Must Have Contents for an Altoids Survival Tin

To the average person it may seem odd and slightly improbable to think that you can fit an emergency survival kit in an Altoid tin. And who wouldn’t think that? After all, we’re talking about a tin mint the size of a deck of playing cards. What exactly do you expect you’ll be storing in an Altoids survival tin? Well, turns out it’s actually a lot.

Altoid survival kits have been a well-known and well-kept secret by survivalists for years precisely because they are so small and discreet. Many people fill these tiny tins with anything from fire starters and water purifiers to shelter items and fishing kits to first aid essentials. The Altoids survival tin is compact enough that it should be part of your everyday carry setup.

In this guide, I will break down and go over many of the different items that can or should be in your Altoid survival tin.

Putting Together Your Kit

First thing’s first, before going over what can fit in your kit, it is important to understand “how” you’ll be setting it up in the first place. There is no getting around the fact that while the Altoid tin is certainly useful, it is also compact. That means you’re going to have to be smart about what you choose to store with the little space you have.

The goal is to store as many “useful” items in the tin as possible. The keyword there is “useful.” One of the biggest issues with pre-made Altoid survival tins is that they cram as many items in as possible, even if they aren’t all super useful or aren’t as useful compared to other items. As an example, why store 3-5 bandages when you can put one large piece of medical tape in there instead?

This will require some planning on your part as well as some decision-making to decide which kit will hold what items. Ultimately, just have a bit of fun and experiment so that you can create the perfect Altoid survival kit for you and your family.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Firestarter Kit

The first kit you’d need. A Firestarter Kit will be used to hold different methods of lighting a fire. These kits can include:

– A small group of magnesium mini-matches and a steel striker. By shaving off a few pieces from the matches, you can use them as the base for starting a small fire. This ensures you can use a single match several times.

Waterproof & Windproof matches and a striker. Works like the first one. You are going to place them into a small sealed bag before rolling it up and taping it inside.

Five Tinder-Quick Tabs. These work even when wet and can be stuffed in your survival tin without leaving any additional space.

2. Shelter

Next, after starting a fire, is getting some shelter. While you can’t fit a tent or poncho in one of these tins, you can do just about everything else – at least everything related to creating your own shelter. These kits are:

Small wire saw and some nylon. A wire saw is great for cutting at tree limbs while nylon and a fishing line can greatly help to create a small shelter.

Duct Tape. You can also use duct tape as a method of fastening trees branches and other items together. Simply take around 18 inches off the roll and fold it as much as you can.

3. Water

The most important item for survival is water. By creating an Altoid survival tin that focuses on making it possible to drink any water you come across, you are much more likely to survive than if you had to boil it every time. Some different methods include:

Small Water Bag. Using a small oven bag works great. Simply cut it to size. Make a point to include some iodine tablets to kill off any bacteria in the water.

Water Purification Tablets. Another great option includes storing up to 20 different water purifiers. This will keep the water drinkable without any potential issues.

4. Fishing Kit

Next up, consider spending as much time near water sources. Not only do you have water, but a source of food as well. Using a put-together fishing line, you can catch fish and survive much easier than without one. These two options below are worth considering:

Fishing line and tackle. Wind together several feet of the fishing line while also including a few different fishhooks and lures that will fit. Simply tie around a tree branch and you’re all good to go catching fish.

Fishing Hook, Line, and Sinker. Collect all three pieces and place them in the tin. Due to its nature, this is ideal only for longer periods of survival or those that love fishing.

5. First Aid

Finally, we must touch on how to deal with an injury. As you can’t stuff an ambulance in with you, here are a couple of items for you to consider:

Band-aids. A great idea is to place a few band-aids in your tin. What makes band aids the ideal option is because of their superior quality when compared to other adhesives. Carry around three or four large ones with one or two small band aids.

A small pack of antibiotics. Another option would be to carry some antibiotic ointment in your survival tin. With the added ointment and ban aids in a pinch it will work just as well.

What’s in My Kit?

Take a look inside my Altoids survival tin.

Pictured: Pepto-Bismol, razor blade, sewing kit, Katadyn water purifier tabs, small Buck knife, generic bandages, hacksaw blade, alcohol swab, fishing kit, safety pin, button compass, metal wire, LED flashlight, string, tinder, and firesteel.

In Conclusion

There are a ton of different and amazing options for you to include in your Altoid survival tin, most of them being super simple and surprisingly varied. And while this list was extensive, it was just the tip of the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be stored in an Altoid tin. I carry my Altoids survival tin every day in my Maxpedition Mini Organizer. That little pouch goes with me everywhere and in a future post I’ll share some pictures and the contents.

Ultimately, no matter what you decide to do, you’ll want to decide what is the most important factor for you to immediately have on hand at all times and go from there. Not only will this ensure your survival tin has its space being used efficiently, but also that you know what’s inside and is available for the task at hand.