Sugar might not immediately come to mind when you think of things to pack in your bug-out bag, but this household ingredient is more useful than you might think. Some of the things you can do with sugar are downright amazing.
Here are 9 survival uses for sugar that you can use when SHTF or in everyday life right now.
Create a Sugar-Based Food Preservative
If the power goes out for an extended period of time, or if the grid goes down permanently, you’ll need a way to preserve food without the use of a fridge or freezer.
We all know that salt is used as a preservative, but did you know that sugar is also used as a preservative? Sugar kills bacteria by depriving them of the oxygen they need to survive, which in turn means the bacteria can’t ruin your food. Store food inside jars of sugar to increase their shelf life.
Easy Remedy for Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia simply means you aren’t taking in enough energy through food to meet your body’s needs. It happens most often to people who lose a lot of energy through physical exertion, but aren’t taking in enough energy to replace it.
Sound familiar? It should, because it describes a situation preppers can expect to experience in a SHTF scenario.
It’s worth carrying some sugar with you in your bug-out bag because the symptoms of hypoglycemia will reduce your chances of survival. Prepare for hypoglycemia ahead of time, or you’ll have to deal with dizziness, lightheadedness and shakiness.
You don’t need sugar specifically if you’re getting enough nutrients through regular food sources.
Natural Cockroach Killer
Cockroaches might not be the first thing you think of when SHTF, but the reality is that cockroach infestations are effective disease spreaders. If you don’t have access to medical treatment, even an ordinary disease could be fatal.
If you do have a cockroach infestation, don’t worry. There’s an easy and natural way to kill them using household ingredients.
Mix sugar and baking soda together to create a natural cockroach killer, and then spread it throughout your house. This is effective because the cockroaches are attracted to the sugar, but the baking soda kills them when they consume it.
Eliminate Nasty Odors with a Homemade Sugar Scrub
You can make your own “salt” scrub that kills germs, eliminates odors, and feels great on your hands. You’ll need a clean container, sugar, liquid soap, and your favorite essential oil.
Pour a small amount of liquid soap into the container and then add the same amount of essential oil. Finally, add the sugar and carefully mix it up without creating too much foam.
Get a Quick Burst of Energy
We all have our own physical limits, but sometimes you absolutely have to go a little further and do a little more.
A quick burst of energy is exactly what you need during those times when you need the extra push…and the fastest way to get that burst of energy is with sugar.
Sugar is already a basic molecule, so it doesn’t take much effort for your body to break down and digest. That means eating sugar gives you short-term energy much faster than eating something with complex molecules like carbohydrates which need time to break down.
You don’t need to carry granulated sugar to get this boost. Even a small candy bar is enough to give you the boost you need.
Barter with Fellow Survivors
What will you do if you run out of something you need or just didn’t pack it in the first place? The good news is that you can trade with someone who has what you need…assuming you have something they want in return.
Some common items that are good for bartering are alcohol, cigarettes, ammo, and salt…but did you know sugar is in high demand too?
Due to its all-around usefulness, sugar will also be a valuable bartering item. Even if you don’t use much sugar yourself, it might just be worth its weight in gold to someone with a craving for sweets.
Start an Instant Fire Even if Everything is Wet
You’re probably aware that using a striker is one of the most reliable ways to start a fire, but it’s less widely known that you can also easily start a fire chemically…with sugar.
It’s really easy. All you need is sugar and potassium permanganate. Mix them in equal amounts and then rub them with a blunt stick to create heat through friction. A chemical reaction will occur, and you’ll have a fire in a matter of seconds…even if everything is wet from rain.
Check out this neat video to see just how easy it is to start a fire with sugar.
Treat Open Wounds and Prevent Infections
Hopefully, there’s at least a basic first aid kit in your bug-out bag, but with the frequency you’ll be using it there’s a good chance you’ll run out of supplies quickly. When your first aid kit runs out of supplies, you’ll need a way to treat wounds and prevent infections. It turns out that sugar works great for both of those.
Clean the wound with water first as best you can, and then dry it off with a clean cloth. Sprinkle sugar on the wound until a small pile is visible, then keep still for about an hour and repeat the process. Cover the wound with a clean cloth afterwards and the wound should be disinfected.
Distill Your Own Home Brewed Alcohol
Alcohol is a useful bartering tool and can help relieve some of the stress of surviving when SHTF. Unfortunately, alcohol is heavy and takes up a lot of room, just like water. One way to get around that is to distill your own alcohol at home.
One of the primary ingredients needed to distill alcohol is sugar, which is used to make the “sugar wash” or “mash”. Check out the video below to learn how to make it yourself.