Most preppers have no idea how many survival uses for aluminum foil there are. And this can really get them into trouble. Especially when you consider how extremely versatile, durable and downright this material is.
Sure, one sheet by itself might not seem like much. But when you use it in the right way – or when you layer sheets on top of one another – it opens up a world of possibilities.
Aluminum foil is no longer just for wrapping up food and sealing up food containers. In fact, there are at least…
16 Survival Uses For Aluminum Foil
1 – Signal For Help
Aluminum foil is very shiny, which makes it perfect for using as a signal mirror. Hold this reflective surface in the direction of the sun. The sun’s rays will bounce off it, and alert others by air, land or sea that you need rescuing.
2 – Keeps Your Hands Safe
Emergency candles are great, and often necessary when you need to see in the dark and don’t have batteries. However, the scalding hot candle wax can burn your hands. Not fun.
Instead, use foil to protect your hands. You can do this by layering a few pieces on top of each other, and then crumpling the edges and forming a small bowl.
Cut a hole in the middle of the bowl, and push the candle through. Now you can light the candle, and hold it below the foil bowl. The bowl will do its job by protecting your hand and catching any wax that runs off.
3 – Make Your Own Char Cloth
Most people aren’t familiar with char cloth. However, it’s seriously handy in a crisis.
Char cloth is basically a flammable material. Just one spark and it ignites, immediately allowing you to cook, warm yourself and see in the dark. Check out this cool video to learn how to make this with aluminum foil.
4 – Hold Your Tools
Got a ton of compact tools? Keep them in one place by wrapping them in a large sheet of aluminum foil. This will keep them together, and will keep them protected from the rain.
5 – Catch Some Dinner
One of the amazing things about foil is it’s so shiny and reflective – which makes it perfect for getting the attention of fish!
Add a small piece of foil to your hook or weight. The fish will see it flashing and get curious. And in no time at all you’ll have dinner.
6 – Clean The Cooking Supplies
Whether you’re at home or bugging out, the fact is basically nobody likes scrubbing dirty dishes. Especially when food, grease and gunk is caked on.
Make the job much easier by scrubbing with a ball of aluminum foil. The abrasive surface will help knock that stubborn gunk right off.
NOTE: Do NOT use this method on Teflon pans – this will remove their non-stick coating.
7 – Be Like Hansel and Gretel
Remember the childhood story where Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs to follow behind them when they were traveling? Well, you can do something similar with the use of aluminum foil.
Tear the foil into long strips and wrap them around surrounding tree branches/trunks. This trail of foil signals will help rescuers follow your path and find you.
8 – DIY Dishes
You’ve got your survival food hot and ready to eat… but what will you eat it on?
The good news is you can use aluminum foil to make your own plates and bowls! Simply lay a few pieces on top of each other until it’s thick enough to hold food/liquids. Then fold and crumple the edges until they, too, are durable enough to stay up solidly.
Then add your food on top and you have your own makeshift dishware to eat off of.
9 – Sharpen Your Survival Knife
Dull knives are very dangerous to use – and they’re a pain in the butt. Thankfully, you can solve this issue with the help of aluminum foil.
Layer a few pieces until you have a nice, thick, dense stack. Then rub it against each side of the knife – two minutes per side. This will sharpen the blade and make the knife much easier to use!
10 – Keep Yourself Dry At Night
When it’s time to go to sleep, you might find out that your sleeping bag is wet thanks to the dew/raindrops on the grass.
You can avoid this happening by laying down a large piece of aluminum foil on the ground, and then laying your sleeping bag on top of it. This foil will act as a barrier between the bag and the grass, helping it stay dry through the night.
11 – Stay Warm For Longer
Did you know aluminum foil can help you extend the life of your fire starter? Simply soak a cotton ball in petroleum jelly (aka the oldest firestarting trick in the book). Then lay the cotton ball on a piece of foil and light it. You’ll be surprised to see this simple trick helps you burn that fire for longer periods of time!
12 – Provide More Light
Here’s a cool trick. If you’re using an emergency candle to light your way, you can make that existing light shine even brighter.
To do this, simply rip off a large piece of aluminum foil, and fold it so that it’s standing up. Then place the candle in front of the foil. The light from the fire will bounce off the foil and amplify it. This ensures you’ll have more light than if you had just used the candle by itself.
13 – Funnel The Mixture
There may be times where you need to move liquids from one container to another. Or maybe you’re making your own water filter, and need to transfer sand and other materials into a bottle.
No matter what you’re doing, a funnel can likely help you out. Simply fold a thick piece of aluminum foil into any size/shape funnel you like. You’ll find this makes doing the job much easier!
14 – Add Some Insulation
Whether you’re bugging in or bugging out, chances are you can use aluminum foil to help insulate your shelter. For houses, you can lay sheets of foil on the inside of your windows to insulate them from the cold. For tents, you can line the inside with foil to make it warmer.
15 – Take Off The Rust
Rust can be a real killer of your survival tools, cars, and more. Thankfully, you can remove it with the help of aluminum foil.
Take a piece of foil and form it into a ball. Then rub it all over the rusted spot, applying pressure as needed. This corrosive material will remove that rust and help keep the item looking good as new.
16 – Make Your Own Solar Cooker
Want a nifty way to cook survival food using nothing but cardboard, aluminum foil and then suns’ rays? Check out the video below to learn how to build one of the simplest solar cookers ever.
These are just a few of the many survival uses for aluminum foil. Know about more that we missed? Share them with your fellow preppers in the comments section. Remember, when we Prepare Now, we’ll likely Survive Later!