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Survival Gear: 5 Uses for High Proof Alcohol

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December 20, 2012
Survival Gear: 5 Uses for High Proof Alcohol - 5

Moonshine seems to be all the rage again, thanks to some interesting documentaries and one very popular Discovery Channel show. Besides drinking some white lightning for recreation, there are several practical reasons to keep alcohol in mind as a survival commodity.

Here are my top five survival uses for high-proof hooch:

1. Stove fuel: Maybe you have an alcohol-burning camp stove, or your made one like the beer can stove in our survival by beer gallery (link). For that type of stove, you’ll need some very high-proof liquor (like Everclear, if you can legally get it where you live) to efficiently cook your food and boil your water. It burns slower and cooler than most other stove fuels, but it’s not a permanent mess if it spills in your backpack or vehicle. Alcohol evaporates very quickly. If it’s only going in the stove, you can buy denatured alcohol at the hardware store. This blend of alcohol is cheaper, legal, readily available, and it burns very well.

2. Wound management: It’s going to hurt, but alcohol could be used as an aggressive disinfectant on topical wounds. This is a pretty rough way to practice field medicine, but it is on the table as a last resort.

3. Pain management: From broken legs to broken hearts, lots of folks find solace in a sip or two of the good stuff. It’s not a perfect pain killer, but it may be all you have in a pinch. Just make sure your booze is the drinking kind. Denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol, methanol, and many other alcohol products are toxic.  

4. Bartering: Whether you drink alcohol or don’t, there will always be plenty of folks around who will want some. In the event of a prolonged disaster, alcohol (along with cigarettes and caffeine) could be a very valuable trade good.  

5. Gear disinfectant: You could disinfect your gore-covered knife, the dirty drinking hose to your Camelback, or a host of other filthy things with some high-test booze. Think of it as hand sanitizer for everything else.

Ever had a shot of whiskey for pain, poured vodka on a wound, or made a beer can camp stove? Let us hear about it in the comments. 

Comments (5)

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from BiggBucks 1/3/2013 at 11:50am

what would the minimum proof need to be? this is a crucial fact that many readers may need to know. I believe that anything over 50% will burn.

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from Josey 12/27/2012 at 09:11am

"Angels of mercy have come to Santa Rio!"

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from Josey 12/26/2012 at 12:12pm

I like to keep some around and re-enact the scene from Josey Wales when he goes in the bar and asks for whiskey and beer and there is none. Then, Josey goes back out to the horses and brings in the Comanchero whiskey for everyone.

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from Bob Hansen 12/20/2012 at 05:16pm

Hi...

Alcohol...like a shot of gin, for example...may be just the perfect means of lessening a tooth ache until proper dental care becomes available.

Just place a shot of it on the aching tooth and keep it there as long as you can stand it. What you do with it afterward is up to you...!!

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from Blue Ox 12/20/2012 at 12:33pm

I use grain alcohol to clear my sinuses.
It's called everclear for a reason.

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from Bob Hansen 12/20/2012 at 05:16pm

Hi...

Alcohol...like a shot of gin, for example...may be just the perfect means of lessening a tooth ache until proper dental care becomes available.

Just place a shot of it on the aching tooth and keep it there as long as you can stand it. What you do with it afterward is up to you...!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox 12/20/2012 at 12:33pm

I use grain alcohol to clear my sinuses.
It's called everclear for a reason.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josey 12/26/2012 at 12:12pm

I like to keep some around and re-enact the scene from Josey Wales when he goes in the bar and asks for whiskey and beer and there is none. Then, Josey goes back out to the horses and brings in the Comanchero whiskey for everyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josey 12/27/2012 at 09:11am

"Angels of mercy have come to Santa Rio!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BiggBucks 1/3/2013 at 11:50am

what would the minimum proof need to be? this is a crucial fact that many readers may need to know. I believe that anything over 50% will burn.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

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