How Alcohol Has Been Used Throughout History As A Survival Staple

How Alcohol Has Been Used Throughout History As A Survival Staple

How Alcohol Has Been Used Throughout History As A Survival Staple

Alcohol has been used throughout history in various ways to help people survive.

There are many sources that confirm that during the Civil War, whiskey was used to treat wounds and disease. Whiskey was also used as a pain reliever for wounded soldiers. More importantly, whiskey was used as a cure for various ailments such as headaches, malaria and colds.

Alcohol has proven to be useful in the past in bartering, especially in the 1800s. It was a common ploy to supply a great quantity of alcohol to the Indigenous traders before negotiations began in order to facilitate favorable agreements with them.

Bartering is a common practice where one person trades another person goods or services for something else that they want or need. This can be done in a number of ways but the most common one is exchanging something valuable for something that the other person needs or wants. An example of this is trading a bottle of alcohol for a loaf of bread.

What’s the Best Emergency Use For Alcohol?

Alcohol has a long history of being used due to it’s many useful applications in a variety of situations, both in emergency situations, as well as homesteading and self-sufficiency.

#1 Cleaning and sanitizing

Alcohol can be used as a disinfectant on a variety of surfaces. For the best results, you need to let the alcohol sit for a few minutes and then rinse it with a clean, damp cloth.

It is important to note that you will need a 60% or higher alcohol-by-volume (ABV) drink to fully disinfect.

#2 Starting A Fire

Fire is an extremely important aspect of survival, and alcohol can be very effectively used as a fire starter. The higher the alcohol content, the better it will burn. Alcohol soaked cloth or tinder is very effective as a fire starter.

Another option is to soak wine corks in a jar of vodka. Just make sure to stand back when you toss the match!

#3 Preventing Corrosion

Many survival tools will lose their luster and begin to rust over time.

If you are looking to keep your tools in good working condition, use a cloth and alcohol to regularly clean them. This works well as a solvent for rust prevention.

Another way to clean a messy area is to take some straight vodka and soak rusty screws, nuts, and bolts. Then, wipe them clean.

#4 Soothing Relief

You can use alcohol to soothe pain, or alternatively as a sedative.

A hot toddy is a drink of whiskey mixed with honey to alleviate a sore throat, and to relieve general pain. If you want to make a hot toddy, simply mix whiskey with a bit of honey.

Alcohol can also be used simultaneously as a disinfectant and pain reliever in emergency field medicine.

#7 Improvised Weapon

Self-Defense is an extremely important aspect of survival and homesteading, and alcohol can play an improvisational role in this. Alcohol is highly flammable. You can make a Molotov cocktail using alcohol.  Additionally, if your alcohol is in a glass container, you can break it to use the broken glass bottle as an improvised weapon.

#8 Bartering and Currency

Whether you are in a natural disaster situation or a economic collapse, bartering goods and skills can come in handy. Bartering is a simple method of currency in the absence of an organized economy. It simply involves exchanging goods or services that you have for goods or services that you need from others.

#9 Bug Killer

Bugs are attracted to alcohol, and you can use that fact to kill them. While you may be able to use this for everyday use, it is most useful in emergency situations when you are stranded outdoors and want to prevent bug bites.

Just put out a glass or open container of alcohol and the sugar will attract insects of all kinds, acting as a kind of bug trap.

#10 Skin Care Issues

The use of alcohol to cleanse the skin is a common practice. Alcohol is also used as a facial toner to dry out acne, which is a great thing. However, alcohol can be a great solution for emergency situations.

Many people use alcohol to treat bug bites or other skin ailments. Alcohol is an effective treatment for these types of problems.

#11 Deodorant

Vodka has a drying effect on your skin and the environment and this is why it is a good product to use to kill bacteria and eliminate smells. To use this method to your advantage, use a spray bottle and spray the area of your armpits with a small amount of vodka.

#12 Cleaning

Any survival situation where people are forced to perform surgery outside of the operating room, the first thing to have on hand is alcohol. That’s because alcohol is an effective sterilizer.

The proper alcohol to use in surgical tools disinfection is 70% isopropyl alcohol and chloroform. In the case of field medicine or first aid, the alcohol that can be used is isopropyl alcohol. Anything above 40% ABV can be used to disinfect wounds for first aid purposes, and anything above 60% ABV can be used as surgical alcohol, such as sterilizing surgical tools.

Vodka is a strong alcoholic beverage and contains a high percentage of alcohol. It is an effective cleaner for basic surfaces and is a good disinfectant for wounds and cuts.

#13 Dental Treatment

Alcohol can be used as mouthwash as well as a numbing agent.

Mouthwash is a good way to keep your teeth and gums clean. You can use mouthwash in the morning, in the evening or at bedtime. The alcohol in mouthwash can be used to clean your teeth.

One cup of vodka, nine tablespoons of cinnamon, keep it sealed for two weeks.

Toothbrush and mouthwash can be used to kill bacteria. You should also consider whether you have a toothache, and whether that could be relieved by rubbing alcohol, whiskey, or rum on the area. It can also be used in emergency dental situations, such as a dental emergency.

#14 Preserving Food And Cooking

Not only can you use alcohol in cooking many different kinds of dishes, but adding alcohol to fruit allows you to preserve it for a long time. You can also make different flavored extracts, such as peppermint extract, by soaking herbs in alcohol for one to two months in a dark place, avoiding sunlight.

To make peppermint extract, soak mint leaves in vodka for two to four weeks, then strain and bottle the extract.

How Alcohol Has Been Used Throughout History As A Survival Staple

#15 Celebrating

Having a drink with others is a good way to celebrate, share happiness, and lift morale during times of stress and difficulty. This is a common way to feel joy and boost morale in difficult times.

As you can see, having a variety of different kinds of alcohol in your prepping storage can have multiple uses in many different situations.

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About the Author: CHRIS FRIESEN

I am a gym owner, personal trainer, reality based self-defense instructor (Certified Level 2 Krav Maga), and passionate bushwacker, survivalist and prepper. I've been living on my homestead that sits on 60 lovely wooded acres out in the country in rural Canada for the last 23 years with my wife and 3 kids. I spend much of my time gardening, raising chickens and other livestock, hunting, and honing my bushcraft skills. When I’m not working on one of my many projects (which include trying to decipher current world events) I enjoy relaxing in my hottub with a glass of good bourbon. I hope you enjoy my prepping website, and get some valuable information from it.