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Survival: Lost with…Only a Bottle of Whiskey

Put that hooch to good use with these tips for starting a fire, treating water, and even signaling for help.

Care for Cuts
Now imagine you’re injured—does the old cowboy “whiskey in the wound” method work? Modern liquor, including bourbon, clocks in at 40 percent alcohol, only half the punch of the Wild West moonshines, but it still kills topical germs, Tilton says. It might also kill healthy cells, however, and it burns like hell, making clean water a better option. Whiskey does work to sterilize instruments and to blunt pain—drinking two ounces of 90-proof George Dickel reduces pain roughly 50 percent for two hours.

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