foil pouch on the fire
Cooking with foil. Tim MacWelch

Aluminum foil is one of those classic camping supplies that can morph into hundreds of useful things. I have made foil oil lamps and foil cooking pots, added flash to fishing lures, and performed many other camp tasks with this versatile product.

Some commercially available survival kits even include a square of foil to shape into a container for boiling water, among other tasks. It’s never a bad idea for us to fold up a few feet of this modern marvel and store the little square in our own survival kits. So how can we use aluminum foil for survival cooking?

Steaming Pouch
Place your wild game meat cutlet, foraged vegetables or store bought food on a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil. Fold the foil over and roll up the three open sides of the foil to create a pouch that can be placed in a bed of coals from your camp fire. Use a little oil or water inside the pouch to keep leaner, drier foods from sticking and burning. Veggies can be steamed in 10 to 15 minutes, while other foods will take longer.

Frying Pan
Two sheets of foil, each one foot long, can be stacked and the perimeter folded upward to create a square-shaped pan. Make the side walls one to two inches tall. Use a green stick grill or a metal grate to suspend your frying pan over the flames of a small fire. Add a few spoonfuls of oil and carefully fry your food. This pan is fragile, even when made double thick, so no stir fry. Flip the food over once and don’t mess with it, unless you’re trying to poke a hole through the foil pan.

Cook Pot
Use two or three foil sections, and fold the side walls taller than you did on the frying pan. Now you have a cooking pot. Put the pot on a grill over the fire and boil your water, simmer a soup, or cook up a wild food stew.

Foil Oven
Start by building up a bed of coals in the campfire. Shovel the coals off to one side and place an 8-inch-square piece of foil on the ground in the fire pit. Stab a finger-thick, foot-long piece of wood through the foil (pinning it to the ground). Skewer a piece of chicken or a small squab on the wooden stake. Now, wrap the foil all around this “chicken on a stick” so it resembles a silver cone sitting on the ground. Surround the base of the cone with the coals, adding a few more coals around the cone every 20 minutes. Bake for one hour, or until the chicken is falling off the stake (which is the reason for the foil on the ground). Enjoy.