Two goals in the first 10 minutes promised much at the Reebok Stadium but the rest of the game was forgettable.
It was a result that suited Charlton much more than it did Bolton, even if they do remain second-bottom, two points adrift of Wigan in 17th. Given his side's poor away form, before winning their previous game at Portsmouth, Alan Pardew claimed it was a point well worth safeguarding.
Pardew admitted that if his men are to escape relegation they will have to be rather more daring in their home games. "It's hard to quantify what this point is worth at the moment but to get four points from away games at Portsmouth and Bolton has put us back in the pack," he said.
"Our spirit shone through tonight - it was a whole-hearted performance. Now we can have a real go in our next two games and that's exactly what I plan to do."
The most notable name on the Bolton teamsheet was that of Tal Ben Haim, ending any possibility of the Israeli defender moving to Chelsea before the transfer window closed at midnight. In the absence of the suspended El Hadji Diouf, Henrik Pedersen had a rare chance to play in a striking role and he responded with an early goal. Charlton failed to clear a long throw and when Gary Speed's cross cleared Amady Faye, an unmarked Pedersen met it with a glancing header into the far corner.
Charlton struck back almost immediately. Ivan Campo conceded a free-kick 30 yards out and Talal El Karkouri opted for power. Jussi Jaaskelainen should have dealt with a shot into the middle of the goal. "It was a rare error but the lads should have bailed him out," the Bolton manager Sam Allardyce said.
When Nicolas Anelka was replaced before half-time with a calf injury Bolton were without their first-choice attacking trio, since Kevin Davies was missing with a foot injury. Despite dominating the second half the only chance they created saw Ian Nolan shoot over from 15 yards.
Jerome Thomas could have stolen a win late on after Ben Haim's slip but a point was the most Charlton - or Bolton - deserved.
"It's been a dismal January in the League for us," said Allardyce. "We should have won but we're struggling with injuries and couldn't quite manage it."
Goals: Pedersen (5) 1-0; El Karkouri (8) 1-1.
Bolton Wanderers (4-3-3): Jaaskelainen; Hunt, Faye (Ben Haim, 67), Méïté, Gardner; Nolan, Campo, Speed; Stelios (Vaz Te, 61), Anelka (Teymourian, 30), Pedersen. Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Tal.
Charlton Athletic (4-5-1): Carson; Sankofa, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Thatcher; Rommedahl (Lisbie, 74), Holland, Faye, Hughes (Diawara, 84), Thomas; M Bent (Hasselbaink, 85). Substitutes not used: Randolph (gk), Ambrose.
Referee: L Probert (Gloucester).
Booked Charlton El Karkouri.
Man of the match: Gardner.