Failure to pack the proper emergency supplies is a fast way to turn adventure into misadventure, and like most people who wander far from Walgreens’ range, I’ve built my first-aid kit through bitter trial and error. But I’ve got it down now, and here’s the best addition I’ve made to my ready-for-anything list: vodka.
A flask of 80-proof is wildly useful, wherever you are. Vodka is literally—not just psychologically—good medicine. It’s a disinfectant, an antimicrobial, and an anesthetic, so it can clean a cut, prevent infection, and de-stress the patient all at once. Dab it on poison ivy to stop the itching. Pour it on a jellyfish sting to quell the pain—no need to ask someone to pee on you. Vodka cleans dirty surfaces and can sterilize a needle or a safety pin. A dropper of it will clear up an ear infection. In a pinch, vodka works as a fire starter. It’s a hand sanitizer! It’s a dessert topping! Well, maybe not. But it does nicely as an aperitif.
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