Altoids Box Survival Kit: Can You Improve On These 5 Versions?

Survival kits are awesome. But only if you have them with you when the disaster hits. The biggest problem with survival kits is that they aren't small enough to carry around everywhere you go.

But then again, maybe they could be small enough. If you packaged them in the right way. That's where an Altoids can comes in handy.

An Altoids survival kit is just a survival kit that fits into an Altoids can. So your survival kit fits into the palm of your hand. Now granted, calling it a "survival kit" is a little bit much. But, if you pack the right kind of stuff into it, it just might save your life.

So before we get started, let me share two criteria for these kits.

  • Criteria #1 Mobility: First off, mobility is the critical factor with an Altoids type kit. Although its small, the strength is that you can stash these things anywhere. Throw one in your glove compartment. Put a couple in your bug out bag. Have some in your tool box. It's not like you have 25 twenty pound bug out bags and need to store them. These are small and lightweight. You can make as many as you wish. And you can put them anywhere you wish with minimal space requirements.
  • Criteria #2 Specialization: Once you get used to the idea of such a small footprint, you can begin to specialize your little tin can. Instead of trying to make one tin do many things, why not just make it do one thing. And if you have 5 different Altoids cans specializing in something unique, then you've got a very well organized kit. To get you started in making your own, I want to show you five examples. While you are reading this, see if you can improve on what I've created here. So let's get going.

#1 Communications Altoids Kit

Look, we're not going to be putting a HAM radio in here. But, a signal mirror would work very well. With a range of up to 100 miles, this is nothing to sneeze at. And it fits very nicely into an Altoids tin. I've got a comms Altoids just for this purpose. 2 other items thrown in are a box of matches, some WetFire tinder and some GLINT tape. The matches and WetFire are to start a fire which will generate smoke for a signal fire. The GLINT tape is Infra Red tape that can be seen at nighttime. My comms Altoids might be low tech, but batteries will never be an issue here. Speaking of matches and WetFire, let's talk about an Altoids Firecraft kit.

#2 Firecraft Altoids Kit

In this kit, I'd put in WetFire, wooden matches, Bic lighter and a wax soaked jute roll in a teacup tin. The WetFire serves as essential worst case tinder. The matches and Bic are obvious. If you've got some charcloth, that will be a nice addition. The jute was rolled up into an empty teacup candle tin and then soaked in wax. Just snip off a 2" piece when you need something to hold a flame for a while. They burn nice and slow. At some point I'd like to replace the wooden matches with some storm matches. Now this is also a simple kit. But it does the job. You've got some redundancy built into it with the Bic and matches. If you want to get really good at this, attach a match striker onto the inside or outside of the Altoids tin can.

#3 Water/Hydration Altoids Kit

In a bug out bag, you wont be carrying liters of water. Theres no room. So you'll have to purify water on the fly. The key items to include are these. Water purification tablets and a diagram. This diagram will be for building a water purification filter from natural surroundings. (rocks, charcoal, sand). It serves as more of a reminder than anything else. A small piece of cloth to filter debris will be needed.

#4 Shelter Altoids Kit

For an Altoids shelter kit, you won't be putting any tents in here. But you can fit garbage bags in a tin. I've been able to fit four 2'x2' rolled up bags in. But the key is 10 ft of parachute cord and 2 ft of gaffers or duct tape. With these, you can find tree branches and connect them together to form shelter that's stronger than the flimsy bags.

#5 Medical Altoids Kit

In this kit you'll be addressing pain, so be sure to include Tylenol/Ibuprofen. Bandaids are standard. Razor blade would be good for cutting cloth or possibly skin. Also include tweezers for picking out debris from a wound. Finally, 2-4 feet of gauze will round out the kit.
Once you get your head wrapped around the idea of a mini survival kit, you can do some pretty cool stuff. Just remember to think mobile and specialize. From there, there is no limit. Why don't you give it a try this week. Build yourself a test Altoids kit.

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