I've seen dozens of Altoid Tin and similar survival kits here on Instructables and elsewhere. Many of them are quite good, while others--both home built and off-the-shelf--are left lacking some key components. EDC kits are as varied as the people who create them, but there are some key features and "must have" items they have in common...no matter if you're traversing the urban wilderness or truly miles from civilization.
I just wanted to share the handful of items I carry day-to-day, in the hopes others here would experiment and see what works for them. The point of an EDC kit is to have something small and light on your person at all times, as a redundancy to the better and more specialized gear you may have for whatever adventure you're planning. Think of it as the fire extinguisher of your preparedness, in that it should be out of the way and little noticed, but readily available and easy to use should you need it. While it can be agreed having *something* is much better than having nothing, those "somethings" you carry should be worth their weight and the space they take up. More importantly, knowing how to *use* those items is much more important than having the best out there. It's no point to have top of the line gear if you haven't practiced with it, hence the danger of the off-the-shelf "sealed" kits. Rather than sticking a lighter, stick of gum and a sewing kit into a tin or buying one of those God awful "survival" kits and thinking you're ready to live off the land, these few items are readily available and easy to procure or make. Remember that survival isn't about comfort, but rather just making it out of there alive.
I should note the best "survival" scenario is to have a game plan and stick to it. Tell at least two responsible people where you're going, how you plan to get there, when they can expect you back, and at what point they should be alarmed if they haven't heard from you. Even better, have a description of your vehicle, what you're wearing, and any backup plans you may have should the weather turn. Have a charged cell phone handy, but realize chances are it won't work when you need it to. Most survival situations play out within 72 hours, and by far the majority start out as "day hikes". Pack light and go far, but pack for what *could* happen. There are many, many articles both on this website and others as to how to plan an outing and pack for it, so I won't repeat those here.
Now on to the "Everyman" (or woman!) EDC kit...
Step 1: The Container
I chose a small stainless steel container for the contents, sealed with a fitted polyethylene lid. I picked it up at a dollar store, and it was marketed as a stainless steel freezer container.
Why metal instead of a lightweight plastic?
The container can be used to collect and sterilize water, and is even strong enough to use as a digging tool. Stainless isn't prone to rust and won't impart anything to whatever liquid or food item you prepare in it. Plus most plastics, especially polystyrene, are prone to differences in temperature and are very likely to get brittle in the cold. The polyethylene lid on this container is flexible even in the cold, and fitted for a water-tight seal.