Two Reasons Palcohol is a Brand New Tool for Preppers
Palcohol for Water Disinfection?
Palcohol might be the dumbest use of advanced chemistry seen this century. And it’s sure to open up a brand new avenue on which kids can drive straight into trouble. But Palcohol, as it’s less than cleverly been named, may offer Preppers an advantage over the liquid form. You see, in a way, it might be as useful as those powdered oral re-hydration packets you already have in your medical kit.
Alcohol and civilization have always been intimately linked. But not in the way you might think. Finding clean water has always been a problem for humanity. Dehydration, and the organisms that cause it, continue to kill millions around the world every year. And while everyone knows drinking alcohol leads to dehydration, there are instances when this is not the case. That’s were history can help us:
Beer as a Disinfectant
Modern beer is somewhere between 2.5 and 5% alcohol, and at that concentration leads to mild dehydration. But in ancient times it was served as a relatively weak 0.5% solution. This wasn’t a beer for imbibing at parties, but one both children and adults would drink throughout the day. At this concentration beer retains its disinfectant properties, killing off many of the disease causing microbes that remain problematic to this day. Yet at this weak strength, it’s not strong enough to cause the mind altering effects we’re all familiar with. And this is where Palcohol might have a role in prepping.
Top Two Reasons to Add Palcohol Packs to Your BOB:
#1 Beer is Heavy, Palcohol is Light and Compact
Water weights a little over 8 lbs. per gallon. This makes packing large bottles of alcohol around impractical. But at times you may be out of chlorine or Betadine to disinfect what water sources you’re lucky enough to come upon. Palcohol offers a light weight, easy to pack and carry alternative.
#2 Palcohol is Easy to Mix
Given the concentration on the packet, one can easily mix in the appropriate amount of powder to approximate a non-dehydrating 0.5% solution for drinking. If you’re using it to clean out wounds though… you might be out of luck.
But Watch Out – Palcohol is Weak!
The problem with Palcohol is that it isn’t the powdered concentrate many people think. At best the powder can only achieve about a 12% concentration before it stops dissolving in water and starts clumping into chunks. There’s simply no way to manufacture the stuff into “Everclear” (75-95% alcohol) when mixed with water. For cleaning wounds, dousing them with drinking alcohol is probably only effective if it is strong enough that it can be lit on fire. At best, Palcohol is the equivalent of a powdered glass of wine. You’d probably agree that John Wayne was never seen pouring wine into a fresh gunshot wound.
Take Home Message: Palcohol might have a legitimate place in your BOB, even if it is a crime against every carefully brewed, cold, crisp beer that has ever existed. It’s light weight, takes up little room in your bag, and can be mixed to create a 0.5% alcohol solution when better options for disinfecting water are not available.
For more information about Palcohol, clean water and water disinfection, please click the book image above.