Everybody has their “go-to” alcoholic beverage. For me, and a lot of other preppers I know, that is good old-fashioned Kentucky Bourbon.
But that’s not just because we enjoy the kick and the smooth smoky taste – when the chips are down, bourbon can be “lifesaver” in more ways than one!
Here are 8 ways that a good whiskey could be beneficial, and maybe even save your life in a survival situation.
- Fire Starter – Most bourbon brands are around 80 proof (40 percent alcohol by volume), and while this mixture contains more water than ethanol, it’s still flammable. However, because of the water content, it will burn off quickly, so rather than pouring the booze directly on kindling, make a torch by soaking a rag in the booze, and light the torch and then place under the kindling.
- Wound Disinfectant and Sanitizer – Again, because of the high alcohol content of bourbon, it makes it an ideal wound disinfectant and sanitizer for your gear. As a wound disinfectant pour liberally over minor cuts and scrapes or apply with a cloth to larger wounds. To disinfect a knife or other gear that may need to be used for a medical emergency, or to clean after skinning an animal, let it soak for about 5 minutes in a panful of bourbon.
- Making Medicine – Bourbon can be used as the base to make some medicinal tinctures from medicinal plants, such as a wound tincture from Yarrow Root, and a Cold and Flu remedy from Boneset leaves. Dry the plant material then crush the leaves or roots into a tight pack in a mason jar or other sealable container, pour the bourbon over the mash and let stand. The more days or weeks you let it ferment, the stronger the medicine will be.
- Pain Reliever – All by itself, a shot or two of whiskey makes a great pain reliever, for wounds or injuries that may not be relieved by the OTC analgesics found in most first-aid kits.
- Mosquito Repellent – While you can’t “catch a buzz” by rubbing bourbon on your skin, you can keep mosquitos and other “buzzing” pests away by doing so.
- Sleep Aid – In moderation, alcohol, as in a shot or two of bourbon, can bring on sleep. Due to stress, sleep can be hard to come by in a survival situation. But sleep is necessary to keep your wits about you. But limit consumption of whiskey as a sleep aid — too much can disrupt sleep, or leave you hungover upon awakening.
- Weapon – Molotov Cocktail – Lighting a bottle of your favorite Kentucky sour mash aflame and tossing it like this “poor man’s hand grenade,” may seem a waste of fine whiskey – but there may be times when knowing how to make and use this particular “cocktail” could come in handy. Stuff a cotton rag into the neck of your bourbon bottle, light the rag on fire and immediately toss it against a hard surface that will shatter the bottle.
- Valuable Trade Item – In a total SHTF situation, such as the unlikely Zombie Apocalypse, or the more probable economic collapse – a good bottle of whiskey could be a valuable trade item, when cash is no longer king.