Salt is very useful to have with you at all times. Let’s see exactly why salt can help you even in the most unusual situations that you may have never thought of.
1. Relieving pain
Whether your family or yourself have been bitten by lice or ticks or stung by bees, you should rub a bit of salt on that side of the skin that has been aggressed. Similarly, you can mix water with salt and use the mixture to gargle. Do this at least three times a day if you have a sore throat. Water and salt (aka brine) is an excellent antiseptic, which you can also apply on wounds or cuts to prevent infections from developing.
2. Making herbicide
Never mind using herbicides pumped with chemicals. Whenever you wish to get rid of the poisonous plants around, throw a bit of salt directly on the ground, near the root of the plant and add water to it, to make sure the salt travels faster and starts killing the plant from the inside.
3. Making toothpaste
In survival situations, your regular commercial toothpaste will become a luxury toiletry. However, you can create your own by mixing a bit of salt with some baking soda (1:2 ratio). Do not apply too much pressure when brushing though, as you risk hurting your gums (i.e., salt and baking soda are quite abrasive).
4. Repelling ants
Out in the wild, having to deal with ants may prove a recurrent issue and let’s face it, quite irritating as well. You can easily get rid of ants and prevent further invasions, by just spreading a thin line of salt near the entry points of your home or tent. You can rest assured that ants will not get passed that line.
5. Preserving meat
The meat will last for much longer. First off, salt eliminates the water out of the meat, therefore it helps alienate an environment suitable for bacteria to grow and develop. In ancient times, people used to preserve meat, by rubbing it with salt and let it sit in a cool, dry place.
6. Cleaning off fish scales and pinfeathers
Fish scales will come off much easier and faster if you submerse the fish for a few seconds in brine. This is particularly useful if you do not have a good, sharpened knife on you.
Did you know that if rubbing a chicken with salt, the pinfeathers will come off very easy and you can save yourself a lot of time and avoid all that minuteness?
Similarly, if you are boiling eggs in brine, then the shell will come off in less than a few seconds.
7. Adjusting small fires
If you are making a bonfire to heat up or are in the process of making a barbeque and somehow you notice that the flames tend to extend, then throw a bit of salt in the fire. It will help you adjust the intensity and prevent a further expansion of the flames.
8. Acting as an anti-diuretic
A combination of water, salt and sugar will help you in difficult situations, as it will help restore the normal level of electrolytes in your body.
9. Speeding up the boiling process
If you add a bit of salt in the water, it will boil faster and help you save time in the process.
10. Removing rust
Removing the rust off your gun, knife or any other item or device that employs the use of steel should be one of your main concerns in the wild, as it can and will help you stay alive and even prepare and cook food. Combine lemon juice and salt (3:1 ratio) and rub off that rust.
11. Cleaning up your pets and eliminating bad odors
Did you know that if rub a bit of salt into your pets’ fur, then you will help them get rid of filth and ticks. They will lose the bad smell, too.
12. Cleaning your dishes
Creating your own dish detergent based on water and salt will thoroughly disinfect the plates, cutlery glasses and even the sponges that you use for cleaning.
13. Eliminating starch
Placing the peeled potatoes in water mixed with starch will remove the starch out of the tubers. Starch is bad because it contains glucose, a substance that can help you gain weight fast.
14. Testing the eggs
There is a simple way through you can test if the egg is edible or has gone bad. Immerse it in 200ml of water in which you have previously added three tablespoons of salt. If the egg floats, then it has gone bad. If it floats, you can be sure it has gone bad.
15. Averting mold
Usually, if you keep your cheese in a fridge or a dug hole covered in ash for safekeeping, you will see that mould will begin to spread on your cheese. To avoid this from happening, simple cover the cheese with a piece of cloth soaked in brine.
Do you know any other uses for salt? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Correct comments about eggs … If egg floats it is bad ..if egg floats it can be consumed. Which is it?
Your No. 14 item, “Testing the eggs” is either in error or confusing. If an egg floats it’s either good or bad, not both. Which is it?
Thanks for good tips! Please just note that under no. 14,you are saying the same about a bad and a good egg:)
I assume it was a typo, but the article said if it floats, bad. Then said if floats, good. Which is it?
You need to fix… this
14. Testing the eggs
There is a simple way through you can test if the egg is edible or has gone bad. Immerse it in 200ml of water in which you have previously added three tablespoons of salt. If the egg floats, then it has gone bad. If it floats, then you can safely consume it.
There is a mistake in #14. Can the egg be eaten when it floats or when it sinks?
if it floats it means it been fertlized. to make sur it’s hard boiled, spin it like a top. if that works and it spins, it ready to eat. you can pour salt all over your body to loose weight also
Read the last two sentences of number 14. Which is correct?
On eggs – you said if the egg floats it has gone bad and then in the next sentence you said if it floats you can safely eat it. Should it say if it does not float you can safely eat it?
Typo: both explanations say if it floats. Which is it?
You said if and egg floats in water it has gone bad. In the next sentence you said if the egg floats you can safely eat it. Should that last sentence state that if the egg does not float you can safely eat it?
Note for No. 1. In survival situation when water quality is questionable only distilled or purified boiled water should be used on open wound. If it is not distilled or purified it can introduce infections even if salt is added. If available, cider vinegar is your best antiseptic for disinfecting wounds and cleansing hands when open wounds are present.
Note for No. 3. Salt is more abrasive than soda and should be used only if you do not have soda. Instead use fine wood ash (about same abrasiveness as soda) mixed with water to make paste for brushing teeth with soft bristle brush or your finger. Brush with light pressure and rinse mouth with salt water after brushing.
Error on use 13. Potatoes should be rinsed in salt water to reduce starch content.
Error on use 14. Bad wording it should say “If egg float it is not edible, If the egg sinks it is edible”
Mixing salt and a little olive oil together will make a nice face, hand, feet and elbow exfoliator.
On #14 u gave it said it was bad and then ok if egg floated. I assume u met if it didn’t float it was ok. The other comment was on water boiling. Actually water boils slower with salt because it boils at a higher temp thus cooking food faster. So boils slower but cooks faster! 🙂 thx
Not true. Salt is a conductor. Add salt to water DOES make it boil faster.
Note, however, that it simply lowers the boiling temperature. It does not significantly change how long it takes or how much energy it takes to reach a particular temperature. The boiling water is not as hot. So if a recipe or procedure says “bring to a boil” and is dependent on the temperature, you may have interfered with what you were trying to accomplish. For example, when canning, the water will not be as hot, which is a bad thing. (Note the existence of alternate canning recipes for high altitudes, because it also causes water to boil at a lower temperature.) There is no free lunch.
Thank you all for pointing out the typo at item 14. Just to make things clear, an egg that floats has surely gone bad.
#9 is incorrect – adding salt to water will raise the boiling point and take longer to boil.
Not true! Salt is a conductor, and it speeds up the boiling process.
Jason, This was a great post.
What is the best salt to stock up on? Sea salt? Morton’s table salt? Rock Salt? Is there even a significant difference?
And do you have any recommendations as to how much to stockpile? i.e. x pounds per person, or per day, etc.
Thank you for the article. Very helpful not only for survival, but day to day problems. Eg taking care of the dog, boiling eggs, stopping ants and killing weeds.
Thanks Jason. Great article and info.