survival tin

Altoids Survival Tin
List of what to put in a home made survival tin

Build your own Altoids survival kit -- a tiny transportable survival
kit that could save your life!

With our list of what to put into a home-made survival tin, you
can tailor an Altoids survival tin to your personal needs.
Assembling your own survival gear is satisfying and this
instructable will get you thinking of everything you need to
save your life.

The premise behind "every day carry" is that if it isn't with you,
it can't save you! The purpose of a mini survival tin for every
day carry is to pack the most basic tools for survival, which are
difficult to improvise or locate in an emergency. The contents
must be compact, and compressed in usefulness.

If you want to build your own survival kit, begin by thinking
about the priorities of survival. Three things that will virtually
guarantee your survival, include

  1. a quality fixed blade knife
  2. a metal water container (appropriate also for
    cooking/boiling water)
  3. and a fire starter.

The idea about the tin itself is that you can cook in it and boil
water in it (although it's not much water, it could be life-saving
water).Unfortunately, a survival tin, because of space
constraints, won't be able to contain a bulky metal water bottle
or a long fixed blade knife, but you can make substitutions
which will be effective. For example, a survival tin can contain
a small folding knife instead of a fixed blade knife, and a
plastic zip-lock bag as a water pouch.

Ready to  make your own Altoids survival tin? Let's get started!
Here's our list of what to put into a home made survival tin..

How to make a survival tin
A survival tin is an everyday carry for preppers, and it's fun to
make! Here's how to get started creating your own mini
survival tin:

  • Consider the eight objectives for the contents of a
    survival tin. Selection of the contents of your survival tin
    should be multipurpose and fall into eight basic objectives
    in survival:
  1. Keep warm - fire starter, waterproof matches, tinder
    and accelerant, possibly also a mylar blanket
  2. Slice, shave, and whittle for a variety of tasks - a
    pocket knife or a razor
  3. Build shelter and trap or catch food - cordage and
  4. Stay hydrated - plastic bag and water purification
  5. Illuminate your work - mini flashlight and a tea candle
  6. Address injuries - bandages, antiseptic, wound
    cleansing and pain management
  7. Be seen and heard - signaling device and whistle
  8. Keep essentials safe and dry - metal container and
    mini plastic bags

  • Pick your tin. An Altoids tin, or a peppermint tin from
    Trader Joes, makes the perfect container for a survival kit,
    but try also a Sucrets tin. The container itself is a good
    start to a survival kit because from it you can forge a
    cooking surface. Check the inside of the tin to ensure it is
    shiny as you may need this reflective signal surface. The
    tin itself can help you make a char cloth or charcoal for fire
    on subsequent days.

  • Decide how many tins you will make. At first you may be
    thinking you need only one survival tin, but consider you'll
    need a tin for each of your vehicles, one at your place of
    work, one in your bugout bag and purse, coat pocket, and
    pretty soon it starts to make sense to make one of your
    own instead of buying them ready made. Survival tins are
    fun to make and you can make an assembly line and give
    them out as gifts for the family.

  • Decide the purpose, then create a list of what you want
    to include in your tin. Certainly not everything will fit
    inside your tiny metal vessel, so you will need to make
    some sacrifices, and also modify your tin.

  • Is the survival tin for your office in the city? If
    you're making an urban survival tin, you might not
    need snare wire, but a fire starter is still appropriate.
    Depending on your locale, fish hooks would be a good
    idea. Remember to have small bills of cash on hand
    when the ATMs won't work You may also like to
    include a torque wrench and lock pick.

  • Flying on a commercial airline? Consider making your
    mini survival kit TSA compliant with a TSA-approved

  • Making a fishing kit? Be sure to include fishing lures,
    salmon eggs, flies a bobber, fishing spoon treble
    hooks and other assorted fishing hooks, wire leaders,
    assorted weights, fishing lines and a ready line, and
    a razor knife.

  • Include instructions. If you are giving this kit as a gift or
    otherwise making it for someone else, then be sure to
    include instructions of sorts or a checklist. The person
    using your kit may not know the usefulness of a tea bag
    or a cigarette; may not be able to recognize an energy
    chew from a fire starter cube; or may be surprised to find
    lumpy tape with your fishing gear. The professional kits
    include instructions for this reason. Other instructions you
    might include:
  • basic first aid instructions
  • morse code
  • fishing tips

  • Customize the exterior of your tin. It's fun to provide a
    custom detail to your tin. By painting it camouflage or
    whatever design makes you happy. A fun way to
    customize the exterior in a useful way is to include duct
    tape! Duct tape comes in so many colors and designs. The
    duct tape will secure your contents and is itself a useful
    survival item. Check out the 40 Survival Uses of Duct
    Tape. Consider also using duct tape electrical tape to affix
    some of your tiny gear in place. Fishing hooks and sinkers
    affix nicely to the tape so you can find your tiny parts
    when you need them.

List of what to include in your survival tin:
  1. Alcohol prep pad - for sterilizing, not for wounds.
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. Antiseptic pads, Betadine Solution, pictured left.
  4. Antibiotic ointment packets
  5. Bandages - Butterfly bandages and adhesive bandages
  6. Cable ties
  7. Cash
  8. Cigarette. A cigarette is a weird survival tool with at least
    six survival uses.
  9. Compass, button size. The button compass ten-pack,
    pictured left, is ideal for paracord bracelets, bugout bags
    and mini survival tins!
  10. Condiments: Salt pack, sugar pack (can help with
  11. Cordage. Dental floss makes a worthy and compact
    cordage item. Fishing line is also compact and effective.
  12. Chewing gum (learn the importance of chewing gum in
  13. Duct Tape - wrap it on the outside of your tin or as a wad
  14. Energy nugget or chew. Sour Apple, left by Livewire, will
    give you three hours of energy per chew.
  15. Flashlight (LED)
  16. Fish hooks (3), ample line and sinkers (3)
  17. Matches, waterproof
  18. Military can opener
  19. Pad and Pencil (Ikea has tiny pencils ideal for this
    purpose). It may seem like a luxury, but you can burn a
    pencil or write with it! The same holds true for a piece of a
    paper. A piece of paper may be just the thing to get you
    fire going.
  20. Pocket knife or Leatherman tool.
  21. Pencil sharpener - a pencil sharpener can help you create
  22. Pain reliever (non-aspirin)
  23. Razor blade (or finger scalpel, pictured right)
  24. Safety pin
  25. Sewing kit (thread and needle)
  26. Signal mirror
  27. Superglue
  28. Sunblock packet (great for the bugout bag too)
  29. Tealight to illuminate and provide warmth.
  30. Tinder, cotton ball (WetFire tinder, pictured left, is a fire
    starter cube that can help you get a blaze going even in a
  31. Trash bag for shelter from the elements
  32. Water purification tablets. Often overlooked in many tiny
    survival kits, water purification tablets can be essential.
  33. Whistle - an emergency whistle will prevent you from
    being exhausted and will reach longer distances than your
    voice can carry.
  34. Wire to make a snare
  35. Wire saw to help fuel your fire (pictured below)
  36. Zip lock bag for water collection

There are no rules when it comes to making a survival tin:
customize your survival tin to make it what you want. Make
several for friends and family, for your vehicles, and for your
bugout bag. It's a satisfying do-it-yourself prepper project to
customize your tin!

  • Survival tin: LifePac Survival Kit. Lifepac Survival Kit,
    pictured left, is great little kit in a sardine can filled with
    life-saving tools, but you could make one yourself!
    Assembling one will probably cost your more in the long
    rung, so before you attempt to create the kit yourself, ask
    yourself whether you already have these items:
  • Adhesive Bandage
  • Compass
  • Chewing gum (learn the importance of chewing gum
    in survival)
  • Duct Tape
  • Energy nugget
  • Fire Starter Cube
  • Fish Hook
  • Fishing Line and Spool
  • Matches
  • Pain Reliever (non-aspirin)
  • Razor Blade
  • Reflective Signal Surface
  • Salt pack
  • Sugar pack
  • Whistle
  • Wire Clip

Notably, this survival tin is missing water purification tablets!
Be sure to add them.

How will you make a survival tin?
Have an item to add to our survival tin list? Want to show us
your Altoids survival tin? We're happy to hear your prepping
ideas and survival food suggestions. We may even link to your
site. Please drop us a note on Twitter at HappyPreppers

Happy endings...
Assembling your own kit is fun and the best part is that you'll
know exactly what's inside when you really need it.

More prepping articles...

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LIST: What to put in a home made survival tin
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------------------------------------------------- Revised 10/15/16
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