Making Charcoal for Survival

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Blog, General, Wilderness Survival
Tags: , ,

Throughout the third world, people cant afford to go and buy kingsford to get charcoal for cooking, so they have to make their own.

There are many different ways,to make charcoal some more advanced and hi-tech, but this is the more primitive way and the one that is most easy to do under “dire” circumstances.



There are many uses for charcoal.

1. You can cook with it and it will burn better and hotter then wood.

2. You can use it to clean your water and make a water filter or to make sweet water. If your water is a little skunky boil water with 2 pieses of charcoal for about 15 min to remove the smell.

3. You can use it to help stop poisoning. For instance if you eat something by mistake that would kill you and their was nothing you could do to stop it, just take 2 teaspoon full’s and eat it three times a day. The poison will be absorbed into the charcoal and just may save your life.

4. Charcoal is one of the main parts of black powder as well as other things.

5. It also can be used as a top dressing on a wound to absorb infection.

6. Can be used to add Potassium to the soil and raze the ph levels as well.

7. Can be mixed with white ash for a cleaner and soaps.

This is just some things that charcoal is used for and is very important to your survival



(From Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy)


The sticks should be placed inclined, creating a mound.  Here for demonstration sake, the partially charred sticks from a recent charcoal preparation are used. Usually the partially charred sticks will be very less say, 1% to 2% of the whole charcoal preparation mound. They can be reduced if proper monitoring is done during the charcoal preparation. For partially charred sticks, the time taken for charcoal preparation will be less. For any wood, the procedure is same.

A larger mound is created, we can create any size mound, I have seen mounds of 5 meters height too.


Mixing the earth and preparing the paddy straw for laying over the sticks mound. Here the earth and straw is made wet as this mound is smaller in size.

First stage coverup the mound with straw


Light the mound at the top, using easily straw / small sticks



Making holes at the bottom, by removing some part of the straw and the earth, these holes are important, for release of tar / moisture, etc.

Let it sit for a a few days to a few weeks, depends on if you have pre charred the wood or not, but a few weeks will ensure the best results


finished charcoal in gunny sacks


Another method I found on



1) Let Wood age (season) for 6 months (Hardwoods are better)

2) Cut wood evenly and place in a fire and keep turning it so that it burns evenly.

3) Burn until you can just poke a stick into it and or break a piece by striking it with a shovel.

4) Remove it from the fire and place it into the ground and cover it up until there is no smoke coming from it.

5) Let it remain there for about 2 weeks

6) Crush to size.



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