Charcoal is a common resource in RUST. It is the byproduct made by burning wood in any oven-class mechanism, such as furnaces, large furnaces, campfires, barbeques, hobo barrels, and refineries. Charcoal is also spawnable via the F1 console. It is considered a core resource due to player reliance on using it for standard progression.
The primary purpose of charcoal is its utility for creating Gun Powder when combined with Sulfur. Charcoal is often seen as an explosive-crafting bottleneck for endgame raiding clans due to how much is required to make raiding materials.
Things got a little better with the introduction of the Mixing Table, which allows for the same amount of gunpowder to be crafted at a considerably reduced charcoal cost.
The fastest way to produce charcoal is by burning wood as fuel in a Small Oil Refinery. Charcoal is also derived from mining the wreckage of scrap transport helicopters, the Bradley APC or the Patrol Helicopter.