When you think of charcoal you may think of the black stuff they pump into your stomach after a night of bad decisions with johnny walker

But activated charcoal may earn a spot in your survival kit after reading this post. We’re going to cover 10 ways to use activated charcoal for survival.

Charcoal VS Activated Charcoal

For those of you that are wondering what the difference is between charcoal and activated charcoal.

Let’s start by answering, what is activated charcoal?

Activated Charcoal is what activated carbon is called.

Activated Carbon is produced when charcoal is being treated with oxygen. The primary function is being a filter. It works well as a filter because of its large surface area which allows it to effectively absorb substances. 

Activated carbon is primarily used in chemical water purification methods. This is the stuff we can thank when purifying water with chemicals.

On the other hand, Charcoal is one of the substances that is produced when carbonic compounds in plants and animals die. When they die, the compounds are converted into other carbonic compounds. One of them is charcoal.

Charcoal is dark grey and is solid. Charcoal doesn’t contain carbon like activated charcoal.

Survival Hacks: 10 Primitive Uses For Activated Charcoal

Here are ten ways to use activated charcoal for survival in the modern world.

After going over the different uses, you can see how to make it DIY style. Or where to get some.


Activated charcoal has been around since the ancient Egyptians. They used it for cosmetics as it is an efficient filter. It works well for cleaning our skin.


Not only did the ancient Egyptians use it, but the ancient Greeks also used it as well. Not so much for cosmetics, but for medicinal purposes.

NOTE: For more medical uses for activated charcoal, check out Dr. Axe’s guide here.

Bite Me

Activated Charcoal works as a treatment to many types of bites. Such as:

  • Snake Bites
  • Mosquito Bites
  • Spider Bites
  • Other bug bites


Activated charcoal helps eliminate parasites from the body. The filter-like effect it has is able to pull toxins, heavy metals, and parasites, removing them from the body.

Toothache Relief

Few things are worse in the world of pain than a toothache.

I’ve had more than my share of toothaches and dental issues. Nothing I wouldn’t give during a toothache to get just a portion of relief. 

if only then I knew about activated charcoal. If only I was more self-reliant back then.

Watch this video on how to make an activated charcoal poultice.

Skin Infections

Native Americans used activated charcoal to help treat skin infections.


Asian cultures used it to whiten the skin. 

Keep teeth clean

Use AC as toothpaste. It works for cleaning the mouth of impurities. 

Poison Remedy

AC is effective at treating certain poisons we may have gotten exposed to. Doctors will use activated charcoal to absorb the poisons and toxins you may have ingested. 

It doesn’t work for all poisons, seek medical attention first before rushing to the black powder.

Food Poisoning

AC can help treat food poisoning. Remember, it’s a filter. So think of it as a detox agent. Going around detoxing your body from harmful substances.

Water Filtration

Last but not least, the primary use we get out of activated charcoal as a prepper, water purification.

AC is used in modern water filtration systems that save our lives in a crisis when we don’t have access to drinkable water.

DIY Activated Charcoal

If you want to see how to make activated charcoal on your own, check out Primal Survivor’s Guide here.

Where To Buy

Now that you know why activated charcoal is so beneficial for preppers survival, now how should you go about getting it?

Here are a couple of brands that are reputable and established.

  • Nature’s Way
  • NOW

Those two brands have been proven to carry quality ingredients.

You can look them up on Amazon. Or Nature’s Way is available in most supermarkets. The NOW brand may not be in your local grocery store, but any supplement shop will carry it. 


Now that you know some survival uses for activated charcoal, saving a small space in your survival it may be beneficial for you.

Want to see more survival uses and hacks for everyday items? Visit the Ultimate Survival Hacks Guide here.


use activated charcoal for survival

10 Survival Uses For Activated Charcoal
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