Tuesday, July 16, 2013

INFORMATIVE - Why Carry Vodka?

There are many good reasons to carry vodka in your kit, even if only a little, and none of them involve drinking it!


For a long-term bugout, you should aim to carry a lot of it (think Jerry Can) but for the day-to-day survivalist, there are many very good reasons to carry a small flask of it. Since vodka is odourless, it makes for a very easy and comfortable carry.

Why vodka? Why not just alcohol or methylated spirits? Vodka burns much slower and hotter than methylated spirits or pure ethanol, and gives off no odour at all, making it much better for stealth usage and comfort of carry. For medicinal use, vodka has much more potent bactericidal properties to something like isopropyl alcohol, and as such is much more potent. Don't forget the prepper rule: only pack things that have multiple uses! Vodka has more uses than other alcohol varieties, though only when above 100 proof.

The first, most obvious use for it is as a long-burning fuel for heat, cooking and tool sterilization. 120mL of 100 proof vodka will burn for a good 40 minutes in the right type of burner. If you plan on using it this way, it's a good idea to invest in a proper alcohol burner:
If you don't want to go out and buy one, you can build one easily enough out of an old soda can:


We've covered plant uses in a previous article, but you may recall that you can make a fairly decent shampoo out of Aloe Vera. Add a little vodka to that shampoo and it'll become REALLY good shampoo, stripping out any oil buildup and keeping your hair from clotting together and gathering dirt.


Vodka can make cut plants last a lot longer. You may have heard that you can keep flowers alive in vases for much longer by using vodka, but this also goes for foraged food. This way, it acts as a kind of refrigeration system for your gatherings.


If you get burned by poison ivy or stinging nettle, or even by a jellyfish sting, you can significantly ease the pain and discomfort by applying vodka to the affected site. It will also speed the recovery from the damage.


 If you get a cut or other wound and don't want it to get infected, you can disinfect the wound using a light application of vodka. Carrying around a tiny spray bottle can be handy for this.


Vodka is somewhat of a bactericide, and, as such, can be used as an effective deodourizer. Think of it like Febreeze, allowing you to remove odours in clothes and other items by killing off the odour causing bacteria in the fabric. A spray bottle can be handy for this, also. Masking your odour has many more uses than just keeping presentable. If you're hunting game, it can hide your presence from the animal.


Vodka works well to polish equipment. You'd think that's not really a priority in a survival situation, but if you're relying on a survival mirror for signalling, or a fresnel lens for fire starting, then keeping it shiny is of utmost importance.


While it has no Deet in it, vodka, when sprayed on the skin, works as quite an effective insect repellant which can greatly reduce your risk of mosquito or tick-borne diseases.


You can use it as a very effective antiseptic mouthwash (just remember to spit it out again) killing off any mouth bacteria and helping maintain fresh breath. Oral/dental hygeine is something many preppers overlook in their bug-out scenarios.


Walking long distances and spending long amounts of time in boots can lead to some very severe foot problems. Allow your feet a good chance to heal by soaking them in vodka from time to time. It will revitalize the skin, prevent boot chafing and remove bad odours by killing any nasty bacterial buildup.


So go out, buy yourself a hip flask and track down some 100 or 150 proof vodka to keep in it. You never know when it might come in handy!

- CumQuaT

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