Yes, That’s a Tampon in My Mouth: The Swiss Army Survival Tampon — 10 Survival Uses

by A Manly Guest Contributor on June 5, 2012 · 181 comments

in Manly Skills, Survival

Do me a favor for the next five minutes.  Try to forget everything you know about tampons.  I know, it’s hard.  But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below, and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).

All kidding aside, a tampon really does have a ton of uses to a survivor.  One could even argue for including a couple in your survival kit.  Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.

Before I get into the details of this post, a brief history of the tampon might surprise you.

The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food & Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device.  The word “tampon” is a derivative of the French word tapon which means “a little plug or stopper.” My research indicates that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug bullet holes.  There are even accounts of tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare.   A friend of mine told me that it’s not uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits.  They are also the perfect product for a bloody nose.  There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.

Regardless of intended use, the common tampon has many practical survival uses.  I’ve highlighted a few survival uses below

TAMPON Survival Use #1: Medical Bandage

Tampons are sterile, come very well-packaged in their own waterproof sleeves,  and are designed to be ultra-absorbent — making them the perfect first aid bandage.  They can be opened and then taped or tied over a wound as an improvised dressing.  And, as I’ve already mentioned, they can be used to plug a bullet hole until more sophisticated medical attention can be administered.  Accounts of this use date back to World War I.  Many items in modern society were first developed as a facet of military research — tampons may very well be one of these products

TAMPON Survival Use #2: Crude Water Filter

Another excellent tampon survival use is as a crude water filter.  While it will not filter out biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, it can certainly be used to filter out sediments and floating particulates.  This would be considered a 1st Phase Filter, which can drastically increase the life and efficacy of your main water filter.  You can also use a filter like this before boiling to filter out larger particulates.  In this example, I’ve pushed a tampon into the neck of an empty water bottle.  I poked a small hole in the cap and then poured in dirty water to filter through the tampon and into the container below.

The water dripped out nearly crystal clear.

TAMPON Survival Use #3: Fire Tinder

Nearly everyone knows that cotton makes excellent fire tinder.  When the dry cotton fibers of a tampon are pulled apart and hit with a spark or flame, they will burst into a nice steady fire.  If you’ve done the right amount of fire prep work, you can easily split 1 tampon into 3 or 4 fire-starting tinder bundles.  Add in some chapstick or petroleum jelly, and you’ve got an even better fire-starting tinder.

TAMPON Survival Use #4: Crude Survival Straw Filter

Yes, I have a tampon in my mouth — don’t laugh! As a last ditch water filter, you can make an improvised Survival Straw from the plastic housing and cotton from a tampon.  As you can see in the photos below, just tear off a bit of the cotton and stuff it into the plastic housing.  I find it better to leave a little bit sticking out to make the housing pieces wedge tightly together.

Again, this filter will not PURIFY your water by removing biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, but it will filter out sediments and particulates.  This would be a last ditch effort if no methods of water purification were available.

TAMPON Survival Use #5: Wick for Improvised Candle

In the photo above I used the string on a tampon as a wick in an improvised candle which I made from rendered animal fat and a fresh water mussel shell I found down by the creek at Willow Haven.  After the string soaked up some of the fat, this candle burned solid for 20 minutes while I took the photos and still had plenty of wick left.  Pine sap would have also worked as a fuel.

TAMPON Survival Use #6: Cordage

The string attached to a tampon is a cotton twisted cord typically made up of several 4-6″ pieces of twine.  Though it’s not much, it is usable cordage.  This amount of cordage could easily be used to make a Paiute Deadfall Trap.

I’m sure there are also numerous other uses for small amounts of quality cordage.  For example, I also use this cordage in the next Survival Use below…

TAMPON Survival Use #7: Blow Dart Fletching

The blow gun certainly has its place in survival history.  From Native Americans to tribes in New Guinea, the Blow Gun and primitive darts have put food on the table for thousands of years.  They are silent and deadly hunting tools, especially for small game.  Oftentimes, especially here in the US, natural cotton was used as blow dart fletching.  Thus, the cotton from a tampon is a perfect candidate to make cotton-fletched blow darts.  I used the string on the tampon to lash it into place on this bamboo skewer.

Watch out birds and lizards — you may get shot by a tampon-fletched blow dart!

TAMPON Survival Use #8: Blow Tube for Coal Burning Containers

Yes, I have a tampon in my mouth — again.  This time, though, I’m blowing instead of sucking.  Wow…this section is off to a really weird start.  In a survival scenario, a simple container can make the difference between life and death.  A water-tight container can be used to carry water, boil water, and cook meals.  Natural water-tight containers aren’t easy to make or find.  A very practical and useful improvised container can be made by using hot coals to burn out a cavity in a log or stump.  A blow-tube (in this case the plastic tampon applicator) can be used to intensify the hot coals to burn the cavity.

Using the tampon applicator blow-tube, it took me about 30 minutes to coal burn a cavity large enough to hold 2 cups of water.  If necessary, I could then boil and purify this water by adding in several red hot stones that had been heated in a fire.

TAMPON Survival Use #9: Waterproof Match & Fire Tinder Case

In wet and damp conditions, keeping fire-starting tools such as matches and tinder dry can be a challenge.   The waterproof tampon package/sleeve makes an excellent improvised “dry-sack” for any items that are moisture sensitive.  Just fold over the top 2-3 times and tie it off with the tampon string and you’ve got a great waterproof match case.

TAMPON Survival Use #10: Survival Fishing Bobber

Fishing with hook and bobber is an incredibly effective method — especially when using live bait such as grubs and worms.  A thorn hook, some natural braided line, and a tampon bobber make the perfect combination for a survival fishing rig.  Watch out Blue-Gill!

Make the bobber with the tampon package/sleeve by folding over and tying off the top to create a little bubble that will float your bait.  If the package isn’t water-tight, just put some of the cotton inside and it will float just fine.  Then, simply tie it to your fishing line.

Conclusion

I am a huge fan of multi-functional products that can serve double or even triple survival duty.  For the size, weight, and cost, a tampon has an impressive list of survival functions.  If nothing else, this post is another lesson in the importance of looking at everyday products through the eyes of a survivalist.  Creativity and innovation are critical.

So what did you decide?  Are you manly enough to include a tampon or two in your survival kit?

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

Creek

____________________

Creek Stewart is a Senior Instructor at the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness & Bushcraft.  Creek’s passion is teaching, sharing, and preserving outdoor living and survival skills. Creek is also the author of the book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. For more information, visit Willowhaven Outdoor.

 

{ 181 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Ann Duncan June 13, 2012 at 1:02 am

I’d use organic only. Wonder if any of those come in plastic tubes?

Thank for the fun post!

102 Nicky June 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I have learned a great deal about tampon knowing that only women use it. This article is very knowledgeable. I infer that no one should perish because of lack of information.

103 Keri Peardon June 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I suddenly have the desire to go out into the woods with my husband and practice survival skills for a weekend.

104 Jessica June 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm

My teammates and I used the small OB tampons to plug bloody noses, when necessary. It was a co-ed team, and yes, the boys were on board with it.

105 Jeanne G. June 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Band-aids are also not sterile but sanitary. How many of you are squeamish about using them now?

106 Rod June 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Wow! This was really a good article. I thought it was going to be just humor.

Definitely thinking outside the box!

107 Rod June 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Wow! This was really a good article. I thought it was going to be just humor. Definitely thinking outside the box!

108 Rod June 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Wow! This was really a good article. I thought it was going to be just humor. Definitely thinking outside the box.

109 Rod June 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This was really a good article. I thought it was going to be just humor. Definitely thinking outside the box.

110 Rod June 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Sorry about those multiple entries. The site was reporting errors to my iPhone but apparently they made it any way.

111 Andrew June 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

yes, i was infantry in iraq and afghanistan and the medics issued us tampons for our first aid kits. Think about it, they’re designed to be stuck in a hole and absorb blood, perfect for bullet wounds.

112 Kate Gladstone June 15, 2012 at 12:14 am

When I was at Girl Scout camp, the girls & counselors sometimes made torches for ceremonies, parties, etc, by typing whole boxes’ worth of tampons and sanitary napkins into a bundle aroind the tip of a metal pole or green branch, rubbing Vaseline into the top of the bundle, and setting it alight. This was one of the few things I liked about that camp.

113 Maggie June 15, 2012 at 4:38 am

i carry them in my first aid kit for the same reasons. btw, if you unroll and split them or fold them, you can put seeds down in them and start plants. then just put the plant and the cotton in the ground. i carry diapers for large wounds. they absorb alot while keeping the moisture contained. you can throw up in a diaper as well. you can also open them and absorb a wet mess since they have little absorbing beads in them.

114 David June 16, 2012 at 5:27 am

I’ll bet people wouldn’t fast forward through the tampon commercials if they were produced by AOM

LOL!

115 Conor June 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

When my buddy was part of the invasion of Iraq he had what he called “The getto first aid kit” He had tampons, extra heavy maxi pads, duct tape and super glue.

116 Candace P. June 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

How very clever!

117 David Contreras June 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Excellent article, it is always refreshing to find articles as good as this one on the web. I have been into survival for a few yeras now and consider myself quite resourceful, now I can add these tips to my “catalog”. I apply many of these when I take my kids camping (2 10 y.o. boys and a14 y.o girl) and we get a real kick out of trying new things. Can´t thank you enough. Keep it up!

118 Food for Hunters June 18, 2012 at 2:27 am

Dude. Awesome post! Never thought tampons could be so useful

119 MatPr June 18, 2012 at 8:09 am

Actually tampon comes from the french word… TAMPON !

120 steve June 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

I keep a tampon for my wife…

121 Karen June 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

Awesome article!!! Very interesting and informative!

122 Steven June 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Nice! but i’d like to add one. A USED tampon, preferably frozen when not in survival mode, is A+ catfish bait! Not exactly appetizing but it works and in a survival situation a catfish would be feast.

123 william haddad June 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

como não sei ler em inglês …eu vou morrer

124 clayton blackwood June 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

In the Riverienes we will keep a few tampons with about an inch cut off in our IFAK.(Individual First Aid Kit) They say the size small tampons will fit perfectly into a 7.62 hole. thankfully I never had to test that.

125 clayton blackwood June 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

In the Riverines we will keep a few tampons with about an inch cut off in our IFAK.(Individual First Aid Kit) They say the size small tampons will fit perfectly into a 7.62 hole. thankfully I never had to test that.

126 C June 21, 2012 at 2:36 am

You had me at T.A.M.P.O.N

I thought this was another great article on AOM. Well thought out, well documented and thoroughly entertaining!

Rock on Broseph!

127 Barbara June 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm

At Army basic training, everyone (male and female) had to have a tampon and a pad in their pockets. They were referred to as “C4″ and “Dynomite” came in handy for many things!

128 Homer June 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm

@Rod

“Thinking outside the box” hahahahahaha…..thats priceless!

129 Jack Crawford June 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm

A fun game that is also educational is to think up different uses for ordinary objects. Tampons aren’t the only things that can be used for things they weren’t designed for.

130 Rue June 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Just as a note, for use as a water filter, you probably would not want to use the scented kind (yes, men, there are scented tampons out there!). I would think it would make the water taste pretty funny and I’m not sure that it would be okay for you.

Just something to keep in mind in case you’re raiding a store for supplies, stop for a few seconds and make sure the tampons you’re picking up are non-scented. ;)

131 Benedito June 24, 2012 at 1:21 am

Estas são ideias incríveis para se colocar em prática. Costumo assistir a um programa no Discovery em que a pessoa mostra como sobreviver a situações complicadas. Ele é que deve ter escrito este post.

132 Joey June 24, 2012 at 5:13 am

Great post but I am curious about one thing … have you or anyone else in the world ever actually caught a fish using the set-up pictured above. The “thorn hook” seems a bit far fetched.

133 Ani Caius June 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I never knew there were so many uses for my tampons. Next time a guy complains about buying them for me I’m showing him this. “They arent gross! They’re useful!”

134 Kay June 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Ah, the plastic things are not actually that common, so take care when choosing.. ask a female friend. ;)

135 CJ June 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

@Kay yup! you gotta watch out for the cardboard tube applicators – however, you can still use that cardboard for other things! For example: kindling, notes, arrow fletching, and they can still be used as a blow tube. Attach two, three or more tubes for your blow dart gun. New idea! You can slice them into multiple short tubes and with some careful cuts and folding, they can be used as grommets for plastic sheeting or tarps – works best with the plastic, but the cardboard might last a little while at least.

136 Lauretta simmons June 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

Nice ideas, I also think feminine pads were used as battle dressings before women used them.

137 Terri June 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

Have a girlfriend who will hang a used tampon in the tree to pull in bucks….. just saying….

138 Menizdo June 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

The word tapon (tapón) is originated in Spain, not in France. Good imagination diplayed for substitutory use of this divice.

139 Linda June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Good tips to know! I have used maxi pads and mini pads before as wound bandages. I didn’t realize all the ways tampons can be helpful. I’ll have to put a couple in my hiking kit!

140 Ali June 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

“There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.” …Might have been a little more clear on that…but I figured it out. ;-)

141 Phinneus June 29, 2012 at 7:45 am

Joey;
Used a simiar setup to catch dozens of bluegills with a crowd of visiting kids. A bunch of string, a couple of small safetypins, with a convenient little hole at the hinge, and rolled up balls of bread from sandwiches. Bent the pins a bit and the kids hauled them in quickly.

142 Phinneus June 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

When a horse of mine suffered a nasty gash just above a hoof, the vet instructed me to use regular sanitary pads for the dressing. Had to be changed daily and provided not only absorption but some protective padding. Keeping a couple of small ones, wrapped of course, in a first aid kit is a good idea.

143 Catherine July 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

We used a pad on my dog’s leg when he was hit by a car years ago.

If the tampon isn’t needed for survival, there are crafts! http://www.tamponcrafts.com (the Thanksgiving turkey centerpiece is my favorite, but you may appreciate the blowgun).

144 Mm July 3, 2012 at 2:31 am

Navy boot camp we used them to shine our boots. Would the plastic tube work for tracheotomy ?

145 Jack Crowe Jr. September 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm

The past four (4) decades I have used “Sanitary Napkins” For “Trauma Dressings” (Big Bandages) for serious bleeding injuries! They were most inexpensive, Compared to “Commercial First Aid ” products, and worked even better (They were made to completly control major bleeding) ! I carried a couple of tampons for Big Puncture wounds or Gunshot wounds but never had occasion to utilize them. This information opened a whole new world to me! How closed minded i have been! Thany You for the Fantastic, extremely valuable, essential outdoor information! Thank you for the message to take my Brain out of the “Mothballs” and put it to work!

146 Brenda October 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Great ideas! I would be very cautious about using tampons for water filtering. I’ve been told (unverified, but believable) that both tampons and pads have chemicals added to increase cramping and flow in order to sell more product. Organic products should be fine, though, if you can find them.

147 Jen October 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

The tampon is actually older than you think. The earliest known use is Ancient Egypt (they used softened papyrus). They had them in Ancient Greece and Rome as well.
The modern Tampon was invented by by Doctor Earle Haas in 1929.
Don’t believe me, look it up.

148 Tripfiction November 26, 2012 at 6:38 am

What a great post! Will never see a tampon in the same light again!Tampons go right back to Roman times, apparently, how amazing is that! Thanks

149 Aurora November 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

great post :)

Who would have thought that tampons could be the key to survival!

150 RangerRick December 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

DO NOT EVER USE A TAMPON IN A GUN SHOT WOUND, EVER.
I have read this on the net for years, but I have never in my 40 years as a firefighter/medic or military medic 18D have I ever seen this done. You will catch hell from the ER Doc for doing this. It causes damage going in and more coming out.
I have dealt with serious wounds and I have always stoped the bleeding with direct pressure, blood stop chemicals and more dressings as needed. How many of you have really done this? I would like to know.
RangerRick

151 wildhorde December 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hey guys,look at me here..I will show you that sanitary towel is useful like TAMPON.I am a man who like hiking and survival.For example you can use sanitary towel as shoe-pad when your feet is uncomfortable.Remember it is useful…Chinese hiker name it “神器”.

152 D December 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Wildhorde, I was just going to say when I was about 3 I guess. I got into the sanitary napkins in our house, stuck the tape sticky tape to the bottom of my feet, and skated nicely down our 30ft tile hallway. I also stuck shampoo sample packets in my shoes (at age 3) because it felt good to my feet, maybe that’s why every single insole on the market seems like a silly waste of money to me! Somebody needs to design an insole like that!

153 Cynthia December 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

tampons are not sterile if they were you would need a script for it they are not approved but the f.d.a. for anything they are just there for the sake and to use them for a bullet wound you would need to follow the same directions as a woman on her period but its not safe for that either they can cause serious problems if used to treat bullet wounds

154 Lisa Elifritz December 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

My daughter died from TSS from a playtex regular absorbency tampon just like the one you show. This was very recent and she was a hygiene freak! Very very frequent changer!! Flu symptoms were here only sign. Please be aware that the only safe tampon is 100% cotton. But, no tampons are not sterile or required to be by the FDA. Cute post though.

155 Jarrett F December 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm

“There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.”

I’m horrified that anyone would use a tampon that was used on the battlefield. It sounds downright dangerous.

156 trevor December 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

the vitally important issue of the sterility of tampons could be discussed at greater length,I think

157 Kyle December 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Amazing. However, I would prefer to die than to admit to myself, or anyone else, an inability to survive in the wilderness without a tampon.

158 Philip K. January 17, 2013 at 6:02 am

Very nice article – some uses I have not seen before.

I did not read through all comments, so excuse me if some posted this already:

I am missing one very good use for cotton tampons, the use as a firestarter in combination with ash.

Unroll the tampon, lay out flat and sprinkle some ash in the middle and roll it tight (imagine rolling a cigarette). Then use two large flat stones or wood blocks, putting the tampon in the middle (or a hard surface to put the tampon on). Apply gentle pressure on the stone on top of the tampon and start rolling in one direction, applying pressure only in one direction you are rolling. Do that for some time and you will create a smoldering inside the tampon, which you can use to start a larger fire.

Long story short: You can combine a tampon with ash as a catalyst and use friction to get a firestarter.

159 Bob January 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I already have several tampons in my b.o.b. They’re in my GSW kit. As an EMT I know that, ideally speaking, you’d never put anything into a wound. But if you’re in an environment where higher trained medical professionals aren’t exactly readily available, something designed to plug a bleeding hole would be very useful in a pinch. If you in the middle of a shootout, you’ve got to stop the bleeding right that second. Once you’re in a less hazardous situation, then you can go back and address the wound(s) properly.

160 Stephen January 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Be aware that there are different kinds of tampons, made in different sizes and from different materials.

For survival purposes, Kotex U might be best (black box with neon circles on it). These are basically a big ball of cotton packed tight and wrapped with the same stuff dryer sheets are made of. They’re the best for bloody noses and cleaning gun barrels (and maybe bullet wounds? The way they expand when wet seems dangerous to me) because they don’t shred unless you remove the outer layer. The inside has tons of pure cotton that pulls apart easily. The plastic part is collapsible, so they store a little smaller, and it breaks down into three pieces, one of which is clear plastic and might be an okay trach tube if needed, and that same piece plus another that slides into it makes a good straw.

But for uses #1 and #2 above, Tampax might be best, because it opens up to this big flat thing that kind of holds together. They also expand bigger, so they’re more absorbent if you’re using them to, say, collect rainwater from a tree stump.

This may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever typed here.

161 Laurie February 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

One problem here – “ultra absorbent” is the LAST thing you want out of a bandage. A bandage needs to STOP the bleeding. Absorbent means just that – it will absorb (aka: draw blood out) the blood, not stop the blood from flowing. I learned this first hand after I was involved in a rural car accident – all I had were absorbent paper towels and they never stopped the bleeding.

162 Jessica March 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

Tampons are not sterile despite being white and wrapped up. Also, what was mentioned about the increasing of bleeding and cramping may have some validity. When switching to alternatives many women have found a drastic decrease in the length of time for both, myself included.

163 Marine March 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I hate to disagree with the ladies, but I must echo Bob the EMT’s comment above: While in “civilian” tactical handgun training, we learned how to use tampons to plug bullet holes as an immediate response to prep a casualty for evacuation. (Not the ideal solution, but neither is being shot!) It is far better than doing nothing and watching someone bleed out while you are waiting for medical. Good article.

164 Kerry May 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

Fantastic article. After a hysterectomy many years ago, I was thankful not having to purchase these things anymore. You have me rethinking my joy. Nice work.

165 vevi June 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Anyone who has carried a tampon around in their bag for a few days knows that that “waterproof match case” made out of the tampon wrapper would very quickly unseal along the seam, and dump the matches out. A dude must have thought of this. :)

166 Mistie June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

Survival tip #1 Never use a surprisingly absorbant tampon for wound, especailly a dry one as you can not meassure the loss of blood, sucked up into the tampon, a wetted bandanna or torn off clothong piece is a much better item for use for wounds. Good idea in theory, but in reality, no.
#2 A little known fact about tampons is that they are, in fact, not steril. Many tampons are moldy upon being opened, dispite being sealed.
#3 Maybe a fire starter, but not as a water filter as tampons are not only bleached, but treated with a cocktail of chemicals.

167 Mel August 6, 2013 at 4:21 am

I carry tampons and condoms in my survival tin (and first aid box) the tampon makes an excellent dressing amongst other uses and the condom acts as a skin tight sleeve to hold it in place when you cut the end off.
Great coverage, there’s a few on here I didn’t think of, Thanks.

168 Carla Bosteder October 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Great information – although I wouldn’t want to suggest plugging a wound with one of these. Other than that, I think there are some very interesting AND valuable ideas to consider here.

169 Betty October 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Our vet told us to use maxi pads for a large wound dressing on a horse. Many other uses for typical feminine products. Great ideas here.

170 krys October 10, 2013 at 12:57 am

Excellent & informative post! Thanks. It’s always a good idea to keep your mind and eyes open for other possibilities. Thanks for the practical wisdom!

171 Maur October 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm

This sounds like good usage for Blackbeard’s Rugged Tampons:
http://www.redwombatstudio.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=250

172 Matt November 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

So after reading this article I stole one of my wife’s tampons and was experimenting with the blowdart function. I couldn’t make the plastic part work as a blow gun, but I found that the 2 pieces put together airtight make a great hunting call with a little practice!

173 wolfman November 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

used them in the military as 50 cal barrel cleaners. still use them on my shotgun barrels.

174 Jacinta December 1, 2013 at 1:39 am

Given that tampons started life as a plug for bullet wounds in soldiers and nurses then started using them for their modern purpose, not that surprising. Cool article though.

175 Peter December 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

To everyone who thinks tampons were used by the military first, you are very incorrect. They modern day versions and applicator was developed by a doctor in 1929 because of his wife. The patent and design was then sold to the lady who started tampax. The first documented use of a tampon like device was in ancient Egypt.

176 K December 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I liked the comment about tampons for bloody noses. I played rugby for a short while and continue to help out a local mens team with first aid at their games. Tampons are fantastic for heavily bleeding noses characteristic of taking a knee to the face (if you have the right size)!

177 andi April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

Can also be used for bloody nose

178 DamselinSOS April 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm

For #1- the bandage. What works best is an actual pad – not a tampon. In my trail riding kit, I keep a coupe because when coupled with the leg wrap, it makes a good tourniquet. Trust me, a pad is going to work better than a tampon. Even though I am a female, an old cowboy taught me that trick.

179 S.M. April 1, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Tampons are not Sterile.
Read any pamphlet that comes with them. They’re only made in sterile facilities. The item itself doesn’t have to be because where they go isn’t either….
They do have pesticide residue in them and dioxin… so survival immediately… not something you’d want to suck on daily… :p

Women were using these in cave-people times…. so not invented for bullets! that’s insane. The first people used sea sponges and everything else…

180 Ms. Dashwood April 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm

At an action medic training, the medics emphasized the importance of carrying tampons and pads. Why should guys carry these? To show solidarity. And this article gives even more reasons.
Thanks for this article.

181 Michael Prilla April 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

You skipped a very important use for tampons. One that our soldiers do use them for all the time. You almost got it saying as a bandage. But do to their shape and the way they are supposed to be used you can actually put them inside bullet and shrapenel wounds and then put your field and/or pressure dressing on over it to stop bleeding. This in my opinion since it will keep you from bleeding out and dying in minuets in the most important reason to carry them when in the field either at war or hunting or whatever.

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