The 5 Minute Prepper #14: Salt, Sugar & Baking Soda

By Rob Hanus

Salt. Sugar. Baking soda. Though these three items are usually considered cooking/baking essentials, they have more uses than just for cooking.

Salt – Salt can be used for anything from putting out grease fires to preserving meat, but there are other important aspects of salt that we’re interested in. Salt is a vital nutrient and without salt in your diet, your body loses the ability to regulate critical functions. Of lesser importance, it also can flavor wild and foraged foods to make them more palatable.

Sugar – We all know the value of having sugar, and having some of this in your pack can make the instant coffee or tea taste much better. This also comes in handy when making pine tea or other foraged herb. According to this study (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1220316/Cut-Sprinkling-SUGAR-wound-help-heal-faster-lessen-pain.html) sugar may also heal wounds faster, as it has antibacterial properties.

Also, Marjory has an article about treating ear mites in rabbits using honey, which is a form of sugar. Check out that article here: http://www.growyourowngroceries.org/home-remedy-for-rabbits-with-ear-mites/

Baking Soda – Baking Soda probably stands out as the oddest thing to pack in your Go bags. There are scores of household and cooking uses for baking soda, but a few uses you may not be aware of include using is as an antacid or to relieve itch and irritation from insect bites, stings and rashes.

Individually, these three items have enough merit to include in your evacuation and survival kits, but there are also some great uses for these ingredients.

  • Salt and baking soda mixed together makes a good toothpaste that is very shelf stable. You can leave out the store-bought toothpaste and simply brush with this old-fashioned mixture.
  • Probably the most important use is when you combine all three of these ingredients together to create an electrolyte mix. When you’re sweating a lot or have a diarrheal illness, you need to replace the electrolytes that you’re losing. By mixing these components into 1 liter or quart of water creates an electrolyte replacement drink: 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Separately, any of these three items would be a valuable addition to your pack, but mixed together, they can become a life-saving mixture.

For those that are the curious type, here is some information on how valuable salt has been in US history: http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/trans-p/images/he3.html


Rob Hanus is the author of the book “The Preparedness Capability Checklist” which is an easy to read book with the absolute best method for intelligent and deliberate prepping. Rob is also host of the Preparedness Podcast.

You can get the Rob’s book here http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/capability-checklist/

and tune into Rob’s podcast here: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/preparedness-podcast/


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This post was written by Marjory


  • gena says:

    Just saying when I was a patient at Ft Sam Houston with a staph infection from a surgery at another hospital in 1981, they were experimenting with some form of sugar to put into the deep incision to clean up the infection. My own surgeon got back in town before treatment was finished, so I don’t know if it would have worked, but it was improving. I should have stayed there, my doctor went on and closed the incision and I ended up with osteomylitis which took over a year to get into remission. 🙁

    1. gena says:

      I’m not sure exactly what the sugar product was, I do know the doctor told me it was NOT table sugar.

  • R L B says:

    Important to store salt away from canned goods! I keep mine separate (another room!) so as to not discover my canned items destroyed by corrosion.

    1. Oh good thought. But if the salt is properly sotred, there shouldn’t be a problem…

  • Virginia says:

    Lack of salt in the diet leads to lots of parasitic infections, like Lyme Disease. Salt is one of my 4 food groups, along with butter, eggs and chocolate 🙂
    The American Revolutionary War was almost lost when the British captured the Yankee salt works on the Atlantic coast. Everything was preserved with salt. After that, everyone was engaged in producing salt however they could. There is a big salt hill in Europe over which wars have been fought for centuries.

  • MQ says:

    Either salt or sugar can be mixed with an oil-I use olive oil-and used as an exfoliant. It is great for wintertime moisturizing, for gardener’s hands and rough heels, etc. I prefer to use sugar because it doesn’t sting, but either works. Soda is a shampoo alternative; needs a vinegar and water rinse. I used to use it for stings and bites, but I’ve found that a dab of lavender oil does me more good, especially for fire ant stings. I put lavender oil in my sugar scrub, also.

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