Survival Uses For Coffee Cans And Coffee Filters

Feature | Survival Uses For Coffee Cans And Coffee Filters

Survival uses for coffee cans and coffee filters amazingly go beyond storage. You might be surprised just how many there are as you continue reading!

RELATED: 11 Surprising Survival Uses For A Tin Can

The Many Survival Uses for Coffee Cans and Coffee Filters

Survival Uses for Coffee Cans

Survival Uses for Coffee Cans | Survival Uses For Coffee Cans And Coffee Filters

1. Survival Kit

A metal or plastic coffee can make a great container for a survival kit! You can include items such as a fire starting kit, multi-tool, a poncho, and any other necessary items that could save you in a survival situation.

Check out our article, Coffee Can Survival Kit for Your Car, for a great example of what to possibly include in your own survival kit.

2. First Aid Kit

A metal or empty plastic coffee cans make a great container for a first aid kit, as well. Check out our article, What to Include in a Home First Aid Kit, for a step-by-step guide on building the perfect first aid kit for you and your family.

3. Organize Your Survival Supplies

Empty coffee cans with lids may also help you organize your survival supplies while on a camping trip.

Let’s say you want to go around the corner from the campsite to fish, and you want a container to carry your needed supplies while you catch dinner.

Throw them in small empty coffee cans with plastic lids, and you’re all set!

4. Water Container

Metal coffee tins can make a great tool to scoop water from your nearby water source. You can also use it to boil the water so it's safe to drink.

5. DIY Heater

This DIY heater is a great temporary solution for an extra heat source for the inside of a tent.

The burn time for this DIY heater is approximately 15–18 minutes. There is no odor as it burns.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 small metal coffee can
  • 1 roll of toilet paper
  • Lighter or matches
  • 1 container of 70% rubbing alcohol


  • Remove the cardboard insert from the toilet paper roll. Bend the roll slightly and insert it into the coffee can.
  • Next, pour the 70% alcohol onto the toilet paper, making sure to soak the entire roll.
  • After the alcohol has had time to soak into the toilet paper completely, light the toilet paper.

6. Carrying Hot Coals

If you're walking from one campsite to another and want to have a fire as soon as you arrive, you can carry hot coals inside a metal coffee can.

You’ll have a roaring fire going within a few minutes. Great time and energy saver!

7. Cooking

Large metal coffee cans are great for cooking! Check out our article, Now You’re Cooking! For step-by-step instructions on how you can have the perfect meal using a coffee can!

8. Store Leftovers While Camping

Metal coffee cans also make perfect storage for your leftovers because they help to conceal food odors. This is important as any food odors can attract predators and other unwanted pests.

9. Keep Your Valuables Hidden

Need a good hiding place for your valuables? Metal coffee cans with lids make the perfect place to hide any valuables, such as your cell phone, any jewelry, wallet, etc.

10. Washing Small Items

Lastly, of the many survival uses for coffee cans, large plastic coffee cans are great for washing smaller items like socks, undergarments, etc.

Just fill the coffee can halfway with water, add a little soap, throw in the items, close the lid, and give it a good shake for about 2–5 minutes.

Next, rinse the items with clean water, and then wring them out and let air dry.

RELATED: Survival DIY: How To Melt Aluminum Cans For Casting

Survival Uses for Coffee Filters

Survival Uses for Coffee Filters | Survival Uses For Coffee Cans And Coffee Filters

11. First Aid

Of course, first aid kit supplies are what you use to clean and dress your wounds.

However, if you've cut yourself, and the first aid kit is not within your sight or reach, but you have immediate access to a coffee filter, then, by all means, use one to press down on the wound to stop the bleeding.

However, keep in mind that this is a temporary solution until you can get to your first aid kit.

12. Filtering Water

Coffee filters are not meant to completely filter your water, but they can be used to filter out small pieces of wood, pebbles, grass, etc.

Boiling your water is always the safest bet to remove all bacteria and waterborne pathogens.

Check out this less than $10.00 incredible water filter from desertsun02:

13. Emergency Toilet Paper or Paper Towels

You get to your campsite and realize you didn’t pack the toilet paper or paper towels!

Don't panic. You can just use coffee filters instead.

14. Fire Starter

When you're done cooking your meal in your cast iron skillet, wipe the excess grease off with a coffee filter.

But, don’t throw it away! Instead, use it later on as a fire starter.

15. Keep Flying Insects Away from Your Food and Drinks

One thing about eating outdoors is dealing with flies and gnats buzzing around your food! To protect your food and drinks, cover them with coffee filters.

16. Headache Relief

Sometimes, over-the-counter medications alone just don't cut it for headaches. For an instant cold compress, wet a coffee filter and then stick it in the freezer for about five minutes.

Place the chilled coffee filter on your forehead for that extra headache relief.

17. Makeshift Bowl

Here’s a great idea for a ‘less mess’ snack or meal (though for dry foods only). Place your snack or quick meal in a coffee filter and just throw it away after you’re done — no dishes to wash this way!

18. Makeshift Notepad

Coffee filters make a great substitute for a notepad to jot down those quick notes!

19. Funnel

Slightly cup the coffee filter and cut off the tip. This creates a great funnel and makes transferring things to other containers much easier.

Check this out! Step One survival shows a video on the survival uses for coffee cans:

As survivalists, we’ll take an everyday item and make sure it has (or will have) at least two or three survival uses. This includes anything from paracords, zip ties to trash bags.

Anything that is not a multi-use item is useless! It’s a practical yet necessary mindset that we carry with us wherever we go.

Knowing now how your morning cup of Joe is actually a heck of a survival tool, you will stock up on coffee filters and even the big, red Folgers metal coffee can!

Which of these survival uses for coffee cans have you tried? Share with us in the comment section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 29, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

13 Responses to :
Survival Uses For Coffee Cans And Coffee Filters

  1. Dan-o says:

    OK, since nobody is going to say it, I will. I keep one in my tent to pee in. Rainy outside? Mosquitoes? Freakin cold? Other people? At my age, I have to take a leak sometime in the night. There, I said it. Just don’t use the same one to cook in unless you are truly a bad ass.

    1. Meathead says:

      As a kid when we traveled, my mother would have a quart Mason Jar for my brother and I to use. The screw-on lid prevented spillage and she would pout it out at the next stoplight (years before the interstate). This kept my dad from having to stop every hour or so. We did the same for our two boys and used the Mason Jar ‘technique’ for years when were tent camping.

  2. Rebecca King says:

    I love these hacks! My main issue is finding metal coffee cans. I’m new to my area and don’t know which places have them.

    1. G Zalewski says:

      Pretty much the only way, other than calling each store & asking, is to visit them. You’ll only need to check a single store of a given chain in your area, most individual outlets of chain stores carry the same items. Don’t leave out the little Mom & Pop shops, often they’ll carry older style items that others like but chains ignore. Then there’s the ‘Dollar Stores’, they often carry foreign copies/versions of older products.

      1. Francie Keithcarter Simpson says:

        Costco- the Kirkland coffee come in a metal can and it’s good!

    2. Eddie says:

      you can also go to home depot or lowes and get clean empty paint cans , they also work well, some that have a lining in them you may have to burn out first, but there great tight sealing cans

  3. Bella says:

    Add you coffee filters to the coffee can.

  4. Bella says:

    Add your coffee filters to the coffee can.

  5. Ryan says:

    Check large kitchens. Salvation Army and goodwill for examples. They serve gallon food cans of veggies and fruit every day.

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