7 Survival Uses For Charcoal


survival uses for charcoalSure, charcoal can be used to grill your burgers, brats and kebabs, but did you know that there’s actually tons of survival uses for charcoal? 

Before you dump the coals, make sure you read this blog first; these tips might just be able to save your life in a survival situation.


7 Survival Uses For Charcoal

Now first of all, it’s important you know how to make your own charcoal if SHTF; here’s a video of the process (it’s surprisingly easy):

1 – Remain Unseen

If you’re in a survival situation, you can’t risk being seen by your enemies. Charcoal can help you stay hidden, as it works to camouflage your skin. Rub the charcoal all over the exposed parts of your skin, particularly your face (but keep it out of your eyes), hands and neck.

The more you put on, the more unrecognizable you’ll look. This is also a great tactic for hunting, as game are less likely to notice you (or the sun bouncing off your skin) when you’re covered with a layer of charcoal.

Note: Another really cool way to remain unseen in a survival situation is to cook with smokeless fuel tablets. With these tablets you can cook your survival food, boil water, and produce heat without the smoke, and thus without signaling to the enemy where your camp is. These smokeless fuel tablets are included in our powerful and incredibly compact Pocket Stove right here.

survival uses for charcoal

2 – Help Stop The Poison

If you suspect that you’ve consumed poison, you can immediately consume activated charcoal to stop it.

This is because charcoal has the incredible ability to take in toxins without releasing them. The charcoal will absorb the poison it comes in contact with in your system (unfortunately it can’t soak up what’s already been taken into your blood stream, though), and take it out of your body along with your waste.

Create a mixture of charcoal with clean drinking water, and swallow the mixture. Activated charcoal is best for this method, as it’s more porous and you’ll need less of it than homemade charcoal (however, if homemade/store-bought charcoal is all you have, this can work too).

Note: Charcoal can help heal the inside of your body from poison, whereas this first-aid kit can help heal the outside of your body from plants like poison ivy. See it here.

survival uses for charcoal

Don’t know how to make activated charcoal? Here’s a video of the process:

3 – Absorb Odors

Charcoal’s porous qualities (especially active charcoal) allow it to soak in the foul odors permeating the air. It can also help to soak in body odor smells from shirts, or odors/moisture from shoes.

Note: If you’ve got body odor, you can also fight it with the deodorant in these incredibly useful Male and Female-specific hygiene kits. See them below.

survival uses for charcoal


survival uses for charcoal


It’s important to remember that charcoal will leave residue on the item you set it on, so wrap it in a towel you don’t mind dirtying before setting it on the item.

4 – Help Heal A Wound

Infected wounds can be the death of you if left untreated in a survival situation. Luckily, charcoal can help save your life. Wrap the charcoal in cloth and secure it against the infected wound; the charcoal will pull out the infection and moisture from the wound and absorb it, helping you stay alive.

Note: If you don’t have charcoal handy, this first-aid kit will help heal your wounds as well – it’s got plenty of gauze and bandages, as well as antibiotic ointment, burn cream, alcohol prep pads, antiseptic towelettes, and pain relievers. Check it out here.

survival uses for charcoal

5 – Stop Diarrhea

Having diarrhea is one of the quickest ways to dehydration – and that’s bad news in a survival situation. Charcoal naturally causes constipation, and swallowing a slurry of charcoal and water can help stop the diarrhea so you can rehydrate and replenish your nutrients.

This video’s pretty funny if you have the right sense of humor:

As you can imagine, this is a pretty crappy situation to be in; however, you can make it easier on yourself with this comfortable Reliance Hassock Toilet. It contains a toilet paper holder, removable inner bucket for easy waste disposal, and inner splash cover. Be sure to line the toilet with Double Doodie Plus leakproof trash bags, which have handles for easy transporting.

survival uses for charcoal survival uses for charcoal

6 – Use As A Writing Utensil

That residue charcoal leaves behind can actually work in your favor if you need to convey a message to someone. You can use charcoal to write on things like paper, rocks, or even bark; this is extremely useful when signaling for help, or for helping leave clues of your whereabouts to rescue teams.

Note: Another incredibly useful survival writing utensil is our Tactical Pen Knife. It writes like a pen, but contains a secret tactical knife for stealthy and effective self-defense against your enemies. See it here.

survival uses for charcoal

7 – Filter Water

Ground up charcoal is excellent at purifying water; it does this by taking out the dirt, debris and harmful contaminates in the water. Charcoal can filter water either by itself or when coupled with other materials, like sand.

Note: If you’ve found water but aren’t sure if it’s safe to drink or not, we wrote a blog on how to tell here.

Activated charcoal is best for this filtration method, as it’s more porous than normal charcoal. If you don’t know how to make activated charcoal, scroll up to see the video in section #2: Help Stop The Poison.

Here’s a video of a homemade charcoal water filter; you’ll be amazed at how the charcoal turns the disgusting, muddy water into clear, pure drinking water.

Charcoal is pretty amazing stuff, and can help turn even the nastiest water into pure, clean drinking water.

However, part of being prepared is always having a backup water filtration system in case you run out of charcoal. After all, if humans can survive only three days without water, you can’t afford to leave your hydration needs to chance (or to your stockpile).

That’s why I absolutely love the LifeStraw Water Filter. This incredible filter makes it SO EASY to get fresh, filtered, bacteria-free water in just seconds.

The filter acts just like a normal straw; simply open the cap at the bottom, set the bottom of the LifeStraw into any water source (even if it’s the muddiest water you’ve ever seen), and sip the top end like you would out of a straw. You’ll be drinking completely clean and bacteria-free water in seconds. 

This incredible invention filters up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons!) of water, giving you a year of pure, safe drinking water (meaning you can afford to take it hiking, camping and bugging out without worry of it clogging up).

It’s also extremely effective; using its patented hollow fiber membrane technology, the LifeStraw eliminates 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and particles from your drinking water. You’ll never have to boil water again!

Weighing in at only 2 ounces and measuring at just 8.8 inches long, this is the perfect survival tool to keep in your bug out bag or camping gear. It will never weigh you down, and never take up too much space in your pack.

If you’re still not entirely convinced that the LifeStraw is every bit as great as I say it is, just take a look at the reviews for it (I’ll save you the trouble – it’s received 97 5-star reviews on our website alone, and never received less than a 4-star review!).

No wonder Time Magazine has named this thing the “Invention of the Year!”

The LifeStraw is the best thing that’s happened to water filtration in a long time – and it’s definitely the best survival tool that’s happened to the camping/bugging out/water gathering experience.

Get a LifeStraw Water Filter today by clicking here or on the image below, and see for yourself why this amazing invention has everyone talking.

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