Five Ways to Use Aluminum Foil as a Survival Tool

Survival tools don’t have to be expensive or hard to find. One example is  aluminum foil. I have a piece along in virtually all my survival kits. Here are five uses for aluminum foil in survival situations.

by Leon Pantenburg

Some common, everyday items can do double-duty as survival tools. I don’t know how the pioneers ever got along without duct tape, WD-40 or paper towels. To that list I would add aluminum foil.

Here are some uses for foil  in your survival gear.

Cooking: Making foil wraps to cook over a campfire or lighted charcoal is one of the easiest ways to cook with aluminum foil. The technique is really easy, and for some dishes,  such as fish on a campout, a foil wrap is my preferred outdoor cooking method.

Food preparation with foil wraps is simplicity itself. For short day trips, all the cutting and dicing can be done at home. For longer trips, some recipes can be pre-made, wrapped and frozen. Insulate the frozen food well, place it in the bottom of your pack, and it should thaw out in time to make a fresh, hearty meal for the second night out.

To wrap the food, place it in the center of a rectangular piece of heavy duty foil, then bring the long edges together on top. Fold the long edge over once, then continue roll-folding until it’s snug over the food. There should be several inches at each open end that are clear of food.

aluminum foil wraps, charcoal and a firepan
All you need to make a foil dinner is aluminum foil, food and a heat source.
Then, roll the ends in tightly, compressing the food and making sure that each end has at least three complete rolls. This prevents juices from escaping during cooking and gives you something to hang on to when turning the packet.

Sometimes, depending on what’s cooking, you’ll want to double wrap the packet. To avoid any leakage while transporting, put the completed package in a plastic bag. Then, when you’re done eating, put all the leftovers and used foil in the bag and carry it out. (Sounds like a tasty MRE, right?)

Fold into a drinking cup: Many primitive survival skills are related to making containers of some sort. Aluminum foil is a natural for making a waterproof cup. This skill can be invaluable if you need a small container to dip water out of a spring or sump.

Leave as a footprint register: Before you head out on an adventure, leave a note behind with a trusted person. Include in that  note where you went, when you’ll be back, what you’re doing, the license number of the vehicle and other information. Aluminum foil is part of this package, and all you have to do is step on a piece with your hiking boots on. Click  “Help Searchers Find You”  to find out how to leave a footprint register.

As a firestarter aid: I learned this trick from Survival Expert Peter Kummerfeldt. Take a pinch of cotton ball and petroleum jelly firestarter, place it on the foil top of a yogurt container, and light it. The foil material will keep the jelly from melting into the ground below, and make the flame last much longer. You can start a fire virtually anywhere using this technique. Check out the survival fire starting video!

You can also use a small piece of aluminum foil to SAFELY light a fire with gasoline. NEVER, NEVER,  NEVER  pour gasoline on an open flame or smoldering coals! An explosion is possible! Instead, make a small container with the foil,  put a tiny amount of gas in it, and light the fumes. Then build your fire with tinder, larger sticks and finally logs. There will be no danger of an explosion, and you will only need  a tablespoon or so of gas to get the fire started.

Signaling device: At night, strips of foil can be displayed at eye level to catch a flashlight beam. This is really handy if you will be leaving your deer stand or need to find a trailhead after dark  by headlamp light.  You can also use a folded piece during the day as a signal mirror for search aircraft.

The items in your personal survival kit don’t need to be expensive, but they should be carefully chosen. Regardless of what is taken along, you need to practice with that item. Every piece of equipment needs to work for you.

Original Article

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