DIY

9 Ways Tampons Can Help You Survive A Wilderness Emergency

by Kate Taylor
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Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Tampons are the kind of thing that women should keep in their purse at all times. Even those of us with the most reliable and steady cycles can find ourselves dealing with a special surprise.

While the Boy Scout motto — “always be prepared” — applies to all walks of life and times of the month, there is no more important time to be prepared than when you’re in the great outdoors.

For instance, a woman who was hiking with all male friends was mortified when she got an untimely gift from Mother Nature. Luckily, one of her male friends just so happened to keep tampons in his first aid kit. He was even nicknamed “Dave, the Period Fairy.”

Tampons are clearly necessary for their intended purpose, but as it turns out, Dave may have been onto something.

They also can be used in a number of other ways that have nothing to do with period blood. In fact, tampons are a useful part of any survival kit.

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Kaldari 

What Are Tampons Made Of?

What Are Tampons Made Of?
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Every tampon is a little different depending on its brand and variety.

However, generally speaking, tampons are made out of a combination of cotton and rayon, according to the National Health Center For Research.

Use #1: A Bandage

Use #1: A Bandage
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’ve ever placed a tampon in a glass of water to see what happens, you’ll notice that it fans out into a cotton pad.

You can deconstruct a tampon manually to make it look and act almost exactly like gauze. This makes it perfect as a dressing or bandage for a cut or scrape.

Use #2: Water Filter

Use #2: Water Filter
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

For this tip, watching the tampon fan out in water is encouraged. Actually, it’s the whole aim of the game.

Put a tampon in a full water bottle, and turn it upside down to filter out any dirt or impurities from the water you may have gotten from a creek or other natural water source.

Use #3: Fire Starter

Use #3: Fire Starter
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Anyone who knows how to make a fire knows you need a good starter. If you don’t have any paper around and don’t want to burn something important: tampon to the rescue!

Just unroll the tampon, and light the flammable cotton for the perfect fire starter.

Use #4: Straw Filter

Use #4: Straw Filter
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The cotton part of a tampon isn’t its only useful part. If you are ever in a very dire situation where you are forced to drink from puddles or muddy water, a tampon will again save the day.

Dissemble the two parts of the application, and stick a ball of cotton from the tampon in the middle. Reattach them, and drink out of it as if it were a straw. The cotton will help filter the water and make it more potable.

Use #5: Camping Candlewick

Use #5: Camping Candlewick
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you are extremely good with your hands and resourceful, you might even be able to make a candle out of animal fat or another resource around you.

Of course, a candle is no good without a wick. Enter: the tampon string. Turns out, every part of a tampon can be repurposed!

Use #6: Makeshift Animal Trap

Use #6: Makeshift Animal Trap
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’re ever lost in the woods, it’s important to feed yourself.

By fashioning an animal trap using tampon string, you could have dinner over the campfire much more easily than if you didn’t have the string to use.

Use #7: Blow Dart

Use #7: Blow Dart
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

You’ve probably seen blow darts being used by tribesmen in rainforests on TV.

However, this ancient technique could also come in handy if you ever find yourself also fending for yourself in the forest.

Use #8: Use Sleeve To Keep Matches Dry

Use #8: Use Sleeve To Keep Matches Dry
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Camping and outdoor survival is all about being resourceful.

You can use the tampon wrapper as a pouch to keep important things like matches dry.

Use #9: Survival Fishing Bobber

Use #9: Survival Fishing Bobber
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Surviving the outdoors is demanding business, and you’re bound to work up an appetite. If you’re animal trap isn’t working, then you might want to try your luck at fishing.

The application portion of the tampon can be used as a bobber in times of emergency!

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