How Aluminum Foil Might Just Save Your Flashlight On The Trail

A flashlight may well be considered a piece of outdoor equipment you should never buy used. But, in reality, even if you buy one brand spanking new, after some use, it will be, by definition, used. Of course, after a certain amount of use, used equipment becomes a bit less reliable. This can be of particular concern if this piece of equipment is a flashlight, as they are indispensable for any outdoor activity that takes place during lowlight conditions. Furthermore, flashlights are considered an essential piece of emergency gear for hiking, camping, and a myriad of other outdoor pursuits.


Aluminum foil is also roundly considered an essential supply for many outdoor adventurers. There are countless uses for aluminum foil while camping, hiking, fishing, or taking part in any number of other outdoor activities. If you ever needed an additional reason to carry it with you, consider that there are a couple of ways aluminum foil might just save your flashlight on the trail or at other times when you're in need of illumination outdoors.

Fix a flickering flashlight connection with aluminum foil

In order for a flashlight to be effective, it needs to shine a constant beam of light. However, most everyone knows the frustration of a flickering flashlight. While it is important to check that your gear is in working order before starting an expedition, this annoying trait of flickering on and off can start without warning — even with lights that were working flawlessly at the onset of the trip. Although not having a consistent light source can cause some very real issues for hikers and campers, there is also a very simple solution that can quickly get the flashlight's beam back to throwing a steady stream of light.


Quite often, the flickering of a flashlight is due to inconsistent contact between the battery and the metal spring and/or light contact within the battery chamber of the light. If there is a loose or broken contact, the issue can be easily solved with a small bit of aluminum foil. To fix the problem, remove the batteries from the flashlight, put a small wad of aluminum foil on the contact, and replace the batteries. While this will fix the flickering, it should be considered a temporary solution. Be sure to replace the faulty flashlight before your next adventure.

Use aluminum foil to replace a bad battery in your flashlight

A flickering flashlight is one thing. A dead flashlight is quite another. Outdoor recreation experts, such as the National Park Trust, strongly recommend bringing backup flashlights for just such an instance. However, even the most prepared adventurers are sometimes caught without a backup, particularly if they are on a trail or in a situation where minimal gear was packed. Those situations also typically make it rare to have spare batteries as well. However, if you find yourself with a bad battery and no backup, you can utilize aluminum foil and the remaining good battery or batteries to get by until you can replace it.


This hack will require a bit more foil than the loose contact fix. So, for starters you need to tear off about a foot of aluminum foil and fold it to match the length of the bad battery. Then, roll the folded foil until it matches the diameter of the bad battery. Finally, put the foil roll in the battery chamber in place of the bad battery. The light cast from the flashlight won't be as bright as it would be with fully functional batteries, but it will be ample to get you back to your vehicle or base camp.