While it might be one of the last things you think of after a major disaster or while you’re being chased down by the Undead, maintaining proper hygiene can be key to survival… and taking care of your menstrual cycle is a big part of that. The risk of toxic shock syndrome, unhygienic conditions, physical discomfort, mental duress and potentially attracting a horde of Zombies your way can all be concerns, but properly preparing for what you know is on the way can easily mean the difference between life and death.
Whether you’re at work, home or play, menstrual cycles come and go. While the natural cycle of a woman’s body is different for each individual, most women choose one of the three methods below for handling theirs. Though each method has a time and place, some work better than others when it comes to real world survival and preparedness.
Tampons: Extremely common, inexpensive and easy to use, tampons are a go-to for many survivors on the move, but that doesn’t mean that they are the best option around or that they are even the safest method to use.
While a tampon can offer plenty of protection in a lightweight and easy to carry package, they do have some major downfalls. Often containing contaminates, additives and filler components like fiberglass, perfume and chemicals, tampon users run the risk of serious irritation, discomfort and even infection in some cases. Tampon also require frequent changing to remain effective and safe to use (see: Toxic Shock Syndrome). But the downsides don’t end there. Just like any cotton-based material, tampons are extremely susceptible to water damage, making them highly impractical during many types of real-world survival situations and disasters.
Fortunately, when it comes to tampons for survival it isn’t all bad news. When you look past the intended uses for these little compressed cotton devices, they are capable of much more than you might imagine. On its own, the absorbent portion of a tampon can be used as an incredibly efficient fire-starter, temporary water filter, candle wick and even a fair amount of cordage. When included, tampon applicators can become anything from a fishing bob to a survival straw or water proof housing for your matches and tinder.
All in all while this might be a quick and easy go-to for many individuals, survival situation or not, this wouldn’t be our first choice should you have the option to choose another method of preparation.
Pads: These highly absorbent and relatively inexpensive cotton pads might be available just about everywhere you turn, but that still doesn’t make them the best option… no matter the situation you might be dealing with.
Much bulkier than some other options, pads can present a serious problem when it comes to keeping enough on hand when it comes down to it and you’re on the go. Pads don’t just present the issue of space either, they are extremely uncomfortable to use for long periods of time or when moving over rough terrain and attempting to make it out alive during a real-world survival scenario. In addition to a bulky size and uncomfortable fit, pads are sometimes thought of as somewhat unhygienic and difficult to dispose of. Contaminated with menstrual blood, pads can present a serious threat to the health of both their users and fellow survivors when not properly disposed of… something that can be difficult to cope with when you’re on the move and trying to outlive the undead.
Fortunately, just like tampons, pads can provide more than their intended use. Fantastic for fire-starters, bandages and water filters, this is another simple survival solution for anyone on the move or limited on supplies. While this option works just fine for some scenarios, it still isn’t our top choice when it comes down to it.
Reusable Silicone Cup: More expensive and a little harder to find than their cotton-based counterparts, reusable silicone menstrual cups are worth the search and slightly higher investment. This extremely lightweight and compact option offers the most effective and comfortable option for long-term use, especially during a disaster situation that requires you to be on the move.
Offering the highest level of durability, even in the most extreme conditions, and the lowest level of maintenance, silicone menstrual cups are completely reusable for up to 12 months time (or longer if necessary). This relatively new and highly innovative method provides the best of everything with only one real downfall… they are not multipurpose. There’s no starting a fire, filtering water or using these as a bandage, but a reusable silicone cup is still the best option during a disaster or survival situation… whether or not there are Zombies involved.
In Conclusion: This is a case of quality over quantity. While a classic tampon or menstrual pad might be multi-purpose, they just aren’t the best option for their intended use when dealing with a disaster or other survival situation. Sure, a silicone cup can only do one thing, but it does it exceedingly well and you only need one rather than an entire box. Hands down, the reusable silicone cup is the method of choice for real-world use, even without a disaster on hand… though packing a couple pads or tampons isn’t a bad idea as they can come in handy for OTHER uses like we mentioned before.
This article was co-written by Zombease editor and adviser – Kyna Brockett