How to Make Cement in the Wild

Mankind has been using cement to make concrete for hundreds of years to build strong and permanent structures. By following the steps in the article, you will be able to make cement in the backyard or in a survival situation.

First, there are some definitions:

  • Cement is pulverized limestone or oysters or seashells that has been heated to high heat to remove CO2.
  • Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, sand and gravel.
  • Mortar is a mixture of cement, water, lime and sand.


  1. Image titled Find.png
    Find your cement source. You can use many different items to make cement, such as:
    • A soft rock named limestone.
    • Many easy to recognize and find items such as sea shells including oyster, sea stars, reef corals and mollusks, crab shells.
    • Bones of animals, fish, birds, etc.
    • Chalk.
  2. Image titled Build fire.png
    Find large rocks to make a kiln with, and wood to make a fire with.
    • Make a strong fire.
  3. Image titled Make kiln.png
    Build a kiln. Stack rocks on top of each other around the fire with an opening on the front and top (make it look like a fireplace)
  4. Image titled Fill kiln.png
    Fill a metal container such as a bucket with your shells or other cement items.
    • Be sure that the metal container is not your food container. You can't reuse this container for anything else. It will only serve as a trash bid after this process.
    • If you don't have any metal containers, place your items on a large flat rock.
  5. Image titled Mix it.png
    Heat your shells or other cement items (see step 1) for 4-7 hours, or until they start to become brittle and start to crumble in to sand like dust. To help make your shells or other cement into a more consistent sand, stir it every 30 minutes by mixing the shells (just like cooking).
    • Important: If some of your shells or other raw materials do not break down to the size of sand or smaller, remove them before sealing the cement inside an airtight container.
    • You can reheat them in the next batch.
  6. 6
    Wait for the cement to cool before using.
    • Hide the cement in a dry airtight bucket with a lid. Store at room temperature in a dry location.


  • To save and use this cement to make concrete in a wild or wilderness situation, store the cement in a sealed airtight dry location such as a container with a lid under shelter.


  • Wear a mask or a damp rag while you are heating your shells.
  • Don't use the metal container to cook or boil water after this process. Cleaning the metal container will not make it safe to use for cooking!
  • The smoke and dust can cause severe discomfort and pain.
  • Wait a minimum of 40 minutes for the shells to cool before handling. It will be hot!

Things You'll Need

  • Time (4-7 hours)
  • Fire
  • Kiln
  • Limestone, shells, bones, or chalk
  • Mask
  • Metal container (something you will not be able to cook in later)
  • Stick for stirring or mixing
  • Bucket with a lid or an airtight container

Article Info

Categories: Concrete