7 Survival Uses for Aluminum Foil

foillogoNecessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. In a SHTF situation, where supplies are severely limited, necessity appears just about everywhere you look. That means that knowing a multitude of survival hacks is the mother lode of problem solving…

Ideally, your survival stockpile should be filled with what I call hyper-multipurpose items like duct-tape, hydrogen peroxide, and of course aluminum foil.

Aluminum foil falls in right behind duct tape and bailing wire in terms of usefulness. I’ve compiled a list of 7 unusual uses for the stuff. If you get creative, I’m sure you could think of dozens more uses for this very flexible stuff.

1. Fix Battery Connections

If one of your battery powered gadgets is only working intermittently, that could mean you have a loose batter connection. Springs can lose tension after a period of time, which allows your batteries to bounce around inside and lose contact. To fix this problem get a small piece of aluminum foil fold it until it is thick enough to fill the slack.

2. Makeshift Frying Pan

You can use an aluminum foil to make a frying pan in case you want to cook something but you don’t have anything to cook on. Making an improvised frying pan using aluminum foil is easy: all you need is aluminum foil and two large sticks. Wrap the edges of aluminum foil around the sticks and voila! You now have a frying pan.

3. Keep Your Bedroll Dry

Wet bedding materials can really put the kibosh on your much-needed sleep. To protect your sleeping bag from rain or morning dew, put some heavy-duty aluminum foil under your sleeping bag, or even drape it on top (the dew will form on the foil instead of your bag).

4. Keep tinder/matches dry

This one’s simple. To keep your matches and tinder dry, wrap them with aluminum foil.

foil25. Lure a fish

Many species of fish are attracted to shiny objects. Wrap some aluminum foil around your fishing line or construct a makeshift foil lure near your hook. The reflective foil lure around your hook will entice fish to strike.

6. Make a funnel

When you need a funnel but you don’t have one or can’t find one, use an aluminum foil to make a funnel. Get some aluminum foil then roll it until you get the proper shape.

7. Trail Marker

You can use aluminum foil to signal for help by placing pieces of aluminum foil in the branches of a tree or just by simply holding it up.

Bonus: Sharpen Scissors with Foil

As you can imagine, this isn’t a good alternative for high-quality sharpening equipment. But aluminum foil can help you sharpen a pair of scissors in a SHTF emergency. Simply fold the foil over several times and then cut through the layers with your scissors 5-10 times, which automatically hones the sharp edges.

What did I miss? Share your best aluminum foil hacks in the comments section below!

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  1. William Johnson

    Line a cardboard box with aluminum foil and adjust to reflect the sun’s rays to the center. Voila, a solar oven. Use it to cook your meals or heat water. A 2 X 2 X 2 ft box will make a remarkable amount of heat.

  2. You can always use aluminum foil in an emergency to replace a blown fuse in your electrical power box or as a temporary repair in any circuit where an open circuit occurs.

  3. Use as a wrap for small candles to carry hunting or camping.
    Fold up some and put in a shirt pocket for emergency drinking cup.
    Wrap Bullion Cubes for your pocket for emergency food.
    Use the foil as needed after using the other items.

  4. David Barksdale

    Aluminum can be used to remove rust from chrome surfaces. Fold a piece over several times and scrub away the rust. It will not remove any pits under the rust .

    Glad to offer this additional suggestion and appreciate yours.

  5. Make a Faraday cage to protect electronics or keep them from being TRACKED!!! Just wrap them and seal the edges.

  6. I have heard big rumors about a EMF blast that would destroy a lot of electronics and etc. Short of having an old tube style receiver, which are usually very big and not practical to carry around, if you have your emergency electronics wrapped in aluminum foil it may protect them from the EMF wave by dissipating the energy around the device. I have not tried this out as I do not own a emf wave generator. I have seen where a copper mesh around the device will work, so why not an aluminum shield?

    If I did my neighbors would hate me more!

  7. The shinny side makes a dare good reflector when the sun is out.

  8. Know this is rotten, but as kids we used to make quarters and half dollars using pensil eraser on aluminum foil…coin really looked real…we’d lay the coins around and watch from a distance the almost fights that would ensue as people dove for the coins!….also glued a rock to them, and put in toilets and Urinals!…see someone go in..follow them…seeing you they always look to see if there’s another urinal…see the coin and grab it…Hard not to laugh!! Sorry…not a legit use!!!

  9. When an old type glass fuse blows (those about an inch long or so), and you don’t have a replacement, cut a very narrow strip of aluminum foil and connect to both ends of the fuse. Don’t wrap the fuse or whatever caused the fuse to blow can over heat and start a fire or ruin equipment.

  10. I taught my scouts to bake with foil, We would wrap potatoes in foil and bury them in hot coals in the ground. Also we made hobo packs. Which is made up of cut up carrots,potatoes, celery and take a hamburger patty and make a ridge and place all in foil. Wrap it up and place on top of wrapped potatoe and when you come back in several hours you have a complete meal. You can also make a reflector oven from foil to bake biscuits etc in it.


  12. When camping, we wrap food up in aluminum foil and put it right up against side of campfire. If cooking utensils are not available, a stick can be used to roll food away from fire, turn it around and then put it back with other side against fire without burning fingers. When food is done, we open the packets, and use the foil as plates after sharing food to each other’s “plates”. Any meat or veg can be cooked this way. I’ve even seen this method used to cook damper bread (a camping staple in Australia — recipes are available on internet). I also use this technique at home on the barbeque to make cleanup easier and save water. It has the additional advantage that in a survival situation, cooking smells are contained so I’m not advertising that I have food.

    Also, if camping out, it’s a good idea to hang food up in tree to keep most critters out of it. If I’m backpacking,, I’m not going to have plastic containers. But wrap in foil with all edges at top, twist at top and bend to make a hook, tie with string or rope and it’ll hang right up.

    Additionally, when putting foil in backpack, I remove the cardboard tube from center and flatten both. The foil fits better and the flattened cardboard is useful for fire-starting.

  13. If you lose the battery spring in your flashlight, or if it breaks when it’ gets rusted, you can put aluminum foil around a small hunk of wood big or small enough to fit inside your flashlight. Screw on the bottom lid, turn on the light switch, and voila! The light will go on. I did this when I dropped a plastic flashlight, and the insides fell out and broke…didn’t think it would work, but it did. I still have the flashlight and it still works. Btw., my website is free to use–it teaches those who have extreme fear of being in water, how to swim–also swimming instructors how to teach “fearful adults” to swim.

  14. I would like to know more details about this faraday cage.

  15. The concern about EMF destroying electronics is somewhat overhyped. I have actually experienced an EMF personally, in July 1962, while living in Hawaii. We were told that there was to be an aboveground nuclear test which we could watch. In fact this was the Starfish Prime test of a thermonuclear device in space some 900 miles from Oahu. It did cause damage to some streetlights, the power system supplying the microwave link on the island of Kauai which linked telephones from Kauai to Oahu, and some television stations. It did not damage the hybrid (tube and transistor) radio in our car, a 1960 Studebaker. It did not destroy the small transistor radios we owned at the time. The length of the wire connecting to electronic or electrical devices determines how much energy will be accumulated and the amount of damage which could occur. The tiny antennas on cell phones and personal radios would not draw enough energy to cause damage. The long wires of your electrical supply system would probably suffice, but whether the pulse would make it through all the intervening transformers is not clear. I expect that the pulse would find a way to ground along the way, but to be safe, not having things connected to the grid is best. Having a degree of isolation would be optimum. Having a backup system with an inverter to supply power to computers and other potentially damaged equipment would protect them. Charging the battery supply while not connected to the inverter and computer and then reconnecting would provide isolation. Having 2 separate batteries and a transfer/isolation switch would work.

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