To a survivalist, a tampon is more than a woman’s hygiene implement. In dire situations, a tampon and its packaging can be used for any number of things, from water filters to candle wicks. Here are details for several of these different uses.
1) As a straw.
It’s fairly simple to turn an unused tampon into a straw. Simply open the plastic casing and remove some of the cotton lining. Leave a little bit at the junction between both halves of the casing. This does double-duty, as it helps hold the pieces together while filtering out bits of sand and other sediments. While the cotton doesn’t exactly provide a good filter (it won’t keep out bacteria or anything), it will ensure that the water you’re drinking doesn’t contain small bits of rocks and other larger particles.
2) As a clean bandage.
Most bandages consist of cotton or gauze, neither of which are too far removed from the innards of a tampon. If you get hurt and don’t have a bandage with you, simply break open the tampon’s plastic casing and remove the cotton. Flatten or spread out the cotton as best you can, and then lay it over your wound. Use some tape to hold it in place. Since this cotton lining is waterproof, clean, and absorbent, it works well as a makeshift bandage.
3) As a candle wick.
Cotton isn’t the only flammable part of a tampon; the string is as well. In fact, the string can become a candle wick in situations that call for some sort of lighting. You can use anything from pine sap to rendered animal fat as the candle itself. Start with a non-flammable object that serves as a bowl, such as a shell, pour the liquid inside, and then insert the string. Voila! You now have a candle.
4) As a matchstick holder or waterproof container.
Every part of a tampon can be used in a survivalist setting. The packaging that one comes in – the waterproof plastic that holds each individual tampon – easily becomes a case for items that need to be protected. You can use it to hold a piece of flint, some matches, or anything else that needs to be kept dry.
5) As a useful piece of cord.
Every tampon string consists of around four to six smaller strings that have been twisted together. This is what makes that string so strong. As a whole, this piece of string isn’t really enough to do much with. However, if you untwist those pieces and knot them together end to end, you’ll end up with a surprisingly decent length of cord that can become just about anything that you need it to.
6) As a bobber for your fishing setup.
Whether you need to make a fishing pole out of a branch and some string, or you already have a pole with you, but no bobber, rest assured that you can make out of the packaging for a tampon. All that you need to do is remove the tampon, blow some air into the bottom of the packaging, and then roll the top up several times to protect that air pocket.
7) As fire tinder.
Fire is extremely important for survivalists. It keeps you warm, scares off wildlife, and allows you to cook your meals and boil water. The cotton in a tampon can help you create these fires. It makes great tinder. Start by gathering all of your other fire materials, including dry branches, and place them in a pile. Then remove the cotton from the tampon and light it with a match.