Survival is often about finding creative ways to solve life threatening problems using everyday items. Today’s creative survival tip focuses on alternative uses for the Tampon.
Tampons and Bullet Holes
For some time now it has been suggested that tampons should be carried in medical kits for the treatment of bullet wounds. This can be both a good and bad idea.
Tampons are sterile, and in an extreme emergency have been reported to be effective at plugging up a bullet wound that will not stop bleeding. As they soak up blood, they begin to swell and fill the cavity created by a bullet.
This method of wound treatment should be used as a last resort only. Removing tampons from a wound can be problematic. Doctors can’t just rip it out by the string later, because as blood clots in and around the tampon, it gets basically glued in place. Removing it at this point can cause additional damage to the wound.
Tampons as a Water Filter
By wrapping a tampon in duct tape or electrical tape, you can create a water filter. It’s not going to filter out protozoa, viruses, or bacteria, but it can filter out sediment and other random floaties in water that boiling won’t get out.
Drinking water that has not been purified of protozoa, viruses, and bacteria can make a bad situation worse. Your body’s natural reaction to foreign organisms is to expel them either through vomiting or diarrhea. If you were not dehydrated before, you will be shortly after.
More on emergency water purification methods later.
Kindling For Your Fire
By removing the shell, you have a good fire kindling. Tampons are basically cotton and cotton catches a flame from minimal spark rather nicely.
Impregnating the tampon with petroleum jelly helps to water proof the tampon and it makes the fire start faster and burn longer.
The cotton can be used as an insulator. It has decent loft, trapping air and creating a buffer. Of course you should pull the cotton apart to get the most loft from it. With enough, you can fill socks or gloves with the material, to boost the insulation from cold weather in an emergency. You’d be amazed at just how much cotton is packed into a tampon.
You can also fill a condom with them, then stick them over your hands or feet in the absence of gloves or socks.