Alcohol is a product of the fermentation of sugars wherein they are converted into methanol and ethanol. Methanol is toxic and even deadly to humans, while ethanol is the ingredient used in alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic drinks vary in alcohol content. For example, beer contains a very low amount of alcohol, while vodka and whiskey have about 40 percent or more. Those with the 40 percent and more alcohol content become non-perishable substances. On the other hand, those with less alcohol are often perishable and cannot be used for many survival purposes. For this reason, those with higher alcohol content are more useful in emergencies.
Much like rubbing alcohol, substances like hard liquor can serve as a disinfectant. In such substances, their high alcohol content that prevents them from going rancid also kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This means that the use of alcohol covers everything – from cleaning a moldy room to disinfecting surgical equipment before a procedure. When disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, scalpels, and other tools, it is better to submerge them in drinking alcohol instead of just wiping or spraying them down. Mixing alcohol with water can also kill any bacteria that might be in it, so you can use it to purify questionable drinking water. Overall, it can be used to sanitize almost anything from potential infection of biological nature.
While alcohol can clean almost anything, it should not be used to disinfect wounds as it can increase bleeding. Still, alcohol has many other medicinal uses. Drinking small amounts of alcohol can have some psychological benefits. It can reduce anxiety and help with insomnia. In some cases of potential food poisoning, alcohol consumption can kill the bacteria in the digestive tract before they can cause harm. Alcohol is also an effective toothache reliever. Just apply alcohol to the gums to stop the pain. Using alcohol as a mouthwash can also resolve a throat bacterial infection.
Alcohol is flammable and has relative stability as a substance. Therefore, it can be used for lighting devices. Alcohol lamps typically look and work in the same way as oil lamps, except they run on alcohol.
Alcohol can be used as a substitute for vehicle gas fuel, especially when there is enough alcohol in a spirit or some other liquid. Pouring it in a car will enable it to run like it would when using gasoline. However, there are some issues with this approach, and it can damage the vehicle in the long run. Still, it is flammable enough to be used as actual fuel for short-term uses and emergencies.
In a survival setup, a bottle of spirit can easily be used as a weapon like a Molotov cocktail. Just soak a rag with alcohol and add it to the bottle’s opening. Light the rag and throw the bottle. As soon as it shatters, the rag will ignite the content and spread a patch of flame across a substantial surface.
This makes alcohol a direct-attack weapon and a means of area denial. Having access to a stockpile of Molotov cocktails is both an effective means of defense and a great deterrent.
Having access to working firearms is important in any survival situation, and alcohol plays an important role in the maintenance of firearms. It can be used to prevent rust and clean even the most delicate parts of a gun, rifle, revolver, or any weapon. It also has no risk of damaging the weapon. Therefore, spirits and liquor are ideal for cleaning a weapon if you have no regular cleaning kit.
Find more ways of using alcohol in a pinch at Survival.news.