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?