Some items that most preppers ignore

Some items that most preppers ignore


Most of what we carry and stock as preppers revolve around two things, food stuffs (seed vaults, canning etc) and defense (Medical supplies, weapons, ammo etc). As a member of the Us Military, we learned early on about a third subset of items that any place should be stocked up on, the “sniffle” gear.

In 2003 my marine battalion engaged in some of the worst fighting the marines has seen since Hue City in 1968. We spent months in the field, no showers, no fresh socks, minimal fresh water, and we were having to wear a MOPP suit (Chemical/Biological protective oversuit) the entire time. Here is a small concise list of items that saved quite a few members of my unit from a variety of ailments.

1)      Gold Bond foot powder or similar- Our feet in Iraq were our lives. The majority of us had severe foot problems when we returned to the states, everything from fungal infections to immersion foot were common problems. A good quality foot powder worked wonders to help slow down and prevent further foot issues when in country. This is a must, if you can move, you can’t fight. A good rub down with foot powder works wonders, and a small shot into your boots will help “decontaminate” them.It works wonders on your “nether-regions” to prevent chaffing and fungal issues, just don’t use the Blue can foot powder. You will regret it, take my word on it. Make sure to air out your bare feet in the sun every day. The UV light will help dry your feet, and the fresh air will help stem the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria.

2)      Tampons and maxi pads- Our Gunny made every one of us keep a few tampons and pads in our kit. The reasoning behind this- instant bullet wound/trauma packing/bandage. They are sterile enough to use for most medical purposes, absorb LARGE amounts of blood, sealed in plastic wrap, and the tampons even have their own plastic applicator. We were trained to locate the wound (in case of GSW’s, locate the entrance and exit wounds) and apply direct pressure using adhesive tape (in our case it was 100mph tape or electrical tape) over the maxi-pad. Works like a field bandage, but is lighter and more convenient. For the GSW’s, we would place a tampon in the entrance and exit wound, place a maxi pad apply direct pressure over the wounds to staunch the blood flow. This was used as a field expedient method of blood loss control, after which we medevac’d our marine to the rear for further treatment.  Its not the best method by far, but is a method that works when the SHTF.

3)      Baby wipes- This is the infantryman’s best friend! When fresh water and soap are scarce, a baby wipe bath feels fantastic. The good thing about baby wipes is the fact that they will stay moist FOREVER as long as the container they are in is sealed. They are cheap (dollar stores carry boxes of them) and they usually have a fresh scent. Its not as good as a shower or bath, but they will help keep you somewhat sanitary, and keeping clean will keep your morale up in a bad situation. In Iraq, we would take a “baby-wipe shower” whenever we had the chance to.

4)      And finally, one of the most used items (not in the desert, but in the woods/swamps of Lejeune NC) TOBASCO SAUCE!- Besides its obvious uses (making MRE’s more edible by actually adding some flavor) Tabasco sauce had a very strange other use. Bug repellent/itch stopper! Down in Camp Lejeune we had severe problems with Chiggers (IE- Red bugs/no-see-ums). Working in the brush, the bugs would imbed in our legs and leave you miserable from itching for days. A quick light rub down on your legs with tobacco sauce works wonders.  It stops any itching that is occurring at that time, and prevents other chiggers/fleas from biting. Doesn’t take a lot, just a small squirt in your hands, rub on the legs. It feels like Icy-hot when you first put it on, as it gets your skin a bit warm from the capsaicin, but it fades rapidly, along with the odor. Usually protects all day.

 By no means is this a complete list, but rather a few items and a few alternate uses for some items you might already have stocked.


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20 thoughts on “Some items that most preppers ignore”

  1. NEVER EVER put a tampon into a bullet wound.

    1. you carry infection/trash into the wound when you insert it.

    2. when removed, it causes more damage to the wound area .

    3. My 2 cents.1971/2013 SF Medic, Fire Dept Medic,Emergency/Disaster Response Medic. I only needed one a$$ chewing from the Doc to understand tampons go into the Happy hole only.

    Best Regards,Ranger Rick

  2. A silly one but if you have kids marshmallows. Cheap. Multi use as a toy and a food. We tend to forget the kids need entertainment and the marshmallow sling shots out of a toilet paper roll and rubber band are pretty simple. Or make s’mores.

  3. I can personally vouch for much of Viper117’s recommendations. I was a powder advocate my whole career in the military. I used the issued powder for my feet (undecylenic) and corn starch baby powder for “nether-regions”. Shower To Shower burned and rashed my “nether-regions” but worked to kill odor in my boots (NOT in the field) and running shoes. The Army made vast improvements in the first aid items issued to individual soldiers in the past decade. For years, each soldier was only given one compressed gauze bandage. Now, they get a whole kit which includes Quick-Clot and several bandages. My family stocks some tampons and maxipads for back up bandages and barter. I cannot say enough good things about baby wipes. They are every Infantryman’s key to personal hygiene! I spent the extra money on Huggies Supreme. They were thicker and more durable. I don’t believe they are still in circulation. We put aside wipes with our survival stock, but I could not find that brand in any store. I think perhaps “One & Done” replaced “Supreme” as Huggies premier brand. I could never eat spicy food, so Tabasco sauce was not something that I carried in my ruck. It was issued with MREs, I remember that. We used “Chig-Away” cream to repel chiggers. I seem to recall that nail polish would suffocate chiggers that had already worked their way under your skin. Nylon stockings were popular in cold weather. They create friction and warmth. They also dried quickly. Good stuff! Thanks Viper117!

  4. Ranger Rick,
    Not to be a wiseass, but put your 2 cents in the piggy bank.
    The streets of SF are a lot different than on a field of combat.
    Worry about infection later, work on keeping from bleeding out first.

  5. Ranger Rick – I think that perhaps it is a better idea to use the tampon then to bleed to death in the middle of the desert?

    Viper 117 – I’m not so sure about baby wipes but arent they pretty much the same as wet wipes? I reason I bring it up is because (while my kids are far to old for me to carry around baby wipes) I do still carry around wet wipes (from eating out) and I use them when I get messy or the kids get messy (rib cook offs etc.,) – the other day I took two out of my purse after finding some nasty goo in my glove box – it had been over 100 degrees for 5 days straight where I live and they were dried up……

  6. Viper 117, wish I had known about Tabasco in 1967, spent three weeks in Camp Lejeune for training before going to Veit Nam, but we have those little critters here in FL, so better late than never, THANKS.

  7. great article- my nephew is a nusre ina trauma ER- he says they use tampons on GSWs a lot- helps stop the bleeding. lets them focus on keeping the patient alive.

  8. RangerRick
    beat me to it. I have heard many horror stories re damage to tissue by expanding tampons in bullet wounds that have to be cut out of the wound. I believe the practise to have developed from an urban myth or Tarintino movie. Guys just break down and get some Celox or Quick-clot. Big believer in Kotex extra, have cases of them bought cheap on sale
    SF is Special Forces not San Fran! Take a first aid course. I’d rather bleed out than die a long lingering painful death from infection.
    Regards, D.

  9. D,
    Im going off what we were taught by our staff and our corpsman. We were also taught not to use Quick Clot- the reasoning behind it is they found it caused more damage when it was cauterizing the wound than it stopped in many cases. All of our new IFAKS have the quick-clot removed. Most of the trauma people Ive met with hate the stuff for a variety of different reasons. Personally Id rather risk the chance of infection I can treat, and deal with something I couldn’t in a SHTF TEOWAWKI situation. Infections can be treated with antibiotics (which is why alot of us stock up on animal/fish antibiotics).
    Jennifer in Reno-
    Baby wipes and wet wipes are usually similar, baby wipes usually are treated with chemicals though to actually cleanse and partially steralize a babys bottom, and to help prevent things like diaper rash etc. I dug through a field pack in our supply warehouse a couple weeks ago that had a really old pack of baby wipes still sealed, and they were still wet and usable.
    Irish 7-
    Yeah I second the note about nylon stockings- aka panty hose. They also work in the summer time under your BDU’s/ACUs/Cammies or whatever your branch of service decides to call them these days, to keep critters from getting to your skin. Anytime you can prevent a persistant problem like bug bites, with a fix thats less than what most people would think of as normal, is a good day.
    Thanks for the comments gents! Hoo-ra!

  10. D., considering you are already infected by the bullet that just went though you, I’ll take my chances on the tampax.
    Better than the arrow and gunpowder scene in Rambo III for the wannabe snakeeaters out there.
    Do what you got to do with what you got and then get medical attention if available.
    If not, we’ll hum Amazing Grace over your grave.

  11. Hey, coming from a retired RN, I’d rather have that tampon in a bleeding GSW than someone holding their dirty hand or trying to stop the bleeding with even a maxipad. Granted, you can keep adding those maxipads as the wound bleeds, but that bleeding needs to be tamponaded (no pun intended) to stop the bleeding rather than waiting for the clotting mechanisms to occur. It’s going to take surgery to remove the bullet, they can remove the tampon then too. Think about where that wound is and what might have been damaged. If there’s arterial bleeding, forget the infection and get that tampon in.

  12. I’m old and forgetful, but didn’t I see a video of “the patriot nurse” where she spoke of a gun shot that was through and through, and only trying to plug one hole? Can someone comment on this?

  13. OK, now I’m really off in the weeds.
    There are conflicting reports here re: tampons AND quick clot from some posters who’s comments and experience that I respect.
    It is a bit hard to generalize given that supply, equipment and skill levels are unknown. I understand that. So…what to do?
    I understand that Quick clot has addressed the earlier exothermic problem (burns to surrounding tissue) and the tampon cure still makes me uncomfortable. The vids of QC tests, stopping femoral bleeding in a pig are very impressive.
    I have a meds and equipment stores that would make a small community clinic envious so… I guess the answer is, get training and then supply yourself with materials at least to the level of training that you are comfortable with.
    Regards all, D.

  14. I think tampons are fine as a back up bandage, but I would use a battle dressing first and foremost, its a matter of preference to the individual, I have a large and extincive medicals stores prepped and ya there are tampons in it.

  15. D,
    I really think it all boils down to one- what do you have on hand. Two- what have you been trained to do, and three- what can you Mcgyver to fix the situation. Every remedy, from Quick-Clot, to Tampons, to Israeli compression bandages (AWESOME piece of kit btw) have there drawbacks. If it is a matter between life or death though, use what you have and make the best of it!

  16. Would like to add a little something about the Tabasco Sauce. It is a Cayanne Tincture. And Cayanne will stop a heart attack in 10 seconds taken orally. It will also stop bleeding from an injury including knife and bullet wound in seconds when taken orally and or topically. I encourage every soldier to carry a small bottle in their first aid kit, and so should you.


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