How to Survive the Wild Using Just a Beer Can

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There’s a lot of gear out there to help you survive in the wild, but what happens when all your awesome equipment breaks, and all you have left is a beer and a knife?

Thanks to the tips I’ve gained from Kyle over at Embryonic Studios, you can now use that empty beer can for more than just making a pipe.

So everyone, forget the gear, and just bring the beer.

Kyle Making Things out of Beer Cans


Cut vertically down the can starting from the curve at the top, and ending an inch before the bottom. Then make horizontal cuts that go halfway around the can, both at the top and bottom of your vertical cut, positioning the vertical cut in the middle. Open each side, and pop a candle or the coals from your fire into the can. Bonus points: if you have some fishing line, hang your beer can lantern from a tree.

How to Make a Beer Can Lantern


Cut a strip of the can to use as a reflector to signal SOS. The SOS signal is simply three short signals, three long signals, three short signals. Repeat until you are saved. And if you aren’t saved, at least you have some more ways to use your empty beer cans to help you until rescue arrives.

Cup or Pot

Cut off the top of the can, and then fold the sides inwards so you don’t cut yourself. Use to drink more beer, to boil water, or to cook up some eggs on your camp stove.

How to Make a Beer Can Cup or Pot

Coffee Filter

Cut away the top half of your can – you’re not going to need it. Use a needle to puncture holes along the outside of the bottom of the can. You can also use a knife, and your coffee will drain quicker, but you will get some coffee grounds in your cup.

How to Make a Coffee Filter from a Beer Can

Beer Can Coffee Filter

Watertight Container

Cut off the top of two cans. On one can, cut a one centimeter slit on either side at the top of the can, so that you can squeeze it inside the other one. Voila! Watertight storage made from beer cans.

Water Tight Storage using a beer can

Fish Trap

Yep, you can catch small fish using a beer can. Cut an X shape into the side of your can, then push the folds inwards. Now fish can swim inside your can, but they can’t swim out. Happy eating.

Fish Trap Made from a Beer Can

Fishing Hook

Using the tab from your beer can, cut the middle out, and a bit of the top. Attach some fishing line, and you’re good to go!

How to Make a Fishing Hook with a Beer Can


Camp Stove

You will need two cans for this one, but surely you’ve been drinking enough for this to not be a problem. Cut away all but the bottom third of one can. Put it to the side.

For the second can you only need the bottom, just past where it curves. Puncture holes around the rim. Put some fuel into the non-punctured can, and then place the punctured one upside down on top. Once set up, use a lighter at the top of the punctured can. You should get ten to fifteen minutes out of it – long enough to boil some water for some much needed hangover coffee.

Beer Can Camp Stove

How to Make a Beer Can Camp Stove

Poach or Scramble Eggs on That Stove

Place your beer can cup on top of the stove. For poached eggs, add water and then the eggs. For scrambled, put your eggs straight in, and stir them around with a stick until cooked.

And remember, if you’re heating your beer can up, don’t touch it with bare hands. I haven’t yet figured out how to use a beer can as a first aid kit, so stay safe.


A big thanks to Kyle at Embryonic Studios for teaching us all that drinking beer is a healthy survival technique!

Embryonic Studios




Danie is a lovable and insane digital nomad of sorts. If you ever wondered what's a nomad, you've come to the right place. She enjoys oversharing, telling every detail of her life, and chilling on the beach, among other things. Danie is rather odd, and she likes it that way. Be sure to subscribe to hear more of her ramblings, and find out when Danie finally gets to fulfill her biggest dream: cuddling a platypus.


  1. This is rad! Thank you so much for giving me more reasons to drink, hahaha!

  2. The camp stove was introduced to me a few years ago, but I hadn’t come across too many of the others. Hobo resourcefulness at its best!

  3. There are lot of uses here, nice. Have you used/applied all of them?
    I am not big into drinking but I enjoy the occasional beer, or cider, and these are pretty cool and useful suggestions!

  4. This post is amazing and informative. Who knew there were so many ways for one to use empty beer cans while camping or hiking! Love it.

    My husband and I are huge camping fans and plan to camp a lot this summer. We’ll bring a 12 pack of beers and see how things go. I’d love to try the coffee trick!

    Thanks for the fabulous information!

    -The Travel Nerds

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