Since it was invented in the 1800s, condoms have been used for many centuries, both as birth control and prophylactic. In the army, a condom is also considered one of the items in a survival kit. It was a standard issue to all members of the U.S. military since the 1930s as protection against sexually transmitted diseases. More than that, these jimmy hats also served an important role during the Normandy invasion in World War II and beyond.

Here are a few of what you can use it for:

Keeping the barrels dry

Barrel protection. Photo from Willow Haven Outdoor.

One of the well-known uses of condoms during the D-Day invasion was to cover the end of the rifles to keep them dry. The weapons are water-resistant, so they won’t immediately get damaged with a few splash of water. However, mud and wet sand in a rifle barrel could destroy the rifle if fired. At Normandy, the troops are expected to go immediately into action of the combat variety and the last thing you want in a war, for sure, is a useless gun.

Protecting the fuses of underwater explosives

The underwater demolition team of the Navy was reported to use condoms to cover the underwater explosives’ fuses. They would put fuses in the condoms until they were ready to be slid into their respective places just before firing them. Of course, these bombs were water-resistant, too, given they were designed for underwater use. Still, it’s not a good idea to soak them up until they’re ready to go.  We are certain that if covers are still used, they are made by Lockheed-Martin or Raytheon and cost ten thousand bucks apiece.

Target Practice

Before the D-Day landings, troops fill condoms with helium or compressed air to make the floating “balloon” practice targets.

Outside the war, the U.S. troops also use condoms for survival hacks.


Water container. Photo from Willow Haven Outdoor.

Water is life, and that’s the number one reason why it should be number one on the list of your survival items. A condom could carry up to two liters of water when properly handled. It is suggested that you use the unflavored, unlubricated type unless you want an odd touch of strawberry flavor in your drink.


No, we don’t mean the dating app. Lubed latex condoms would make a fire starter, so if you find yourself in the middle of a cold, damp, unknown jungle, for instance, you could whip out a condom to start a fire.