6 Ways to Use Hot Rocks in a Survival Situation


If you’ve ever had to sleep out in the cold without the proper gear in the past, you probably spent most of your night tossing and turning while trying to stay covered from the chilly air that kept sneaking up your spine. Or perhaps you want to go ice fishing, but the ice is so thick that you’re having a difficult time drilling through it? 

In both of these situations, heated rocks are your answer. In fact, hot rocks can help you in a handful of different survival situations. Keep reading to find out how you can use heated rocks not only when you’re outside, but even within the comfort of your own home. In case you missed this post, What to Do IMMEDIATELY After SHTF or this one, 9 Ways to Stay Warm Without Electricity

6 Ways to Use Hot Rocks in a Survival Situation

6 Ways to Use Hot Rocks in a Survival Situation

1. Rock Boiling

Whether you’re trying to prepare tea or some type of soup, or perhaps you’re needing to boil water for survival purposes, several hot rocks will do the trick. You’ll want to gather around 24 rocks about the size of an egg (or a little smaller) if you want to boil anywhere from 2 to 4 quarts of water. Take the stones and place them directly into the fire for about 30 to 45 minutes. 

You’ll need tongs or something that can help you pick them up without touching them. Go ahead and drop one or two into the water-filled soup pot or coffee pot at a time. As they start to cool, rotate them out with the other hot rocks, and not too long before you know it, you’ll have boiling water. In emergency situations, knowing how to use rock boiling is smart! Metal Coffee Pot, or Metal Soup Pot or a Camping Cookware Set, don’t forget some Hot Pads

I quote Wikipedia, “It involves placing heated rocks into a water-filled container to heat the liquid to the point where it can be used to cook. This method of food preparation is a fuel-intensive process and it often requires the heating and reheating of stones before the water reaches an effective cooking temperature.”

2. Rock Frying

If you ever find yourself hungry while deep in the woods or in a survival situation without the proper equipment, like say, a frying pan, you’re still going to be okay. That is, as long as you’re able to make a fire and have brought a little cooking oil and some food with you. Just take a large rock (as flat as you can find) and place it into your campfire for roughly 15 minutes. Then set the rock down on the ground while using sticks or tongs. Then you’ll need to add a small bit of cooking oil over the rock and then set your meal directly onto the rock.

Read More of My Articles  How to Utilize a Pool in an Emergency

This cooking method works great, but if you’re wanting something a little more permanent in the meantime, build a trench in the ground or make legs for the flat stone to rest over. Make a fire down in the trench, heat the rock, and then set your food on it. You’ll hear the sweet sound of sizzling and notice a wonderful aroma immediately. If you’ve never used heating rocks for cooking, this is your chance. 

3. Create a Fishing Hole in the Ice

Don’t have the proper tools to drill a hole through the ice for fishing this winter? You won’t have any problem at all when you have a large rock that’s been heated up blazing hot. You’ll just need to have a large campfire on the shoreline with a rock that’s placed directly in the fire for about an hour. 

Don’t try and touch it! Try to use something like a shovel to pick it up and carry it out onto the lake because it will be extremely hot. Once you’ve chosen your fishing spot, set the heated rock onto the ice and watch it melt its way through. Once the rock has sunk to the bottom, your fishing hole is ready for you. If you need to fish on a frozen lake, then using warm stones for this method is a good choice. 

4. Bed Warmer

During the winter it can get rather cold, especially at night, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re hoping for a warm and comfortable night’s sleep, try using a large flat stone to heat your bed. For a comfortable sleeping experience, heat your rock to around the same temperature as scalding tap water. Then wrap the heated rock in tough clothing or a blanket and place it between your bedding. You can also add a hot rock to your sleeping bag while you’re out camping during the fall or early winter for the same effect. This bed-warming method should last you anywhere from 5 to 7 hours if you’re lucky.  It’s a good idea to consider using this method for reheating your food before eating a meal. 

5. Heat for an Injury

There’s not a whole lot you can do for an injury when you’re in a survival situation besides doctor it up the best you can. But you can also bring some relief to the affected area by placing warm rocks there to help with the pain. This will work on unpleasant injuries like cramps, sprains, and strains. A simple hack like this can make walking a whole lot easier so that you’ll be able to move your limbs more freely.

Read More of My Articles  How to Survive in an Emergency Shelter

Heated rocks can also come to the rescue in severe situations as well. When a person develops hypothermia, it doesn’t take long for that type of cold exposure to lead to shock and sometimes even death. You may be able to save a person’s life by taking warm rocks that have been heated and then placing them under their armpits and also between their thighs. Wrap them up in warm clothing and repeat this process with warm rocks as you need to. This should hold them over until emergency professionals can take over, or if that’s impossible until their body heat returns to normal on its own. This is one of the best choices for an injury. 

6. Find the Right Rock for Your Situation

Depending on what you’re using it for, you don’t want a rock that’s too big that it won’t fit or a rock that’s too small that it won’t radiate enough heat over the time period you’re wishing to use it. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to gather your rocks from a streambed because those types of rocks can literally explode under extreme heat. Rather, head uphill and find rocks that are dense and dry. These types of rocks, especially soapstone, are ideal for heating. 

What can I use hot rocks for?

  • It can create a heat source and the rocks can produce a lot of heat for cold weather and cold nights.
  • Hot rocks can help up your body temperature in harsh weather conditions. 
  • You can easily make an ice fishing access hole.
  • You can do small cooking tasks with hot rocks.
  • Use a large stone to cook, heat water, or warm-up parts of your body. 
  • Water boils really easily with a hot rock.

More Survival Tips

Final Word 

There are several different ways that you can use hot rocks in a survival situation. All you have to do is think outside of the box and come up with some creative solutions that could help you get out of any tough spot. That said, remember to be careful while handling anything that’s been heated up as well as proceed with caution due to potential fire hazards. What did you perhaps find most interesting about ways to use hot rocks in a survival situation, or can you think of any other creative ways to use them? I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below! May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Kettle On Hot Rocks AdobeStock_585930903 By Yuliia

10 thoughts on “6 Ways to Use Hot Rocks in a Survival Situation

  • April 23, 2023 at 10:35 am

    My granddad told me a long time ago how they used rocks for heat things with but I don’t remember what kind of rocks were best to use. I’m in Texas and the predominant rocks around are limestone, sandstone, shale and quartz. Are all these good (safe) to use? Thanks for this reminder. I definitely need to teach this to my grandchildren. Linda

    • April 23, 2023 at 11:09 am

      Hi Linda, as far as which rocks are safe to use, I would Google each rock in your location. This is why we need to know ahead of time what we can and cannot use. Sandstone is the one I know is okay to use. Here again, can we be sure which rocks are sandstone, quartz, etc? This is why we practice now. Linda

      • April 23, 2023 at 12:03 pm

        Thank you for your answer. I’m definitely going to work on this. My teenage grandsons love learning about camping, using cast iron to cook with and are now excited to learn about using rocks for heat and cooking. I always love and appreciate all the topics you share. God Bless.

  • April 23, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Something to keep in mind when heating rocks – if there is moisture in the rocks, there is a chance that as the rock heats up, the steam in the rock (from the moisture) could cause the rock to explode. Just take precautions.

    Something I have done while camping – I cook game hens in my dutch oven. I take a rock that will fit in the cavity of the hen, wrap the rock with heavy duty foil. Then I heat the wrapped rock in the dutch oven while the DO is preheating. I prepare the hen(s) with seasoning but before placing the hen(s) in the DO, I stuff a wrapped, heated rock in the cavity of the hen(s). It helps cook the bird from the inside as well as the outside from the DO. It cuts the cooking/roasting time in half!!

    • April 23, 2023 at 12:05 pm

      Love your idea!

      • April 23, 2023 at 12:32 pm

        Hi Linda, Leanne is skilled beyond words in cooking outdoors to name just one of her skills. Linda

        • April 23, 2023 at 2:37 pm

          Ah, thanks Linda Loosli.

    • April 23, 2023 at 12:31 pm

      HI Leanne, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! You are so skilled in cooking outdoors, I love this!!! Thank you, Linda

  • April 24, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    I think that throwing the hot rocks at the attacking bear will work. They will keep coming if you throw cold rocks at them, but they don’t like the hot.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *