How many aluminum foil survival uses do you know? Keep reading to find out the various uses of this unsung hero for emergency preparedness!
Aluminum Foil Hacks and Survival Uses
A Great Survival Tool
In a crisis, you make the most out of everything you have, which means you might need to get a little creative. Things like paracord and duct tape have fairly obvious uses, but other items may require a little more critical thinking. Let’s take a look at one of the most common items you have in your kitchen — aluminum foil.
Aluminum foil can be used for so much more than preparing and serving food, it can be an indispensable survival tool that should always be included in your survival kit. You see, it’s more than just a food wrapper. There’s actually plenty of survival uses for aluminum foil that will come in handy when you need it most.
1. Boiling Water
In any survival situation, it is important to stay hydrated. However, water acquired from any “untrusted” source needs to be made safe for consumption. Aluminum foil can be a substitute for pots and pans by creating a makeshift bowl. Bring your water to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute. This will make your water safe to drink.
2. Signal for Help
Since aluminum foil is reflective, it is great for signaling purposes. Place along with branches or any other areas where it will be clearly visible from the air or a road close by. You can also use aluminum foil to make a makeshift mirror, which is great for signaling for help as well.
3. Make Fishing Lures
Fish love shiny lures. If you do not have bait, wrap aluminum foil around the weights as it will act as an effective flasher attracting fish that are more reluctant to bite. When the fishing gets a little bit tough, all you need is a square tin foil to improve the catch.
4. Water Bottle Repair
Pine sap and aluminum foil will act as a temporary patching solution for cracks in water bottles or small piercings in hydration packs. It will not hold up to a lot of water pressure, but it will help with drips and small seeps temporarily.
5. Sharpen Dull Scissors
I keep a multi-tool on me at all times. The scissors are my most used tool, so they can be dull from time to time. To sharpen scissors using aluminum foil, fold the foil over two or three times and cut the foil with your scissors. This will help sharpen the scissor blades.
6. Fix Loose Batteries
If batteries become loose, the most common reason is the springs inside the battery compartment have lost some of their tension over time. Loose batteries can cause glitching. To remedy this problem with aluminum foil, fold a small piece just big enough to fill in the gap, and you’re good to go.
7. Keep Your Matches Dry
Wrapping your matches with aluminum foil will keep them dry as long as you don’t go underwater! Waterproof matches and lighters are available in the market, but you don’t have these readily available most of the time. Aluminum foil is a great alternative since you can simply tear a piece of it from your kitchen drawer.
8. Scrub Dirty Pots and Pans
Do you have dirty pots and pans but forgot to pack the scrub pads? Not to worry. Crumble up a piece of aluminum foil and scrub your dirty pots and pans and rinse. Remember, it is important to keep the smell of food away from your shelter area or a campsite. Having clean pots and pans will help prevent predators (such as bears) from snooping around at night.
9. Create a Quick Windbreak Around Your Campfire
Building a wall out of aluminum foil around your campfire will help protect it from the wind. This will also help reflect heat to help you stay warm at night. Campsites in the uplands can be very cold at night so the more warmth you can generate, the better.
Bonus: If you’re cold at night wrap up in heavy duty aluminum foil, it can act as a space blanket and help insulate you.
Space Blanket Definition: Also known as an emergency or thermal blanket, it is a thin plastic sheet that reflects heat, helping the user stay warm.
10. Collect Rainwater
Remember the makeshift bowl you made to boil water? Make about 3 or 4 times that size (or just make several of them) to collect rainwater. A tarp is also good for collecting rainwater, but it’s quite heavy to bring when camping. Aluminum foil is a more useful material for light travel.
11. Remove Rust
Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil like you would a piece of paper. Use the crumpled foil to remove rust from metal objects. It’s not going to be a magical thing wherein the rust comes off with a little rubbing. You have to be a little bit patient to make it work.
Save this infographic for later!
Here’s a quick tip about aluminum foil survival kits from CommonSenseOutdoors:
It’s amazing how such a simple thing can be so useful for wilderness survival. My whole life, I couldn’t even remember anyone asking me for an aluminum foil if not to wrap food, now it’s one of your many significant survival tools for any outdoor emergency. Kudos to the brilliant minds who gave birth to these ideas. It may be an unusual prepper gear, but it can also be utilized as mylar blankets or an emergency blanket, an alcohol stove, and a whole lot more. Nevertheless, creativity is the key to survival and learning any new skill will always be a plus for preppers!
Which of these aluminum foil survival uses have you tried? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: Aluminum Foil Hacks | 7 Uses For The Outdoors
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 27, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
a lot of electric guitar guys lightly glue in aluminum foil into the pickup cavity to shield the guitar from ‘hum’ caused bu radio frequency (lights, stereos, etc.)
I can’t remember if I sent this to facebook before, but I am now. I think it is a very valuable “tool” for us to keep in mind.
Wrapping celery in aluminum foil extends its usable life considerably.
Must be talking about the aluminum foil because celery has no use
What about flossing your teeth? It gets stuck in there and you are compelled to floss.
My Dad used to build a toy rocket from tinfoil when I was just a little shaver. Kept me entertained on rainy days.
Take an ordinary kitchen match and lay a straight pin, needle, or straightened paper clip touching the head of the match. wrap the head and pin tightly with tinfoil. The tighter the better. Remove the pin for future use. Prop up the match with the head overhanging. Anything that will not burn is good enough. Angle needs only to be slight. Heat the head with any heat source until the matchead ignites. Your mini-rocket will zoom a few feet!
Make up several of these rockets in advance and watch the joy you’ve created in your children/grandchildren’s eyes as long as the rockets last.
You can glue on wings (Straight or swept) and horizontal and vertical tail stabilizers to create a mini-rocket plane but use outdoors as these will go farther and higher. Use card stock for the flight surfaces to keep the weight down.
I have a few pieces of tinfoil in my git home/bug out kits. Like above, the tinfoil will make a quick pot to cook in as well as make a cup to drink from. Not to mention you can bake your catch (fish/squirrel/ etc) by wrapping it in tinfoil and burying it in the coals of your fire.
NOTHING YOU CUT WILL SHARPEN SCISSORS! NOTHING!
Sound wisdom Bill Price…..:)
By making a windbreak for your fire, you are also blocking the firelight from alerting unwanted observers to your presence, something that can be of utmost importance in a survival situation. Of course, if attracting attention is your goal (also important, depending upon the situation), then hanging foil pieces higher up, where they will reflect the light of the fire can help rescuers find you at night.
Aluminum foil also works great in a pinch when you blow a fuse in your vehicle or don’t get a good connection. Only use long enough to get your vehicle to the garage though so you don’t damage other components in certain situations. Also can be used for creating a reflector oven to cook food or boil water. Even used as an assist on TV antennas and starting a fire with a car battery. Lots more too
I have used aluminum foil for sharpening scissors before and it DOES work! Just fold a piece of foil then cut it several times with dull scissors and Voila, sharp scissors again!! Admittedly, It doesn’t last long, but it’ll work till the next time you need a sharp cut and can get them sharpened professionally.
I agree w/Mr. Price above: scissors don’t become sharper by cutting aluminum foil. ALSO: it is NOT SAFE to expose aluminum foil to direct flame or red hot coals—because the aluminum degrades & off-gasses into the food or liquid
being heated –and then consumed. Ever hear of Alzheimer’s disease ? Might be better to use 304 stainless steel foil for certain cooking / heating situations ? Caution: SST foil may have razor sharp edges !
Strongly agree with Walley once I found out aluminum in food and water was a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease I have not let aluminum foil or pans touch anything i eat or drink! But where do you get 304 stainless steel foil? Also another question to writers of this article…. would foil work as a backstop instead of foil blankets in a winter super shelter like this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx16H99-dVk
I agree, also using aluminum foil to scrub you pans will leave some of the aluminum on the surface of the pan and will then be absorbed by any food cooked later and as you stated aluminum has been associated with many health problems, especially if you also use fluoridated water some of the time.
Guys we are talking about survival you are not going to get Alzheimers or health problems from camping occasionally ever hear of moderation..I am a Nurse all these things are for survival..for all of you that use A ..Microwave every day what the heck do you think that is doing to your food that you consume at work etc…wow..wake up to reality ..and not negativity all the time.
Microwave radiation does nothing to food except vibrate the water molecules within it, causing it to heat up. It’s not like exposing it to nuclear radiation of certain types.where molecular bonds are broken or residual radiation remains on or in it. Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, like visible light is, but they are invisible to us and essentially harmless to humans in low doses.
Nuclear radiation from gamma rays will kill any bacteria with only an extremely short exposure leaving essentially no radioactivity. We could use it to preserve foodstuffs, but there are too many wacko greenies who skipped science courses in high school and/or college.
Think the nurse was pointing to “survival” as well as to live, few times for the development of a disease process will take time & exposure rate & amount, so the negative would be you drink some water boiled in aluminum or die dehydrated.
Hey. Thanks for the great ideas. . Those see actually hard creases, though. 😉
for microwaves it’s true the food does get heated by vibrating the water molecules and therefore the food itself is not likely to produce anything harmful, but the container you use in the microwave might give off harmful materials that can then contaminate the food. I prefer to use high grade “microwave safe” glass and ceramics like Corningware, Pyrex, and Corelle for microwave and oven use. I do use aluminum foil for leftover food storage, and occasionally cooking, like wrapping up potatoes or corn for baking or campfire cooking, and foil baking cups that I prefer to use instead of paper baking cups.