How to Make Ice in an Emergency

How to Make Ice in an Emergency

How to Make Ice in an Emergency

Ice may not be a priority during an emergency situation, but it can definitely improve your comfort and convenience. Whether you need to keep your food and drinks cool or use ice for medical purposes, knowing how to make ice in an emergency can be a valuable skill. In this article, we will explore different methods to make ice when you don’t have access to electricity or a freezer. Let’s dive in!

1. Ice Packs

One of the easiest ways to make ice in an emergency is by using ice packs. You probably have some in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet. If not, you can purchase them online or at your local pharmacy. Ice packs are designed to provide cold therapy, making them perfect for creating ice in an emergency.

To make ice using ice packs, simply place them in a cooler or an insulated bag along with the items you want to keep cool. Ice packs can stay frozen for several hours, depending on their size and insulation. This method is great for short-term emergencies or when you have access to a cooler.

2. Dry Ice

If you are dealing with a longer-lasting emergency situation or you need to keep items frozen for an extended period, dry ice can be a game-changer. Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide and is much colder than regular ice. It can reach temperatures as low as -109.3°F (-78.5°C), making it ideal for long-term ice needs.

To make ice using dry ice, you will need to find a local supplier or use a reputable online source. Ensure you handle dry ice with care, as it can cause frostbite if it comes into direct contact with your skin. Place the dry ice in a cooler or insulated container, then add the items you want to keep frozen. Remember to leave some ventilation in the container to allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape.

It’s important to note that dry ice evaporates instead of melting like regular ice. This means you’ll need to replenish it more often, especially during extended emergency situations. However, its extremely low temperature makes it a reliable option when regular ice is not available.

3. Evaporative Cooling

While not technically “making” ice, you can utilize the principles of evaporative cooling to create a similar effect. This method works best in dry climates where humidity levels are low. By taking advantage of evaporation, you can achieve a cooling effect without the need for ice.

To create an evaporative cooling system, you will need a fan, a piece of cloth or towel, and a container of water. Soak the cloth in water and hang it in front of the fan. As the fan blows air through the wet cloth, the water will gradually evaporate, producing a cooling effect.

This method is particularly useful in hot climates, where staying cool is essential for your well-being. It’s worth noting that evaporative cooling is not as effective as using ice, but it can provide some relief in an emergency situation where ice is not readily available.

4. Natural Ice Formation

If you find yourself in an environment with freezing temperatures, you can take advantage of nature’s ice-making capabilities. This method is dependent on the weather conditions, so it may not be applicable in all emergency situations.

To create natural ice, you will need a container or a mold to shape the ice. Fill the container with water and leave it outside in a location where the temperature stays below freezing. It may take several hours or even days for the water to freeze completely, depending on the temperature.

It’s important to monitor the weather and ensure the container doesn’t get covered by snow or obstructed in any way. By using this method, you can make ice without any additional resources, making it a great option when other methods are not available.


Knowing how to make ice in an emergency can greatly improve your chances of staying comfortable and keeping your essential items cool. Whether you choose to use ice packs, dry ice, evaporative cooling, or natural ice formation, each method has its own advantages and limitations.

Remember to consider the duration of your emergency situation and the availability of resources when deciding which method to use. Having a combination of these methods in your survival toolkit can ensure you are prepared for any ice-related needs that may arise.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to making ice in an emergency, preparation is key. Stocking up on ice packs or dry ice ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble when disaster strikes. Additionally, learning how to utilize evaporative cooling and natural ice formation techniques can be valuable in situations where traditional ice-making methods are not feasible.

Remember to consider the specific needs of your emergency situation and plan accordingly. Stay cool, stay prepared!