Introduction: Altoids Survival Kit

Picture of Altoids Survival Kit
Take an empty Altoid tin and jam-pack it full of survival tools!!!! This kit is designed to save your life in an unfortunate outdoor situation. Hopefully you won't have to use it but it is always a nice feeling having it in your pocket while camping, hiking, or backpacking. Also please be sure to check out the new video!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

For this instructable you'll need:

1 Altoids Tin (empty)-this will be used to store all the items in the kit
1 Large Trash Bag-this have many uses including a poncho, shelter, or whatever else you can think of
5 Rubber Bands-3 will be used to wrap around the trash bag, 1 for the fishing line, and 1 for the cord
4 Fish Hooks and 20 Ft. of fishing line- these can be used to make a fishing rod, with which you can catch fish to eat
10 Ft. of Cord- this can be used to help make a shelter, keep food out of reach of bears, or whatever else you might need it for
1 BSA Hot Spark-this is flint and steel combination that serves as a fire starter if your matches won't lite
5 Matches-used to start fires
1 Match Striker Piece-used to strike matches on
1 Birthday Candle-this can be used to coat the cotton balls in wax to make them waterproof or as a temporary light source
2 Cotton Balls-great for starting fires especially in coated with wax or petroleum jelly

Lets get started!

Step 2: Rubberbanding and Placement of Trashbag

Picture of Rubberbanding and Placement of Trashbag

First roll your trash bag so that it can fit into the Altiods tin. Then place 3 rubber bands around it to stop it from unrolling. Then place the rubber banded trash bag into the tin.

Step 3: Putting in Some Other Stuff

Picture of Putting in Some Other Stuff

For this part get your hot spark, matches, and candle and place them in the side of the tin that doesn't have the trash bag. Then put the hooks, fishing line, match striker on top. Place the cotton balls on top of that. Place one end of the cord in the tin and close.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

Once you have the cord firmly in the tin wrap it around the tin's exterior until your cord is wrapped all the way around. Then rubber band it in place and you are done!!!


Sierra Alpha (author)2016-03-15

Did i miss the knife? No knife

your right.

georges19 (author)2015-06-06

Where you a Boy Scout too???

BudgetBugout (author)2013-03-09

You might wanna include a knife in yours kit. Most survival experts agree that it's the #1 tool to have in a survival situation. :)

I just uploaded my kit. I always find it amazing how many different ideas are out there for these kits.

lbowen2 (author)2013-01-01

Add band aids and a home made antibiotic tube (made with cut and sealed straws), and kitchen matches dipped in wax to make them water resistant-
Great kit for Scouts to carry!

bam151515 (author)2007-06-18

thats brilliant

Zetheros (author)bam1515152007-07-08

well, I sometimes have trouble lighting them, sometimes the red and white stuff just crumbles off =/

MrLarryMan (author)Zetheros2012-02-25

That is because they are old matches. Or they absorbed a little moisture at some point in time. If you really want matches then spend the money (<$5) on UCO's weatherproof matches. Damn things can't be put out in water when lit. Plus you get extra strikers. I also have a mini bic lighter and a small fire steel

You can also opt for this sparker/tender kit. Works with one hand.

Have fun and "Get your Smokey on"

fallenshell (author)bam1515152008-07-07

Another option is to dip the matches in clear nail polish the abrasive lighting surface will strip it away during lighting. If you dip one half then the other after it dries the entire match becomes water proofed. Clipping them in half saves space and keeps them useful as well.

Iridium7 (author)fallenshell2009-03-15

that is true but you will only have x amount of matches and x amout of chances to light fire. What I do is just bring a lighter and I can get thousands of chances out of that

J@50n (author)Iridium72009-06-30

that what i got im my altoids kit i got an instructable too!

J@50n (author)fallenshell2009-06-30

or dip them in wax to water proof them.

thepelton (author)bam1515152009-06-29

Can I suggest a book? "Best Tasting Edible Wild Plants of the Rocky Mountains" by Seebeck.

Zetheros (author)bam1515152007-06-27

You should wrap the matches in a saran wrap, if they get wet you're doomed.
Also carry a small pocketknife as well, and carry a lot more cord =)

overdrive7960 (author)Zetheros2008-07-08

dipping matches in a light coat of paraffin wax would be a good way waterproof them. then scratch the wax off the tip and light.

Actually it's not that difficult to lite wet matches. If you really want too you can probably coat them in petroleum jelly.

Knot71 (author)2010-08-04

Can you buy the Altoids tins in the UK?

taluntain (author)Knot712011-02-24

some cough drops come in the same type of tin

Du7raz (author)taluntain2011-10-05

actually any tin that size would work :D

chicken12175 (author)Knot712011-04-17

yes you can, you just have to look around:

bikibikes (author)2011-07-28

try putting in duck tape that is wraped around itself

cloudchaos (author)2007-12-23

one other thing if you can fit it all in a good size chunk of steel wool and a 9v battery (just make sure you insulate the battery ends to prevent fire and battery drain) very good for starting fires if you can't use a mag block or BSA HotSpark

steel wool lights much easier than cotton balls or even a big clump of lint. I carry some around in my firekit when I go camping or where ever. It lights with even one spark from a flint, and then catches a hot flame. No need for a 9 volt, which runs the risk of explosion or catching the wool while in the tin.

I though steel wool only burned in pure oxygen...

cloudchaos (author)locofocos2008-05-28

I will make a video tonight on how to start a fire with steel wool and post it.

cloudchaos (author)cloudchaos2008-05-28

I don't mean to dis everyone's creative means of starting a fire, but I don't understand the needs for such creative fire-starting. I've found the most effective, waterproof, reliable, and easy method of starting a fire is to use a cheap pocket-sized lighter. It takes up about the room of several matches. Is a lighter for some reason not an acceptable means of starting a fire? Maybe I'm missing something.

Aero9 (author)jamesccostello2011-07-13

It is true a lighter is a handy and effective tool for fire building, however I myself have always found satisfaction in a good old unorthodox fashion in which to ignite tinder. I do carry a Zippo with me, but flint and steel, steel wool, two rocks, two stick, magnifying glasses and other such means of fire starting always gave me a strong sense of accomplishment. Also when train hopping I don't really find myself carrying large amounts of cash that can be waisted on lighters when I can make a fire from the tools in my pack.

Well, the difference between lighters and matches and flints, fire pistons, strikers, etc, is that lighters and matches last only so long. Things like fire pistons and flints can be used indefinitely, or until you break them. Strikers wear extremely slowly, and are very effective fire starters. So it's really up to you, if you're in a survival situation for say, a week or two, then yes, a butane lighter would be great. But, you never know, you could be out there for months, in which case, a lighter would be the worst fire-starting instrument you could possibly have. (next to matches, of course)

jillg (author)Shadowfury2009-01-14

but, as someone said earlier, you could ude the sriking part of the lighter to light fires with the igniter for a while longer.

Shadowfury (author)jillg2009-01-15

Yes, but the striker in the lighter is tiny. It is about 1/4cm long, and 1/8cm wide. It will last for a while, but ultimately wear until it is completely gone. It is also very difficult to start a fire using this method. You can use some tissue paper and cotton, but it is not always successful. I estimate a 50% success rate for that method, from experience, of course. In short, yes, you can use a fuel-less lighter to start a fire, however, you're just going to have to be patient to get a flame.

um7kay (author)Shadowfury2009-04-07

or u could use cotton and super glus :)

sharlston (author)um7kay2009-07-25

how do u do that?

qballcat (author)jamesccostello2008-07-28

ya but if i want to light i fire im either gonna use a match (outdoorsey feel) or a zippo (they are just cool to bust out and light

Esmagamus (author)qballcat2008-08-03

Yeah, but the fuel evaporates in extreme temperatures. Either it gets empty if you leave it unattended or you get a cloud of flammable fumes.

jamesccostello (author)Esmagamus2008-08-05

I've had one sitting in my car for the past 2 years (its so hot that my gas receipts turn black), and it is still mostly full (I use that particular one <20 times per year). If those butane lighters weren't sealed, they would lose all of their fuel in mere seconds at room temperature. (I believe butane is a gas at STP)

locofocos (author)jamesccostello2008-08-06

They're actually pressurized some. Try throwing one at some cement hard and it will pop open.

kibbler (author)locofocos2009-06-26

You MONSTER! Why would you throw a lighter at the ground?

jamesccostello (author)locofocos2008-08-06

Right, but that's only because the liquid and gas combination inside the container is reaching equilibrium for that (relatively stable) temperature and container volume. If the containers for those lighters were not sealed, the gas would continually evaporate (or boil) and within 1-2 hours of filling, the container would empty itself (butane has a boiling point of almost 0 degrees). At any rate, I have found the bic (or similar) disposable butane pocket lighters to be reliable, safe, durable, waterproof, and capable of long-term storage, and I'm really just curious as to why people even bother with other means of firestarting if reliability and durability are the primary necessities. Most of the other methods here seem fun, but not very reliable and durable and repeatable.

Esmagamus (author)jamesccostello2008-08-06

Try to light it when the flint gets muddy and jams.

jasontimmer (author)Esmagamus2008-08-06

speaking of firemaking, I recently bought a fire piston that is loads of fun to start campfires with, and will basically last forever. It ignites tinder by compressing air, like a diesel engine. they've been around for thousands of years and so few people know of them.

ERCCRE123 (author)jasontimmer2009-01-24

a fire piston may be fun, but are kinda expensive and not a good thing to have in a survival situation

Esmagamus (author)locofocos2008-08-06

It's the pressure that keeps the gas as liquid inside the lighter. As a matter of fact, 58.124 grams of liquid butane evaporate to form 22,4 litres of gas at standard temperature and pressure.

Esmagamus (author)jamesccostello2008-08-06

Of course they would lose it, that's why they are sealed. What about a zippo? If gives you less of a guarantee that the fuel won't evaporate.

PCvsMac (author)jamesccostello2008-07-28

Hmmm, yeah, I thought of that too. But the truth is, your pretty much stuffed it blows out or you have not any lighter fuel left. But I agree, lighters can last much much longer than a single match.

temp (author)cloudchaos2009-01-23

i can't really tell but it looks as if you left the steel wool packed pretty close together. It would work much better if you fluff it up.

thepelton (author)temp2009-07-15

It ignited for me accidentally in that car battery incident even though it wasn't fluffed up.

temp (author)thepelton2009-07-18

It will still work but if you fluff it up it's easier and you can use less.

thepelton (author)temp2009-07-18

I suppose you're right, but the original idea when I applied it to the car battery was to clean the posts to improve the electrical flow. If I intentionally do it to start a fire, yes, I will fluff it up.

temp (author)thepelton2009-07-18

Oh. That must of been funny to see.

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