February 12, 2014
It might sound like the start of a dirty joke, but seriously – if you are the MacGyver type that can do a lot with a little, you will enjoy all the unexpected survival uses of tampons, lube, and condoms.
Before we get into the “extras,” lets go over the basics.
Life is unpredictable, and you should expect a disaster to be unexpected. The U.S. government recommends that you be ready at a moment’s notice; they even have an entire website dedicated to disaster survival. They advise that your survival kit be sufficient to sustain you for at least 72 hours. Your bug out bag (also called BOB, 72-hour bag or load out bag) should be pre-packed! If you wait until disaster strikes, it might be too late. Your life will depend on what’s in your bug out bag, so make sure it’s grab-n-go ready.
The fact is different people have different ideas on what they need to survive, but almost everyone can agree on the basics:
Once you consider all the survival uses for tampons, condoms, and lube you will think again about including them in your B.O.B.
What is a tampon, really? Cotton batting and string, sealed in a protective and sanitary plastic sheath, and designed for inconspicuous portability. In short, the perfect addition to any serious survival kit. There are a few obvious uses, like medical bandaging – rumor has it that even the Army uses tampons for this purpose, but let’s go over the ones you may not know.
Sediment filter: Tampons won’t weed out chemical or biological contaminants from a water source, but they are excellent at removing solid sediment. Use in a pinch, combined with bleach or iodine, to ensure clean, safe drinking water.
Cordage: The string on a tampon is longer than you think. If you need cord for anything (and who doesn’t?) bring tampons. From trap construction to securing arrow fletching, you’ll find more than enough uses for this versatile survival accessory.
Fletching: Speaking of fletching, blow darts can be made with cotton fletching. What’s a tampon made of? You’ve got it – cotton.
Blow Dart Gun: Which brings us to another use. The tube that tampons are packed in can be used as a blow dart gun in a pinch. Cardboard tubes are the best option for this use – they are wider and more uniform in size. Still, a plastic applicator can function well for a thin dart. Plastic is also more durable.
Toothbrush: Yes, it’s ok to put a tampon in your mouth. In fact, you can also use a tampon as emergency cotton batting for dental wounds. For basic hygiene, however, tampons are excellent toothbrushes.
Emergency Plug: Tampon comes from the French word for plugging a hole. And no wonder. If you have a boat or coracle that has sprung a small leak, a tampon can buy you a few extra minutes to get to shore. Just place the tampon in the leak and let it do what is was designed for – absorb and expand.
Food Protection: If you find an excellent location for gathering berries, fruits, or other high competition food sources, hang clumps of tampons to frighten away deer, crows, and other animals that may compete for your foraging site.
For more tampon uses, check out this blog. Keep in mind that T.A.M.P.O.N.s can be used as substitutes for cotton balls, gauze pads, and tinder, as well.
The uses of a condom in a BOB are too many to count. I’m sure you’ve heard how condoms can be used to protect gun barrels from getting fouled with sediment, or to carry water. There are hundreds of other uses that are rarely discussed, however. We’ll clue you in on the secrets of these sheaths in this section.
Catch Fish: You can use a condom filled with lightweight batting, or an air bubble, and tied securely, as a fishing bobber on a homemade line. In Cuba, some fishermen use condoms to carry their baited handlines out into the open ocean. Coating a small piece of sponge or cotton with lube is a great trout lure, too. It tricks the fish into thinking that the sponge or cotton are fish eggs.
Emergency Flotation: Here’s a use you may not have expected. As fragile as they are, condoms can be inflated to extreme size. Rumor has it that a woman who fell off of a cruise ship used a package of condoms to create a makeshift life raft, and was picked up three days later, still safely bobbing the high seas.
Tourniquet: If you’ve had your blood drawn in the past ten years, you’ve probably seen a tourniquet in action. In order to slow down or stop bleeding to a serious wound, you can make a tourniquet out of a condom. Their elasticity makes them perfect for the job. Just tie the condom tightly above the wound location, and attempt to seal with wound. Make sure to keep sterile needles and thread in your BOB for emergency wound closure, too.
Keep Items Dry: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Tie any tinder or other important items that shouldn’t get wet, inside of your condom. After all, they ARE designed to prevent leaks.
Build A Weapon: There are multiple uses for condoms in the construction of emergency weaponry. From this condom gun to slingshots, a condom might literally save your life in an emergency backwoods scenario – or at least provide you with the means to catch the food you need to survive.
Target Practice: The Royal Air Force Regiment distributed 20,000 condoms with survival use recommendations for their soldiers, one of which was to inflate condoms for small arms target practice. Condoms, when inflated, are very fragile, making them great choices for this task.
Now we’re really going to make things exciting. This is one of our favorite all-purpose BOB component. When choosing your lube, go for the basics.
Hiking: Every good prepper knows to expect long treks. If you are prone to blisters, coat the areas most often affected with a hefty amount of lube. You’ll keep blisters from forming, and your feet will feel refreshed at the end of a long day on the move. This article will give you an idea of how to use lube to save your feet on the move.
Stuck Objects: Lube is designed to make sliding objects into and out of each other easily, right? Keep your mind out of the gutter – I’m talking about rings on fingers, freeing weapon jams, unjamming the zipper on your bug out bag, and the like. Anytime something gets stuck, reach for your lube.
Fishing: You’d be surprised how useful lube can be when fishing. If you are lucky enough to carry a rod and reel in your kit, you know to keep it in perfect condition or lose a valuable resource. Lube can keep your reel working smoothly.
Frozen Locks: If you are forced to lock and abandon your car in freezing weather, a tube of lube can help you work a frozen lock when you get back with gas or help.
You can use condoms, vaseline, and tampons together to create fire in several ways. Condoms actually light very quickly, and tampons make excellent tinder. You can also dip the cord from a tampon into your lube to use as a candle.
Can you think of any more survivalist uses for these vital BOB additions? Share them here!