10 Aluminum Foil Uses For The Outdoors


If you leave your aluminum foil locked in the kitchen drawers when you are heading out on a backpacking trip, chances are, you are not familiar with all the aluminum foil uses. Aluminum foil is incredibly versatile and can do more than just wrapping your burritos. When you are out camping, it can come in handy in emergencies.

After going through the aluminum foil survival uses we have outlined in this article, you will want to have it the next you grab your backpacking backpack.

Top 10 Aluminum Foil Uses

1. Boiling Water

This is one of the aluminum foil survival uses you need to practice first – you can practice some origami using a piece of paper to learn how to fold a square or rectangular container out of the flat material. Once you have the idea, fold your aluminum foil into a rectangular or square pot to boil water.

Next, set the pot over a campfire, on a stable rack featuring close-set bars. This should allow you to boil the water for some cooking. If you forgot to bring backpacking water filters, you can boil the water to disinfect it.

Note: Be careful when folding your aluminum foil to avoid having holes on the corners.

2. Cooking

If you forgot to bring cooked backpacking food, having extra aluminum foil can make outdoor cooking and emergency food preparation much easier. Using aluminum foil for cooking comes with a wide range of benefits – you can use the foil multiple times and it can help you create an oven-like environment. The oven-like environment lets you fry, steam, braise, or roast your meals.

3. Grill Cleaning

If your chosen campsite has a built-in grill, you will want to use it. When packing your backpack, you could have forgotten to pack your grill brush – this should not keep you from using the camping grill.

By simply balling up your aluminum foil and giving the grill a rub down, you should be able to clean its nasty grate in a snap. While the cleaning may not be perfect, the foil will conform well and offer enough friction to get rid of much of the grime present on the grill’s grate.

4. Solar Oven

Armed with aluminum foil, improvising a solar oven is much easier than you might think. All you will need to do is line the inside of a cardboard box with the aluminum foil, place a dark-colored pot in the oven bag, and then set your oven bag inside the aluminum foil box. Aim the open side of your box into the sun – this will complete the improvised solar oven.

If you do everything ideally (just as we have described it), you should be able to achieve temperatures exceeding 180 degrees centigrade in your makeshift heat trap. 180+ degrees centigrade is ideal for pasteurizing your water or slow-cook your camping food.

5. As a Sharpening Tool


This is one of the less popular aluminum foil uses. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that trying to cut using a dull pair of scissors can be extremely frustrating. This frustration can compound itself if you are on a campsite without access to any sharpener.

If you had remembered to grab a piece of aluminum foil while grabbing your camping tent, you won’t have to use blunt scissors. All you will need to do is fold the aluminum foil a couple of times and then use the scissors to cut the folded foil. Simply repeat the cutting and folding process until you achieve the needed sharpness.

6. Fishing Lures

When planning a fishing trip, you may be in a hurry to the point that you forget packing your fishing lures. If you have access to aluminum foil, you may not have to go back home without fish.

All you will need to do is use a little malleable foil wrapped around your fishing hook – make the malleable foil in a way that mimics the shape of a small baitfish. The movement and the flash of the homemade lure should be able to attract and probably catch you some fish. If you are out camping, you can always use a big piece of aluminum foil to cook your fish.

7. As a Bug Blocker

If you have been camping for a while now, you already know that bugs are capable of making your life outdoors extremely hard. Pesky bugs make enjoying a sweetened drink or a can of soda impossible.

One thing you may not know is that keeping bugs away from your face and out of your drink is one of the aluminum foil survival uses. To keep the bugs away, simply use your aluminum foil to fashion a lid for your drink. Next, poke a straw through it – you should be able to enjoy a drink without having to deal with bugs.

8. Repairs

When you are outdoors, repairs are one of the most important aluminum foil uses – in the backcountry, repair options are pretty limited. If you have a cracked water bottle or a pierced hydration bladder, you can use a combination of aluminum foil and sticky pine sap to repair it.

This solution may not be capable of holding a lot of water pressure – when you get home, you may need to replace the water bottle or hydration pack or perform a more extensive repair. However, while you are in the wilderness, the simple solution should hold against drips and seeps for at least a short period.

9. Long Match

Starting a fire in the woods takes too much time – most campers prefer to avoid this activity as much as possible. Armed with a piece of aluminum foil, you may be able to reduce the number of times you need to start a fire from scratch.

All you will need to do is fill the aluminum foil with shredded juniper or cedar bark. Next, place a lump of coal from your fire in the bark fiber and then roll up the foil like a cigar. Leave one end of the long match open to allow airflow.

This simple tactic should allow you to transport coal from the last fire to a new location. All you will need to do is be extremely careful to ensure that the long match does not touch your skin or any gear that may end up melting.

10. Removing Rust

While removing rust is not one of the aluminum foil survival uses, it is still an important use that you should take note of. If you have an old ATV or Johnboat that has been stowed away for a couple of months, chances are, it has already collected some rust over the period you haven’t been using it. While the little rust may not destroy your outdoor tool, it is capable of making the equipment less aesthetically appealing.

Armed with an aluminum foil, you can easily make your ATV or Johnboat shine again. Simply ball up a piece of aluminum foil and give the rusty spot a good rub down. Getting rid of minor surface rust should be easy.

One thing you need to note is that using aluminum foil on the serious rust spots is not a good idea. This is because you may end up damaging your equipment.

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With all the extra convenience offered by aluminum foil, there is no good reason not to bring it on your next camping trip. From maintenance of your prized outdoor equipment to helping you prepare food and make water safer for drinking, the aluminum foil uses make most of the outdoor jobs quicker and less tedious to perform.

More Camping Reviews:


  1. 10 Reasons Aluminum Foil Should Be in Your Bug Out Bag, Prepforshtf.com
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!