by Survival Dispatch Staff

Salt often gets a bad reputation for raising your blood pressure, but this alone shouldn’t discourage you from consuming it in moderation. It’s an essential part of our diet and is needed to stay alive.

Besides having it in our diet, salt can also be used in various ways. This multifunctionality is especially useful when you’re trying to survive in the wild. So essentially, any product or food item that can be used in different scenarios is invaluable.

In this article, we’ll cover all kinds of ways you can use salt for when SHTF.

  • Food enhancement and preservation
    • Add it to your diet
    • Flavor food
    • Preserve food
  • Health
    • Treat wounds
    • Sooth feet
    • Maintain oral hygiene
  • Home maintenance
    • Repel insects
    • Clean cast iron
    • Eliminate odors
  • Tips when stocking up on salt


Add it to your diet

As mentioned earlier, salt is vital in our diets. Here we’ll break down why. The main purpose of consuming salt is to replace our body’s salt content that we lose from sweating. Drinking purified water alone is not enough to rehydrate us.

Imagine yourself in survival scenarios where sweating constantly is a given due to intense physical activity. However, if you lose too much salt content from sweating and drink straight water without salt, expect sickness to be imminent. This condition is called “Hyponatremia.”

Risks associated with Hyponatremia:

  • Causes the thyroid to shut down
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Think of how doctors administer fluids via IV to a patient; They don’t transfer plain water; they use a saline solution which is basically saltwater. In the same way, athletes rehydrate themselves with sports drinks added with electrolytes. Electrolytes are essentially salt or ions in the blood carrying a charge.

Flavor food

Salt is the single most crucial seasoning for any kind of food. You might think flavor doesn’t matter in emergencies. Still, there is limited access to a variety of food in the wild.

You can come up with creative ways to spin your ingredients, but more often than not, you’ll find yourself eating the same meal for weeks on end. We call this phenomenon “meal fatigue.” If you want to stay in your game, enjoying your food is vital. Salt can help with that.

Preserve food

Before the invention of refrigerators, freezers, and other related technologies, salt was primarily used to preserve food.

When you rub salt on meats and fish, it naturally draws out moisture that causes bacteria to build up and spoil the food. Drying out these foods can extend their shelf life from weeks up to months.

How preserved food increases your chances of survival:

  • Minimizes the need to hunt on almost a daily basis. Most food can only last up a day. Without preserved food, people are forced to hunt regularly.
  • Preserve the bounty collected during the warmer, prime seasons. It’s difficult to hunt for fish and meat during the colder seasons or the leaner months.
  • Allows people to travel longer distances from home. This is good to note if you plan–or are forced–to explore for a long time.


Treat wounds

You can add salt to your basic medicine kit. As mentioned earlier, hospitals use a saline solution (saltwater) to administer fluids to a patient via IV drip. Salt can also be used to treat wounds.

How to clean wounds with salt:

  1. Make a mixture of salt and water.
  2. Use a cotton round or a clean cloth to dip the solution in and wipe the wound.
  3. If you’re in a rush, you can rub dry salt on the wound directly, but heads up that it’s going to hurt a lot, so we don’t recommend it unless you don’t have any other choice.
  4. Rinse it regularly. Salt helps dry the wound and avoid the growth of a bacterial.

Sooth feet

You might not think it’s important, but your feet are also vital to survival. Feet can get pretty beat up when you’re hiking or constantly moving in the wild.

Risks associated with moist feet:

  • blisters
  • swap foot
  • skin irritations

How salt helps relieve all these conditions:

  • Blister treatment, fungus growth prevention, odor elimination — After a long day, soak your feet in a saline bath.
  • Skin irritation — This could be induced by insect bites, poison ivy, or other wild elements. Rub a salt paste over the area to help relieve pain. The salt draws the toxins and oils out of the skin. The dry, clean skin allows the skin to heal faster.

Maintain oral hygiene

Living in the wild isn’t the best environment for keeping your mouth and throat clean and healthy. Various factors like the weather, stress, and a rough diet can all bring sores and irritation. Good thing salt can help with that.

How to use salt to keep your oral hygiene in check:

  • Use a salt paste to brush your teeth — Use this instead of the usual charcoal toothpaste that most survivalists and explorers use.
  • Mix the salt paste with baking soda — This mixture will help whiten your teeth and keep your breath fresh.
  • Gargle a glass full of saline solution — for treating sores in your mouth and throat. The solution will disinfect and reduce swelling, which promotes faster healing.


Repel insects

Insects are called bugs for several, valid reasons:

  • They can get in your bed and irritate your skin.
  • They can get in your pantry and rot food.
  • They can bring diseases.

So in any scenario, they need to be kept out. Good thing salt repels most insects.

How to use salt to repel insects:

  1. Mix salt with water in a bottle spray.
  2. Spray the solution in “insect hotspots” or areas around your home that are moist.
  3. You can also spread salt on the ground on the perimeter of your home.

Clean cast iron

Clean water is a limited resource in the wild. It’s simply not practical to wash your dishes and cooking utensils after every meal. So in most scenarios, you’ll be using your skillets and cast iron pots again in rotation, which can bring a build-up of grime on the bottom.

Risks associated with grime:

  • causes foul odor
  • affects the flavor of food
  • rots and can make you sick

How to use salt as an alternative to water washing:

  1. Rub salt paste to the bottom of the pan.
  2. You can add baking soda or lemon juice to the mix if you want to remove rusty materials.
  3. Use a clean towel to scrub the grime and food residue away.

It’s the same principle as brushing your teeth, just with a much more rigid surface. After clean up, we advise that you stow your cooking supplies and metal items in a dry place to keep them in top working condition.

Eliminate odors

Cooking your food means that unpleasant smells will stick all over your home. Especially when you’re dealing with fish.

Much of that odor comes from bacteria forming on the surface of these areas:

  • the kitchen
  • cutting boards
  • your hands

Salt can help reduce odors by absorbing the moisture that causes foul smells. To do this:

  1. Rub a salt paste on the affected areas.
  2. Make sure to take extra care in stuffing salt inside your shoes.
  3. Take an extra rub down on your stinky garbage disposal.


Hopefully, we’ve convinced you how valuable salt is and its many uses. It was a valuable commodity in the olden times, and it will be again in survival scenarios.

But before you head out to the wild, make sure to have an ample amount of this seasoning in your survival and emergency supplies. Here are a few tips so you can stock up on salt:

  • Get air-tight, sealed containers.
  • Find suppliers that can give you a discount for buying in bulk.
  • Opt for the plain table salt variety.
    Table salt lasts longer and is easier to store in huge volumes.

Do all these, and you’ll be a step ahead of everyone else.

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