one morning I woke up to a stuffed-up nose, headache, scratchy throat and cough. Normally, that would have been just plan nasty, but for once I actually had a silver lining to the cloud in my head. Neat! I could test the Aromatic Chest Rub! Fortunately, I actually had carried it with me in the mandatory plastic zip-lock storage bag that airport security demands on flights to New Jersey and Florida.

The first application of the product for therapeutic reasons was on my first night back in Michigan, right after I got home from the airport. I was tired and having a bit of trouble breathing freely.

As the lack of directions offer no real guidance to the usage of the Rub, I simply vigorously rubbed the Rub with my fingers and equally vigorously rubbed the product into my skin over my upper chest and neck, right up to my chin. For an extra measure, I even put a little dab just under my nose.

Applying the Rub was easily accomplished. The Rub is smooth and non-sticky and transferred from the tin to my fingers and from my fingers to my body without any forethought or problems. My skin where I had applied the Rub was mildly "tacky", but my cotton pj top did not adhere to it at all.

The light eucalyptus scent barely penetrated the stuffiness, but I could smell it and enjoyed the scent. And while I didn't feel overly "sticky", I did feel the need to wash the residue from my hands.

The Rub imparts no "heat" which was welcome for summer use, but would be desirable in the colder months.

I slept well, but woke up in the morning very congested. My skin felt a bit softer where the Rub was applied but no unpleasant residue was noted.

I applied the Rub several times during the day, using the same procedure and having the same results. I did have to resort to taking oral decongestants.

While I would not carry the Rub on backpacking trips, for testing purposes, I did so as to report how the product held up under various temperatures. The tin doesn't really take up much space nor add any real weight to my pack. It never melted in any temperature I encountered, nor did it become too hard to be usable in the cold. It held up very well to the elements.


I have been a Badger Balm fan for years and use many of their products faithfully, so I was really counting on adding this one to my stash. Alas, though I love the smell, application and feel of the Winter Wonder Balm on my skin, I just don't feel it is strong enough for my taste.

What soothing effect I received from the Winter Wonder Balm, I am fairly certain, was more from the act of massaging the Balm into my chest than from the product itself. Maybe if Badger Balm "kicked up" the eucalyptus a bit, a stronger version might have cut through my cold.

Thank you to W.S. Badger Company, Inc. and for introducing me to the Winter Wonder Balm.

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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