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In my experience, “stretching” a bottle of bourbon has meant nothing more than adding another ice cube. But this past weekend, while backpacking up and down (and up) the Catskill Mountains, I discovered a few more reasons why every camper should include a flask of whiskey in his or her survival kit*. Some alternate uses:
1. Local anesthetic: A sip for the pain, a splash for the gash.
2. Mouthwash: Erases morning breath—and you don’t have to spit!
3. Fire-starter: Soggy wood can’t compete with cask-strength hooch.
4. Campfire flare: I added a splash to bananas stuffed with chocolate and marshmallows (aka “banana boats”). If it hadn’t been raining on Friday night, a campfire bananas foster was in the cards.
5. Insect repellent: If they bite, they’ll fly home drunk.
6. Sleeping aid: This one you already knew.
*I fully realize that pure, clean vodka would be a much better all-purpose booze to bring on a camping trip. But who wants to drink warm vodka?