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Something For Nothing #2 - Coffee Filters

The humble coffee filter, keeping tiny bits of gravelly grossness out of apparently delicious brews since July 8th, 1908. At least in its modern papery format; people have been using cloth for filtering purposes for hundreds or thousands of years. Still, our little paper friend is very much a capable ally in even our most trying times. Let’s see what coffee filters can do!

1 – Filter

This seems obvious so I won’t go into detail on this one. Although please bear in mind that as water filters, these will not filter out bacteria, though they are good for sticks and dirt.

2 – Fire Starter

A grease-soaked coffee filter is considered on of the best fire starters around. You could also use coffee filters to make char paper, tinder bundles or just rip it up for tinder itself.

3 – Cleaning

Not particularly suited to cleaning but still effective in a pinch for windows or metal. If you wrap freshly cleaned metal utensils in these filters, you can soak up excess water and save the tools from a rusty fate.

4 – Emergency TP

Actually, one of the most forgotten bits of survival gear. Yes, you could use leaves or pine cones or any number of wild things, but anything paper-based is probably the most familiar for the average person.

5 – Sprouting Seeds

Definitely more for long-term survival than short emergencies but still a useful trick. Even grade schoolers do this as science experiments. Also useful for keeping seeds cool and dry between seasons.

6 – Spice Bundles

You can stock some seasonings for camping trips or use as a sort of cheesecloth to steep herbs as teas and flavourings. A Bouquet de Garni is the fancy culinary term for this.

7 – Glasses

Dip in water and use to clean the lenses of your glasses without leaving lint and residue like other disposable fabrics.

8 – Organization

For small things especially; nails, screws, and other tiny annoying parts can, along with a twist tie, be packaged in a neat transportable bundle.

9 – First Aid

Can be used as a bandage or compress if needed. Believe me, you should try anything that resembles a real bit of first aid supply first but in a pinch, we can’t be choosy.

10 – And More

A large amount of other uses still exist for the mighty coffee filter though most devolve into pouches for various things or as dryer sheets -- basically, to scent or descent various things. Also, as a napkin to blow your nose. If you really need more uses, feel free to check out the links below. I hope this is useful as a starting point for some creative prepping and I will see you next time with another bit of interesting survival gear.

Link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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