Drugs during long term survival situations (Part I: Alcohol)

Today most people drink alcohol because they want to get away sometimes from hard reality or just to have some short good time. Another simple reason many people drink in my country is they have been scared, or they just can not take it any more.

Why did drugs become more important during the war?

In hard times people experience lot of different emotions. Fear, courage, anxiety, crazyness or not logical bravery and so on. Fighting to survive was also new feeling for most. People needed something to melt all that together, thats why drugs were so important.

When you are inside your head in complete chaos, so many different emotions, using drugs to get away from everything to get one feeling that you know, even if feeling is not real and just you taking something, it is relief. It feels like you get to place you are familiar with in world that is full of chaos and suffering.

Alcohol becomes your very good friend, it became mine too. It was ticket to short ride somewhere else from very bad reality. Everybody drink or (and) smoke marijuana in that time, but more about marijuana in next post.


Alcohol has many good sides. It is useful for hygiene or to trade or give as present.

It was not very valuable compared to some other items, but you could go out with few liters and almost always find something to trade and possibility to trade at all mattered often more than having something with high value but only few people want / need it.

Lot of things needed to be suppressed in that time, so alcohol was something like emergency vent, preventing folks from exploding.

Somebody used it to laugh in situation where there is no too much reason to laugh, other people used it to cry out some things they were holding back.

One of the guys from my street became completely other person when he was drunk.

He was big scary looking man, very hairy man like some kind of Neandertal man, and usually nobody wants to argue with him when he was sober, even when he was not armed.

He had a hands like small shovels and whatever weapon he hold, it looked somehow small in his hands. Anyway kind of guy who you wanna have on your side, not on other side.

But whenever he drank, I mean whenever he got really drunk / wasted he turned in some kind of „unknown poet“. He was all about „cruel life“ and sad stories and crying. At first few times for us it looked funny for us, and we cry from laughing and kidding him.

But after some time it becomes spooky and sad even for us to look at that big man crying like a baby and whining about everything. But no doubt it helped him to get some things from his mind out.

But actually we all use alcohol for that, some of us cried and other laugh. We all used it for venting. To get some order in our chaotic mind and let things out.

Whoever did not cry then, cried later when everything ended. Nobody could run away from that.

Before you start talking about bad examples and bad influence of alcohol I must say that we used it also for hygiene a lot. In most of the situations for common folks first aid items meant alcohol and some clean rugs. So it was common to use it for disinfection and cleaning of wounds, cuts scrapes etc.

Also if you have to eat something quick with your hands, quickest and sometimes only way was to clean your hands with alcohol.

Whatever you think about alcohol, about how dangerous it is for man, society etc. you must understand that when SHTF it is gonna be very important because of so many reasons, and good idea is to have it, no matter if you drink or not.

People here drink a lot, when somebody is born and when someone died, and in every possible occasion in the middle of those two events, so when SHTF people want to have some kind of connection with „normal“ time. Alcohol was easiest way to get that connection.

This is also something to think about when you stock items for trade. What is most common “comfort items” in your area or culture? Coffee? Cigarettes? In Asia maybe soy sauce or chili. These things will be good for trading.

My uncle was a heavy drinker in that time, every day he drank in order to get himself to function in that hard new world. It helped him to hold his mind together and survive. And he was good. He did his part of job great and we all could rely on him in every moment.

But without alcohol he became useless and ruined, so he just had to drink. After everything ended he stopped with drinking almost completely, but that could not save him from losing one of his kidney, and getting some serious liver condition.

Not to mention PTSD. Things catch up, if you numb yourself with drugs or not.

Everyone paid for that time sooner or later. So for folks who drink a lot in that time alcohol was not golden solution, but it was one of the easiest solution to go trough all little bit easier.

I drink beer or two, from time to time, the years when I waste myself in order to feel better about some things are behind me, but I still have lot of alcohol in my storage, and try always to keep numbers of stored alcohol rising.

With bottle of alcohol you can make a good friend from possible enemy. Of course you need some good attitude, I’ve seen that many times.

Once I got myself in fight with guy over some tree that needed to be taken down in the back of my house for firewood and we could not agree is it belonging to me or him (it was on public property) and in the middle of pulling out our knives he lost his small bottle from his pocket. I asked him then „look man, lets drink few rounds from that thing and have some kind of agreement, it is better then to use knifes“ and we did that.

How are you stocked up with alcohol? What role does alcohol play in your preparations and how do you plan to use it? Just write in comments.

61 responses to “Drugs during long term survival situations (Part I: Alcohol)”

  1. Forrest says:

    after reading your article, I can see how alcohol can be useful, however, I would like to think I could rely on Jesus Christ for help in time of need, as the Bible points out. I’m not opposed to stocking up on alcohol for bartering & cleaning. Thank you for sharing in all these articles of your experiences. It will prove to be quite helpful in the future. ~Forrest

    • T Keaton says:

      Truth, Forrest.Know God, know peace—no God, no peace.

      • grower says:

        I agree. The only true source of peace is in the Lord. I see alcohol as a useful antiseptic and barter item, should we find ourselves in a desperate situation. And it’s not that hard to make. I heard once that men in prison used to save up bits of fruit from the chow line, throw them in a bag, and let them ferment. A crude form of alcohol, but with just a little bit of studying on the Internet, we could all probably figure out how to build a still. I remember reading “Alas Babylon,” a post-apocalyptic classic written in the fifties, and the main characters built a still. Their doctor treasured the alcohol when most other medical supplies ran out.

    • John says:

      Good point Forrest. Without Jesus Christ there is no hope. You have no one to call on in a fix or to see you through a bad situation. He’s there in the midst of any turmoil and is epecially tenative to the his faithful. I’ve been on the side of Christ for 14 years now and he’s never once abandoned me. The Alcohol and drug abuse of course would cause alot of witless trouble, sorrow and death. I’d rather have my wits and be vigilant

    • Aaron says:

      The problem with this is, there are many things in the bible that are untrue, and many things that just can’t be believed based on evidence. One example is the worldwide flood. There is no evidence in the rock strata for a worldwide cataclysmic flood, and also there isn’t enough water to cover the entire earth 5 miles deep(the height of Mt Everest).

      There are historical mentions of a large flood in the mediteranean sea, which is probably what is being talked about in the Bible. It is pretty easy to see back then, that people might consider that a worldwide flood.

      I think religion has its purpose, but for me, believing in something that I know to be untrue would bring no comfort.

  2. David says:

    I can’t say that alcohol is important to us. We drink socially which means mostly when we dine out and only occasionally did we fix a drink at home. A fifth of vodka has lasted us over a year before – from one holiday season to the next. However, after the recent election, my wife and I drank a fifth of vodka in a week, which is a lot for us. You are right, when you get depressed a drink or two helps. I believe I will stock up on a few bottles.

  3. STEVE BONZAI says:

    It is better to learn how to make alcohol before SHTF.

  4. DaveP says:

    Alcohol is *very* important for preppers.

    Consider the scenario TSHTF:

    Big-time gas stations will be empty in hours (ie: Hurr. Sandy)

    The only source of gas will be the out-of-the-way places – the greasiest, dirtiest, most run-down places. And guess who works there? Bubba.

    So…everyone needs gas. The preppie boys in BMW’s waving fists of federal reserve notes will be laughed at by Bubba. The preppers offering ammo to trade might be served at first, but our guy Bubba was already stocked with ammo to begin with – he’s got enough. As long as silver will buy anything, which might not be the case in TEOTWAKI, the preppers offering 5 silvers to fill his gas can will get his attention….

    The prepper offering 4 silvers and a pint of Jack Daniels will GET HIS GAS.

    Just sayin’
    PGH PA

  5. Ron McClain says:

    Because of my religion we do not drink alcohol.I only keep a small amount on hand.It is for making medicine.If you have healing herbs it is a good way to extract ,concentrate and preserve the healing parts of the plant.I do know how to make more if needed.

    • Beverly says:

      We don’t drink either since we are Christians but keep Everclear, vodka and brandy around for making herbal medicines. I want to get some Scotch whiskey for medicine making also. Alcohol is the best way for extracting medicine from plants. I’m learning all the plants that grow wild in our area for food and medicine.

  6. AZDuffman says:

    I have been thinking of this as I build my “prep bank” of foodstuffs and other items. Alcohol and other drugs can be very valuable in trade. I don’t use or condone drug use, but look around. People in the inner cities have traded their food and other valuables for their fix. Even in college I knew people who valued a beer more than food. Better to be the suplier.

  7. SkJohn says:

    Mankind’s desire for alcohol goes back to the beginning of civilization and maybe earlier. I think it would be a very desirable item for many and would be a highly sought after item for trade but, for use for medical purposes, why not just stock up on the proper supplies for that need?

  8. john says:

    The best alcohol to store for SHTF is alcohol that is so strong it will light on fire and burn. This alcohol can be used as fuel to start a fire. Everclear is the strongest. I believe you need at least 100 proof to burn, but maybe it is 150 proof. I can’t remember for sure. Everclear is 190 or 195 proof alcohol. 200 proof is 100% pure alcohol. I used to keep a half dozen to a dozen bottles of everclear in my basement but I stopped replenishing my supply and it gradually got used up as fuel in my zippo lighter and as charcoal lighter fluid and to sterilize beer-making equipment, and also I drank some of it.

    There are several uses for everclear or pure alcohol.

    You can use it as fuel, to sterilize things, as a solvent to clean things, as a solvent to extract medicinal substances from plants, and there is one more thing that no one knows anymore but was a common use in the old days. On a very hot day when old people get heat stroke, before air conditioning was invented and before electricity…people would pour pure alcohol on the person that is too hot. The alcohol evaporates very fast and cools the person quickly. If there is no air conditioning and no ice available because there is no electricity in SHTF, then the old trick of pouring alcohol on the person is the only way to cool them down very quickly. Yes, it is a fire hazard. But it is better than dying of heat stroke. Do not do this to a person if there is flame or fire or spark near by.

    • Phlogiston says:

      It is important to know that 95% alcohol (Everclear) is the highest concentration that is suitable for consumption. You can only get 100% alcohol by chemical treatment that makes it dnagerous for consumption. In a SHTF scenario, industrial supplies of alcohol could be pilaged. These would be dangerous to consume. Someone offering you 200 proof alcohol for barter would not necessarily know this.

      • pdxr13 says:

        200 proof is “merely” 100% (or is in a sealed container, but will rapidly drop to 95% after opening as it attaches airborne water) alcohol and is often referred to as “Technical Grade” or “Lab Grade” Ethanol. It is not denatured, but it is very strong (twice as strong as 100 proof Vodka). If you intend to ingest it, it should be diluted at least with one part of water or juice to make it 50% or less strength. PMEL punch is a classic USAF beverage.

        DO NOT EVER INGEST ANY ALCOHOL MARKED “DENATURED”. Methanol is very dangerous when consumed or inhaled in more than microscopic quantities, so if using it for solvent or fuel USE PROTECTIVE DEVICES including fire extinguishers close at hand.

        +1 on everything mentioned by Selco.

        Cheers (clink), in moderation.

    • Tim says:

      burning drinkable is bad. Just stock some hand sanitizer for fuel. That stuff burns nice.

  9. Dianne Finnegan says:

    I don’t drink alcohol, but I do plan on having some for bartering. I have children who are teens and I don’t want them thinking it’s ok to go get drunk whenever things get tough, I want them to realize that we need to work together as a family to make it through the rough times and depend on God for protection etc. . .

    • Selco says:

      For a start, good idea is to have alcohol in your preparing, later when time come everyone is gonna decide how it is gonna be used. Of course i am not saying that alcohol is solution for all problems. Very often i see how it destroys man, and his family too. So it is not solution for everything. But it is good to think about importance of it.

  10. JoelC says:

    >>>The alcohol evaporates very fast and cools the person quickly<<<

    Although this seems to be sound advice, it is actually a waste of your alcohol, and possibly deleterious for the patient. Far better to use room temperature water (tepid) and fan air over the patient. You could put a small amount of alcohol in the water to enhance the evaporative cooling effect, but pure (80 – 100%) alcohol may actually become too cool on the skin and partially block the vasodilation of the superficial capillary system, thus impeding the "cool down" effect of the quickly evaporating alcohol.

    • john says:

      horse dung

    • Jacques says:

      This comment must have come from someone who has waisted their youth by studying too much. They obviosly should have spent more time in bars, the Range, and barber shops where biomechanics and biochemistry are are relegated to the status of “not really important, because none of us understand it”

  11. Warrior53 says:

    Personally I don’t drink anymore. I also think it’s a bad idea to have something that can alter someone behavior. Alcohol cost me the best job I ever had, Deputy Sheriff. Nothing happened to cause me misconduct, I had escaped through the bottle after suffering major personal loses. I should have turned to the Lord for comfort, but did NOT!

  12. Richard Stone says:

    Hello Everybody,

    All I can say is, LEARN TO MAKE ALCOHOL, BEER, WINE etc..

    You can use it for fuel, fire, antiseptic, hygene, solvent, tinctures, and MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great trade / barter item.

    Everyone will want some and be willing to pay a high price for it.

    Here is some information and people to get you started.


    For full details, read the rest of http://homedistiller.org/

    Also, join the and READ the forums Homedistiller Forums
    This ‘parent’ site contains a wealth of informtion, but is somewhat static. The forums are VERY dynamic, and cutting edge.

    Check that its legal to distil in your country (it probably ain’t).

    Make sure you clearly understand what you’re doing.

    Make or buy a decent still. Only use a POT still if you intend on making whiskey/schnapps etc (ie flavoured by the mash). Use a REFLUX or FRACTIONATING still to make neutral (tasteless) alcohol to flavour up later.

    To prepare 18-20 L of wash for use ….

    Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65oC, and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75oC, then strain off and keep liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050).

    Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60 g of nutrients in 20 L of water

    Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 – 1.07.

    Cool the wash to below 30oC, then add hydrated yeast.

    Ferment the wash at a constant 25oC until airlock stops bubbling.

    Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into the still.

    Bring up to boiling temperature (start the cooling water through the condensors once you get to about 50-60oC), then once it has started distilling;

    Discard the first 50 mL’s (this may contain some methanol),

    Collect the next 2-3L of distillate.

    Segregate the distillate into 500 mL containers as you collect it.

    Stop distilling once the temperature gets to 96oC (else the flavours get nasty).

    Set aside any distillate which smells of tails/fusels. This can be added to the wash of the next run, and cleaned up then.

    Turn off the power, then the cooling water. Open the lid, so that it doesn’t create a vacuum inside the still & crush it. Wash up the still, dry it well, and then store/hide the pieces.

    If you’ve made a neutral spirit, dilute it down to 30-50 % purity, then soak it with carbon for a week or two to help clean up any flavours still present.

    Dilute it down to drinking strength (20-40%), then age and flavour the spirit, using either commercial essences, oak chips, fruits.

    Find a comfortable spot to sit, put on your music of choice, then sip & enjoy with the ones you love.
    If you have any questions, ask them on the Homedistiller Forums.

    This is a very active group of people, and questions are answered rapidly.

  13. Chuck B says:

    Don’t forget that mouthwash – Listerine, and most generics – are about 43 proof (41.5%), and exempt from Alcohol Revenue taxes. You probably don’t want to drink it, but it is much cheaper than vodka etc. and will serve most of the non-beverage uses well enough.
    If you cobble together a basic still, you could make beverage-grade alcohol from it.
    Also, last time I checked, Everclear was similar in cost to vodka. When my wife worked in a clinic (she’s a nurse), they used Everclear in place of laboratory-grade alcohol because it was as good or better, it was readily available down the street at the liquor store (rather than ordering from the chemical-supply house with days wait for delivery), and cheaper too!
    Vodka is 80-proof straight-grain alcohol. Everclear is 190+proof straight grain alcohol. A pint of Everclear with 3-1/2 pints distilled water will, in effect, give you almost 3 fifths of vodka, but cheaper and easier to store. Keep it clean and at 80 proof or better, and no-one will care if it comes in a mason jar.
    BTW, 80 proof will readily ignite/burn. I’ve poured it into my hand and lit it to demonstrate how it is the FUMES – not the liquid – that burns, without damage. (Don’t wait too long to extinguish it, though – the radiant heat DOES travel downwards, though not nearly as fast as the flame travels up.) Alcohol fuel dragsters usually run on 140 proof – remember that next time you sip a 151 Rum, or a shot of Everclear!
    Thank you Selco for all you share with us.
    Chuck B

    • Chuck B says:

      about 43 proof (41.5%)
      Sorry, I meant (21.5%).

      Chuck B

    • Tim says:

      get a small mason jar, put in 3 tbsp of honey, 1Cup of apple juice and top it off with ever-clear. People go ape over it, women love it.

      IF you stockpile some powdered apple cider mix, put that in to get the apple juice flavor.

      And if you are worth anything in SHTF you know how to raise bees, so you have honey….

      If someone likes Gin you can simulate a bad gin with everclear and edible pine needles…

      Learn how to make infusions, and how to make moonshine sn you will be the king of the wastelands.

  14. sunflower says:

    Yes. This is good topic.

    Alcohol very important in my area. Women like wine and Tequilla. Men like beer and whisky.

    Wine in my area is not made to last very long – not good for more than 2 years or so. I buy 1 pt whisky in plastic containers. I like glass better, but price on plastic is better. Vodka is good too, and I have some.

    I get generic brands of whisky and vodka. I have a couple dozen pints total. Working on 2 to 4 dozen pints of each. I keep the sauce in out-building at farm. I am not good drinking person. I got hooked many years ago – went to Alcoholics Anonymous and stayed with that program – over 30 years now. I was nervous some to buy alcohol for SHTF preps. I have it in semi-hard place to get out (near rats). I figure if I lose my mind and try to drink, maybe rat problem change my mind.

    I mainly think of booze for barter, as cash commodity, or as a donation/gift to a person that needs the sauce to function or to kill pain. Alcohol is good idea when basic preps are done. I hope I never drink again. Would be better off dead in my case – I am much too sensitive to it. Makes me sad and crazy. Not a good time to Crave Booze during SHTF, bad idea during good times too.

    I like recommendation to consider Listerine and mouthwashes for anticeptic needs. I forgot about washing hands with alcohol as an option. I can see that would be important if toilet paper runs out.

    Great Topic Selco!. Thankyou.

  15. Tim says:

    @ Richard Stone – Thanks for that info! It’s like you and Selco are both reading my mind. Like Ron McClain, I use 100% vodka to make medicinal tinctures for my own personal use. This is something that I medicinally NEED. I don’t drink it for social purposes. With the economy getting worse and work simply not available, I can’t afford $30/liter anymore. So I started looking into making my own. In junior high school I remember making a methanol still that actually took me all the way to the state science fair. I think that experience is about to pay off. Look for me to show up on the homedistiller forum soon! I’ll need all the help I can get.

    • grower says:

      I use Vodka to make elderberry syrup. The elderberries grow wild around here, and elderberry stops replication of the flu virus. It’s as effective as Tamiflu when taken as the first symptoms of flu become apparent. I get the cheapest bottle I can get. I know the cashier in the liquor store wonders about a healthy-looking granny comes in asking for the “cheapest Vodka you’ve got”! It’s not too expensive here…I think maybe $4-5 for a fifth.

  16. grannr says:

    as a 72 yr old grqnny all comments were interesting to me. Never to old to learn new ideas Had never thought to much about alcohol to store up but now do. THANKS guys ,will now get a few bottles to my colection for surviving a little longer.

  17. valeraivanoff80 says:

    Legalize all drugs!!!

  18. Jaele says:

    There is NO such thing as a “god”, nor “gin, demon, spirit, etc.”….. THAT mythical belief won’t save you in any situation. I suppose that convincing oneself (despite the evidence to the contrary) that there is a magical man in the sky who is protecting you may be comforting enough for those who wish to go the “pretend” route….
    That being said, I don’t see a problem with having a stock of liquor for a few good reasons (hygiene, sterilization, relaxation)….. Stress releases a very toxic hormone called “Cortisol” that really is something we should consider relieving. Getting together w/family-friends and sipping a beverage isn’t such a bad idea. Getting drunk, drinking in excess is always a bad idea…. Just be responsible and conservative with it….

    • grower says:

      I know God. I did not invent him. He met me in August 1972, in such a real way that I could never say he isn’t there. Could I turn my back on him? Maybe. But that would be like denying my own children. Worse, really, because denying him has eternal impact. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the price for all of us, so we can know the Father. And I guarantee you, he’s there.

    • SonOfSam says:

      Hey there Jaele,
      I was once a hard core atheist; I denied the existence of GOD and the soul, and I made sure that everyone knew it. I thought that intelligence was the measure of one’s humanity; below a certain level, and you weren’t really a person, while the smarter you were, the more human you were. Naturally, since I was the smartest person in the history of the universe, that made me the “most human”… all of evolution led up to me!

      Needless to say, I was a complete and utter douche.

      In any event, I got over my bad self, partly by thinking about various topics in quantum mechanics… I came to the conclusion that the existence of GOD is not merely comforting, but also eminently logical. It was bothersome to realize that I wasn’t the center of the universe, but I got over it.

      So here’s my proposal to you: I say that we BOTH get what we want. Sounds pretty tolerant and fair, right? So here’s what it is: GOD exists for me, but you’re on your own. When bad shit happens to me, I have an ally in my corner; when bad shit happens to you, it was all an accident anyway, and again, you’re on your own. When I die, I go to paradise and see my dead relatives; when you die, you lay in the ground and rot.

      See how much fun it is when we both get what we want? No pressure on you to change your mind, no endless arguments… its a WIN-WIN 🙂

  19. valeraivanoff80 says:

    It very useful post!

  20. Tim says:

    I’ll be the king in the SHTF… because i MAKE alcohol. I know how, all the tricks to make beer, wine, brandy,etc… I’ll be the one that everyone wants to keep alive and supplied with resources to continue to make that which makes them numb.

    And no nothing is written down, Kill me and you lose your supply.

  21. nan says:

    I am not a drinker but many people were pressing me to store alcohol for barter. The cleaning and tincturing are good ideas. Great in fact, and a reason for me to reconsider a small supply. Yet, I did hear an important idea… we all know someone who is a mean drunk. If you barter and they THINK you have more, what is to stop them from drinking the whole first round and coming back in the Dr Jeckle/ Mr Hyde/ Mean Drunk persona and trying to take the rest? Do you really want to advertise that you have that commodity? Even if you take it “out & about”, the first time you show up with it, just once, you will draw attention and become a person to know thus losing your anonyminity. Thanks for the food for thought.

    • Selco says:

      You are welcome.
      It is not so much about are we drinking or not. It is more about how alcohol was important when SHTF before, and how it is gonna be (my opinion ) important again.
      Our personal opinions can be same or different, that is not important too here. Personally i thought that shooting on people is wrong way of dealing with things. I still think that shooting on people is wrong thing. And you see i did shoot, and when SHTF i am probably gonna shoot again. Why? Because i had to, and probably gonna be needed again, for me, for my family, to survive. So there is a difference between what we like and what we gonna need to do.

      About bartering, if you barter anything with wrong kind of people and they think you have that more, they will come and they will try to take that from you. So it is not about alcohol, it is about our way of thinking about bartering when SHTF. And i wrote a lot about importance of staying low profile and grey.
      Lot of things take place here, like never trade in your house, or never in big amounts, small containers, watching your way back…

  22. Foreigner says:

    STROH RUM!!!

    • Acorn says:

      @Foregner, Bleh! Stroh Rum reminds me of rotten egg nog or something like that. I prefer a single malt myself and have all the supplies and knowledge to produce wine. Grow your own grapes. If you have the facility and fuel for making stronger stuff use your wine as a starting point. It doesn’t take a large plot of land to produce 10 gallons of wine annually, but you need to have those grapes producing today and it takes a few years to get them up and running. If you can’t procure a dense sugar source there will be no alcohol making. You have the option of not making alcohol if you just want the grapes for juice or what have you.

  23. Irish-7 says:

    I was a heavy drinker for many years. It just kind of petered out when I got married and had kids. Now, I knock off a few cold ones at a NASCAR race once or twice a year. Or, at weddings and funerals I’ll have a few brews. Although I keep beer in the fridge, I rarely drink at home. Since we became “preppers” in March 2011, we did buy some cheap whiskey, vodka and rum. Mainly for barter or medical use. Your post convinced me, we need to get some more.

  24. JS says:

    Special equiptment is needed to make hard liquer…but anyone can make simple wines or ciders at home with very minimal equiptment: sugar/honey, water, juice/flavoring, brewing yeast (or natural yeast from the environment), glass bottles, and a water trap ($3 online).

    I made a nice, sweet dandelion wine that turned our just great. I have apple cider fermenting in my pantry right now. The cider was really simple: take a gallon jug of organic apple juice, pour in half a packet of champagne yeast, shake and cork the bottle, and cork the bottle with the water trap (to allow gases to escape). In two weeks you have apple cider, and for much less cost than buying it at the store. Knowing how to make simple alcoholic drinks might be a very useful skill.

  25. Roaddog says:

    Thanks to Selco for truly excellent post and insights ! Alcohol has many uses and come with us from the mists of time, right? Here in Thailand I’m sure there will be plenty of lao khao (rice whiskey) for all purposes, S or no S, fan or no fan, or maybe I’m wrong(?) I hope not.

  26. StevenKY says:

    At the www,keepitsimplesurvival.wordpress.com web site, Craig has started manufacturing 5 gallon stills (for the production of distilled drinking water winkwink) which can also be used for home made beverages.

  27. StevenKY says:

    OOPS, that should have read http://www.keepitsimplesurvival.wordpress.com Didn’t plan on putting the comma in place of a period.

  28. Usurper says:

    If we look at history the best thing to barter in blackmarket is alcohol. WW1, WW2, a case of scotch makes things happen.

  29. Rob says:

    I don’t stock so much alcohol, I make it. What I do stock, and need to stock more of is Kava Kava. I highly suggest having some of that – but don’t share or trade it. If you know how to use it, that stuff will turn night into day. It sharpens your senses incredibly.

    • Noah says:

      Could you please expand on this? How do you use it to best effect? Tincture, tea, ingestion?

      • John M says:

        Kava-Kava is a plant that is grown throughout Polynesia. The shredded root of the plant is prepared by soaking it in room temperature water, then laboriously squeezing the liquid through the root material. A lot of Hawaiians use a clean piece of panty-hose to hold the root material for the squeezing/re-squeezing.

        Kava has a light, but bitter taste. It both increases mental acuity, and gives a mildly euphoric feeling. The two side-effects I have experienced from Kava are an anesthetic effect on my tongue, and INCREDIBLY VIVID DREAMS during sleep after kava.

        The kava “ceremony” is meant to promote comradeship and to invite “visions” in dreams.

        The weird thing is, I didn’t experience kava in Polynesia, but in IRAQ, with a bunch of Navy Reservists from Hawaii. It’s a shame we couldn’t have had a camp-fire on base (due to OPSEC rules) at the same time.

  30. M says:

    Cant wait for the cannabis article. People here in the US are already using it for food, medicine and barter. There are entire regions using cannabis as currency (Northern California). Much healthier than alcohol, even Napoleon preferred his soldier to use it instead of booze…no hang over.

  31. highdesertlivin says:

    I’d rather have a bottle in front of me , than a frontal lobotomy. Prepped a 1/2 gal mid grade vodka , Its kinda low on my lists, but iff I see it on sale I might buy more. To all you self rightous who state ” Im christian so I dont drink” christ drank some wine in moderation . Self serving interpretations to make you seem better than others………….what would jesus do/say

  32. N says:

    It has been mentioned but let me emphasize, if u decide to try distillation, MAKE SURE U EDUCATE URSELF PROPERLY. If u dont know what ur doing and make wine or beer, it can turn out flat, bust a bottle, or just taste like garbage. If u try distillation and dont know what ur doing, u can kill people/yourself. Distilling alcohol produces methanol in addition to ethanol. Ethanol=good, methanol=poison if u ingest.
    Anyway, lots of good points. I keep a disgusting bottle of homemade wine a friend gave me in case of emergency for disinfectant or whatever. You never know.
    As far as drinking, its like anything else. If ur relatively smart about it and can handle it, it can be nice. If not, it can be the opposite. Some people spend their lives always pointing out what others do that they disapprove of. May i remind people that glutony is a much overlooked sin that seems to fly below the church radars. If food is your crutch and u let it completely rob you of your health, ie diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blocked arteries, bad knees and lack of participation in life’s physical events, strokes, sleep apnia (dont know how to spell that) etc, do u really feel that you’re treating ur body as a temple and are “better” than someone who smokes, drinks, or whatever else sometimes? If a person has children and lives in poverty and consumes 5000+ calories a day and is morbidly obese, are they morally superior to a drunkard who also puts their habits above their family’s well-being? Just food for thought (no pun intended). The point Selco constantly tries to drive home is the more u think outside the box and adjust your mind to things outside your physical AND mental comfort zones, the more prepared u will b.

    • Selco says:

      Good points N.
      As i already mention many times, first thing to prepare is mind. Or accept the thinking “outside box”. You see i have been in situations when i did not eat for few days. And then I would lay my hands on something, some kind of food that is really nasty. And even with real hunger I could not eat it, and guess what helped me to eat that?
      A joint.

  33. Ann says:

    I have much wine, but I assume you mean “hard” alcohol, like vodka or whiskey, right?

  34. Good Things says:

    On a long range fishing trip I became acqainted with an older stocky East Bloc survivor who was also a fisherman.

    He survived a WWII concentration camp and what I remember most is his quote “you will do anything to survive.” He quoted those words more than once on that trip and I happened to hear them more than once.

    I never saw him after that trip yet those words have stuck with me for 20+ years and thought now to be good time to pass those words along.

    Things then will not be like now and you will do things then that you would not do now.

  35. TS says:

    Apples. Grow some trees, or find an orchard where you can get cheap seconds (blemished). See if you can pick in exchange for apples. Say for every 10 or 20 bushels you pick you can pick one for yourself. Find a way to grind or chop them fast. Food or meat grinder drill with long shaft bit and chopping blades on the end. Buy a press (expensive), or make your own with a bottle jack and some lumber. put your mash in a clean cloth and press it. store it in 5 gallon bucket or 55 gallon barrels if you have enough, some place cool. Enjoy your cider. As it sits there it should start to work (ferment) naturally. You will probably want a fermentation trap to release the gasses, or a tube with a balloon or condom over the end with a pin hole in it. Once it’s got bees (bubbles) in it you’ve got hard cider. Before it turns to vinegar put some of it somewhere it will freeze. Outside out of sight in colder climates, or a freezer. You can use really clean milk jugs, soda bottles, juice bottles etc. to make it easier to manage. Once it’s partially frozen pour the liquid into separate containers. You now have apple jack. Something to filter out the mother (yeast) that way you won’t have slimy vinegar. I haven’t tried this yet. This is just old an old farm tale from around the time of my great grand parents.
    While I’m writing I’ll mention smoke houses (meats, cheeses), ice houses (you need saw dust for insulation.), spring houses, sugar shacks (maple syrup), crocks for pickling and brining (salting) meats, lots of pure salt for canning and brining, solar dehydrator. Salt was once worth more than gold.

  36. Georgethreshman says:

    Wiskey is good for many years but alchohol with sugar in it goes bad.

  37. mid2007 says:

    What is most common “comfort items” in your area or culture? Coffee? Cigarettes? In Asia maybe soy sauce or chili. These things will be good for trading.

    soy sauce and chili is useless in Asia for comfort
    but soy sauce can be salt but i think that it’s cant last for year..

    weed, alcohol and coffee is much more useful
    coffee is not for comfort but for maintain awareness but it is bad for aiming..

  38. mid2007 says:

    i think that alcohol can be a kind of energy
    a high energy density goods for both human and as a fuel

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