Epsom salt is the ultimate survivalist’s panacea. It forms an integral part of any good survival first aid kit and doubles as an effective cleaning product.
Before you add Epsom salts to your bug-out bag, however, you need to know how long it will last; otherwise, you could end up with a useless product and a lackluster first aid kit.
How Many Years Can I Use Epsom Salt For?
Although Epsom salt comes with an expiration date, this purely because it’s a legal requirement. Most manufacturers say it’s perfectly safe to use long after this date has passed, although it may start to clump or get hard after that point.
For most products, the best before date is around two to three years after the date of manufacturing, giving you a fair amount of leeway. It doesn’t, however, guarantee that your Epsom salt will still be good to use when disaster hits. After all, it could be 10 years before you’re faced with surviving alone in the woods.
Rather than worrying about the expiration date, survivalists should consider, “Does Epsom salt ever go bad?” By and large, the answer is no – the chemical make-up of Epsom salt keeps it intact long after its best before date has passed.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate to give it its proper title, is a naturally occurring mineral that, while soluble in water, doesn’t break down as rapidly as other similar compounds. As a result, it can last for years. Even if it gets a bit lumpy, it’s still safe to use.
Furthermore, if you keep Epsom salt in a cool, dark place, it will naturally deter most microbes and bacteria so it won’t become rotten or rancid as other substances may.
How To Store Epsom Salt So It Keeps Its Potency
Unless your Epsom salt becomes contaminated by some outside source, it should retain its potency even if a little moisture gets in and causes it to clump. Keeping it in an airtight container can help prevent this and increase its lifespan even further.
If you notice your Epsom salt looking a little lumpy or discolored, don’t worry about it too much. It’s certainly still safe for external use, even if taking it as a laxative may no longer be the best idea.
Safe to use and capable of maintaining its potency for years, if not decades, Epsom salt should never be one of those 25 items you forgot to put in your bug-out bag.
Because it’s one of the most versatile and useful compounds, you could have in a survival situation.
5 Reasons Epsom Salts Should Be In Your Survival Kit
#1 Relieve itching
The woods are full of things that cause skin irritation, from poison ivy to noxious caterpillars, and Epsom salt can deliver instant relief. Simply make a paste by mixing Epsom salt with a bit of water, and then apply to the affected area.
#2 Remove splinters
Survival often entails chopping wood and building fires so, the likelihood of you getting a thorn or splinter at some point is very high. Epsom Salt is a natural drawing agent that helps reduce inflammation and soften the skin, making it easier to remove that pesky slither of wood. While a splinter may not seem life-threatening, if it gets infected, it could be.
The texture of Epsom salt gives it an abrasive quality that will effectively remove food debris, leaving your camping pots and pans gleaming. You can even use it to give yourself a quick facial scrub. Not only will it keep germs and bacteria at bay, but it can also help prevent eye infections and styes.
#4 Alleviate constipation
You don’t know what your wilderness diet will consist of, and you may well experience some digestive problems after the SHTF. Epsom Salt can alleviate the discomfort of constipation within 30 minutes! Just dissolve 2 to 4 level teaspoons of Epsom salt in a cup of water and drink immediately.
#5 Increase food production
Epsom Salt is as good for your garden as it is for you and, if you’re trying to figure out how to get started with a survival garden, Epsom salt could prove to be a vital ingredient, in addition to the seeds, of course.
Not only does Epsom salt deter pests, but it’s also an excellent fertilizer for tomatoes and peppers and an all-around plant food supplement.
Epsom Salt is versatile and long-lasting, and as such, it deserves a place in every survivalist’s bug-out bag. Even if it gets wet and clumpy, Epsom salt is still an effective remedy for various health issues and an effective cleanser and sanitizer.
Better still, it lasts for years so, even if you don’t look at your bug-out bag for a decade, it will still be there, ready, willing, and as potent as ever.
Also see Epsom salt substitutes.