The next contender in our climber skin care products review is Badger Balm. Although the name throws up a few funny looks around the slabs, Badger Balm is a serious product and the badgers at the badger mines, located on the banks of the Ashuelot River, New Hampshire, USA. Have been making their organic, USDA certified products since 1995. Starting out as a small family run business creating Badger Balm from natural ingredients, the company has expanded over the years and now produce organic products ranging from balms to sun creams and aromatherapy oils.
Badger Balm was initially created as a soothing balm for carpenters hands but has made the transition to a popular balm for climbers, skiers, and outdoors folk of all persuasions.
Badger Balm uses extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, castor oil, aloe, birch and wintergreen oils combined to produce a premium organic healing balm with a wide variety of uses. Badger Balm comes in two sizes a 2oz/59ml tin and a more pocket size 0.75/22ml tin both tins are full to the brim with this stuff. The small tin retails for just under £5 in most places and it is just under double this for the larger size.
Badger Balm smells lightly of the winter green a smell similar to that of Tiger Balm used by martial artists, however the Badger Balm doesn’t smell as strong so you don’t have to worry about smelling of it all day. Swiping your hand along the balm will give enough to coat your hands, its strange the balm is fairly solid to the touch similar to lip balm, but if you press down hard on it, it becomes more like a cream. You shouldn’t need large amounts unless your hands are really stinging because Badger Balm really works.
Again I threw myself at the walls, Beastmaker and my hangboards until my hand where raw chapped and torn. Proving to be more of a medicinal product, Badger Balm took the sting away almost instantly by cooling and calming the redness. The balm didn’t hang around either the application dried in pretty quickly. Within a few minutes my hands where dry and the pain calmed allowing me to continue climbing.
I’ve not noticed much of a thickening of the skin when using the Badger Balm but that isn’t always a bad thing. If the skin on your fingers gets to thick and tough you will loose sensitivity which would also be a detriment to your climbing ability.
After using Badger Balm for a while I can say it is definitely a keeper, I’ve even go the rest of the team using it. It keeps the burn away, can be used mid session and works well as a post climb treatment. I score Badger Balm as follows:
Moisturising – 5 stars works great, heals, keeps the burn away.
Texture – Solid but also liquid under pressure, a strange one but effective and dries in quick 5 stars.
Repair – Doesn’t noticeably do anything to thicken or toughen the skin but your hands will love you afterword will have you climbing next day no problem 3 stars.
Badger Balm supply a wide range of useful products some of which we will be testing out later in the blogs so keep an eye out. In the mean time you can check out the full Badger Balm range and stockists at the Badger Balm website.