How to Survive With Aluminum Foil

Save your eyes, your electronics, and your life—as if you needed more reasons to start every trip with a breakfast burrito.

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Block the glare

Make glacier goggles to prevent snow blindness. Fold foil into a 6-by-2-inch bar and mold the mask to your face. Cut a space for your nose and horizontal slits for your eyes. Fold foil over at the edges to reinforce before poking holes for a cordage head strap.

Splint a joint

Wrap a broken finger in cloth, then fold several layers of foil into a bar twice the length of your finger. Fold it in half longways over your finger to create a two-sided splint. (It’s stronger than it looks.) Bend the splint to hold the finger at the most comfortable angle.

Signal for help

Wrap foil around a plate or a square frame made of twigs and reflect sunlight to signal aircraft. (Smooth out creases for best results). Too busy working that survival grind? Make sure your signal is always on: Tie ribbons of foil to trees or bushes in open areas.

Leave a trail

Lost at night? As you hike, wrap foil around trailside vegetation to catch your headlamp beam, so you can retrace your steps.

Purify water

Fashion a cup to hold water for boiling. Suspend it over coals (foil will melt in a direct flame).

Waterproof your phone

Don’t have a plastic bag? Wrap electronics in foil to protect them from heavy rain. Fold the edges over several times and crimp tightly to seal.