Survival Kit: 5 awkward but Useful Items!


Oh yes, the condom. Part of every old school survival kit. What can you use it for besides its obvious application?

Storing water. Storing small items, anything you don’t want to lose or you want to keep dry. It has been used on rifle barrels to keep dirt, salted water and other foreign objects away. Filling it up with water it can be used as a lens to start a fire in a sunny day if you have dry tinder. Since its elastic it could be used as a large rubber band. You can even do a mean slingshot with condoms, look it up on youtube. The possible applications are too many. And don’t forget the purpose for which it was intended, not a minor detail. During the war in Bosnia in at least one radio communication people asked for condoms!


These are commonly found in kits as well. Since its basically compacted cotton the applications are in many cases the same. Opening a cotton tampon up and you can use it as tinder, as dressing for a wound, it can be used to filter water before making it potable with a tablet or potassium permanganate crystals. After filtering it leave the water exposed to sunlight UV in the condom so as to kill most of the bugs in it. Tear one or two up and throw it in the gas tank to sabotage an enemy’s vehicle. The fuel pump and filter wont like it one bit. Tampons have been used many times in gun shot wounds with a fair amount of success, expanding and stopping the hemorrhage. They are after all designed to contain bleeding. Even the little piece of string can be used for cordage. A word of caution about gun shot wounds and tampons: God forbid you even have to use one in such a manner, be careful of sucking chest wounds that the tampon doesn’t get sucked into the lung.  Also in the feminine hygiene department, pads are supposed to be good  for dressing wound as well.

Nail Buffer/Emery foam Board

I`ve mentioned these several times in the past. For touching up a knife, even some serious sharpening, I’ve found few sharpening tools to be as practical and light weight as these things. Chopping some wood with a Condor knife I would carelessly chop through the logs and hit the concrete ground, mostly to see how the knife held up when abused rather than just used (did very well). A few minutes with the emery foam board and it was back to razor sharp. If you keep one of these in your kit and touch up your knife after some use you’ll always have your blade ready for duty… and your nails will look fantastic…  :-p


Yes. Pantyhose. They make your manly legs look pretty and you can get them all in a bunch when someone offends you on the internet. Besides that they can be used for a number of purposes such as pre-filtering water, as a more robust water container when used in combination with the condom, as cordage, a tourniquet, improvised vehicle fan belt, pretty good fishing net, cover your scopes lens to avoid reflection, cover your face when you want to avoid detection or freak someone out. Googling about some of the possible uses I found out that many hikers, hunters and athletes actually wear them too because they keep their legs warmer, because they stop ticks, because they like wearing them… Just do me a favor if you ever meet me in person: Don’t ever tell me about it man, I just don’t want to know.

Breast milk bag

When you though this article couldn’t get any weirder I drop this on you. You should have seen my wife’s face when I threw a box of breast milk bags into our shopping cart. She said something like “any other woman would be freaked out if her husband did that, but given that last time you bought tampons for yourself …”. After all the guns, ammo, knives, stuff that burns, stuff that explodes, stuff that runs and then explodes, she’s pretty much used to anything.

These breast milk bags are just awesome! They are like ziplock bags but especially made for containing liquids of course. The bags are of thick material, sterilized and have a double ziplock type of seam that holds liquid without any leaking. Maximum capacity is 8 to 18oz or 250 ml.  to half a liter in general, with markings up to 9oz or 250 ml so as to know how much liquid you have in there. Uses for this? How about the best, most compact water bottle I’ve ever found, and they come like 40 units per box. Given that they are sterilized you could even open one up and cover a burn wound, use it to make a valve along with some duct tape on a sucking chest wound. The bag full of water can be left on the sun for disinfecting water with the SODIS method, just leave it exposed to good sunlight for 6 hours. Of course this is a much better water container than a condom, you can easily open it, drink and close it again.

Hope all this gives you some food for thought. Suggestions? Other uses? FerFAL this article is freaking me out? Its all welcomed.

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Survival Kit: 5 awkward but Useful Items! — 6 Comments

  1. You can make a sucking chest wound “suck less” by placing a (preferably clean) credit card over the wound & securing it with tape asap. Or a petroleum jelly gauze pad from your FAK can be used to occlude the wound. Hopefully this will buy some time until definitive medical/surgical care can be rendered.

    DuraBond or crazy glue can be applied instead of sutures for small linear lacerations.


    • you dont want a credit card for a sucking chest wound, a peice of more flexible plastic, and only tape it on 3 sides so the wound can burp and not collapse the persons lung

  2. I keep all my “little things” in my purse in an old prescription bottle, one time, someone in our family got a prescription that required a taller, fatter, bottle than rx’s usually come in. This means that the bottle now easily holds my magnesium starter, a mini eyeglass screwdriver (the kind with the extra screws inside), a USB drive, assorted zipties, BOBBY PINS!!, tweezers, nail clippers, nail scissors, travel sized DENTAL FLOSS!!, one or two sewing pins wound through felt with eyes large enough for the floss, safety pins-including DIAPER PINS-which are stronger and tougher than any regualer safety pin, and I highly recommend everyone keep 4-6 on hand for stuff-and a few of everything mentioned above. On the outside I’ve wound several feet of multi-duty duct-tape around it, and around THAT, are rubber bands, hair scrunchies, and a couple of carabiners clipped onto the rubber bands. In the end, the whole thing fits into a side pocket of my purse right next to my multi-tool (unless I’m wearing clothing that allows me to have a pocket, hard sometimes when you’re a girl).
    That bundles of miscellaneous “junk” has saved my hide more than once. I’ve unwound the duct tape and used it with a panty liner-think small, thin, feminine hygiene pad-on a really icky bloody wound to protect and absorb blood until the victim could be transported. I’ve used the pantyhose in a pinch to do everything from help turn a rain poncho into a temporary shelter (I didn’t have paracord in my purse, lol), to make a belt for a kid who forgot one and whose pants were falling down-they never forgot again! Nothing life threatening-but you see where these little things can make your day go more smoothly.
    One more thing: When purchasing tweezeers, look for the kind designed particuarly to remove ticks. Remember, you want to get the tick out with out it spewing internal juices into your skin to reduce your chances of getting an infection or something worse, like Lyme Disease. The vets that designed the cool tweezers knew what they were doing, so spend the extra few bucks and buy them. Then take a sec and learn how to use them right.

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