Date Published: 2022-02-02

Coffee Filters: Unexpected Survival Tools


Coffee Filters: Unexpected Survival Tools

By Adelia Ladson

When you’re packing a bug-out bag, economy of space is the utmost importance. You need to be able to carry all of your survival essentials on your back, especially if you’re forced to evacuate on foot. The pack that you carry cannot over-burden you by weighing more than you can physically carry for a long period of time, if necessary. This makes survival tools that have multiple uses extremely valuable. Tools like the plier-style multi-tools and paracord are common bug-out bag essentials. However, you also need to think outside the box. So…one word for you: coffee filters.

Yes! Coffee Filters

The properties of coffee filters, which include being semi-permeable and having a certain amount of heat and water-resistance, make them incredibly useful survival tools. They come in a variety of sizes in both basket and cone shapes and a package of them doesn’t take up much space, which also makes them the perfect addition to your bug-out bag. Here are ten alternative uses for coffee filters that make them valuable.

Food Preparation

  1. Making coffee: You don’t need a drip coffee maker to use the filter to make coffee. You can pour boiling water over the coffee and let it filter through into any container.
  2. Hold tea or seasoning herbs: You can put loose tea in a filter, tie it shut with string and place it in a cup of hot water to steep as a makeshift tea bag. You can do the same with herbs and boil the filter bag in your soups or stocks to season them.
  3. Hold and serve food: You can use the filter by itself to serve dry food items on and use it in plastic bowls as a liner so that you don’t have to wash them but just dispose of the filter. This will conserve water. Also use them to cover and wrap prepared food to keep dirt and insects out.
  4. Soak-up cooking grease: After you have cooked food in cooking oil, use it to soak-up the grease by placing it under and on top of the food.

Basic Survival

  1. Start a fire: Keep the filters that you have soaked up the cooking grease with and use them as a firestarter.
  2. Pre-filter collected water: When you source water, it may be from a pond or stream and will need to be rid of sediment and debris before proceeding to the secondary filtering and purifying process.
  3. Make a bandage: In a pinch, you can use it as a makeshift bandage to help stop bleeding by layering several together and tying them around the wound.

More Uses

  1. Toilet paper, paper towels and tissue: They are much more easier to carry than a toilet paper or paper towel roll or a package of tissues.
  2. Glass cleaner: Since they are lint-free, effectively clean any glass surface including eye glasses and binocular lenses. You can add vinegar to water as a glass-cleaning solution.
  3. Note paper: Use it to write messages on or jot down information that you need to remember. A ballpoint pen works better as a marker will bleed.


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