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Plan and Prepared welcomes Ben Brown. Ben is the owner of The Prepping Guide. Involved in the military for many years, Ben writes about personal security, preparedness, prepping, survival, self-sufficiency and readiness for safety. Both physically and digitally.

Going about your daily life, you probably aren’t all that concerned about what would happen should a nuclear bomb fall on your city, or a vicious bear run rampant through your long weekend campsite, but maybe you should.

As it’s always best to be prepared, putting together an arsenal of survival tools could prove to be incredibly useful. But what do you include in this goody bag? Here are a few of the most surprisingly useful survival tools you haven’t even thought about.

Despite their adult-orientated intended use, condoms can be used for more than just personal pleasure. In fact, they can come in handy in a variety of survival situations. Due to their extreme elasticity, condoms can be great for carrying water, with two condoms offering enough room to store an adequate supply of water for a single person for a whole week. (Be sure to get the unscented/unlubed.)

They can also be tied and stretched into ropes, used to keep kindling dry, used to start fires, turned into slingshots for catching small animals, and much much more.

A small metal pot such as a 2-quart pot is an essential survival item that commonly goes unnoticed. A pot, even one this small, is a handy cooking and sterilization tool. Of course, it can be used to cook small portions of stew or boil water to make it safe for consumption, but it can also be used to boil objects and items that have been contaminated to sterilize them.

ChapStick, much like the bulky containers of Vaseline, can be used to form a barrier over cuts and scrapes, stop minor bleeds such as those from cuts, protect your skin from becoming chapped in extreme hot or cold weather, and to help difficult kindling light easier.

Its tube can also be hollowed out and use to store matches, Q-tips, pills, and a homemade fishing kit that consists of a small hook and fishing line.

Used for more than simple dental hygiene, floss is a handy survival tool. Since it has such a small width, it can be used as fishing line, to sew or mend clothing, or be made into a snare to trap small animals for food. Selling for under $3 per pack, floss is both affordable and versatile.

Although you may not want to cart around a bag of bubble wrap, if you happen to have some should an emergency arise, it may just save you. Bubble wrap can be used as insulation for food and to keep you dry if you happen to find yourself dealing with rainy weather or temperatures below zero.

Bubble wrap has been proven to be 70% as effective as three sweaters in terms of keeping the human body warm.

Click here for more info on Gillnets

Garbage bags should be included in your survival kit. They’re handy for not only keeping your belongings in one spot, but also for keeping them dry, making a shelter out of, wearing as a rain poncho, for sitting on the dirty ground, and as a sleeping bag during chilly nights. A garbage bag sleeping bag may not sound warm and will look anything less than stylish, but its material actually works very well as insulation.

Powdered milk, despite its seemingly odd relationship with the other items on this list, is an incredibly handy survival item. When prepared, it’s high in essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins, which can keep you strong and healthy through times of food shortage. In addition, it has an incredibly long shelf life and if sealed, will remain safe to use for a long time.

A strong glue such as Super or Krazy Glue is a smart item to add into your survival kit. It can be used to repair damaged shoes, stop sweaters and warm blankets from coming apart, prevent string or rope from fraying. In an extreme emergency situation, it can be used to seal wounds. However, this isn’t generally advised unless its a life or death situation.

Yes, tampons can be used for their intended purpose. However, they can also be used -as they are made up of four distinct parts- for a variety of other purposes. They can be used to make a fishing bobber. The cotton can be used as a bandage, as kindling, or to make a blowgun dart.

There is a use for every part of the tampon if you’re feeling resourceful.

Survival isn’t cut and dry. Often times it’s messy, whereas more often than not it’s a choice. Survival kits and preparedness items aren’t so simple either- but the objects inside of them are as simple as a condom, a tampon, and a package of your favorite minty floss.

For more on safety and survival gear, be sure to check out these articles:

10 items to stock long term

5 items you don’t want to stock long term

7 Manual Kitchen Tools That Work with No Power

6 Things You Should Throw in Your BOV’s Trunk When Bugging Out

10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper

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By: Ben Brown

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