I have made so many survival kits I can't even count them. One of my favorite styles is the micro kit that I can carry with me anywhere I go. If you have looked on the internet for more than 5 minutes, you have seen a couple dozen variations of the altoid tin kits. For this 'ible, I would like to take a different spin and use an old wallet.
A lot of the items in this kit are the same things that you might find in an altoids kit or other small kit. I packed mine with things that make more sense for me. I don't often find myself needing to catch a fish or build a fire while I'm at work, but I have had a button come off my shirt or had a pesky fingernail that needed a trim. From time to time I get a headache or find myself without lunch, or even worse with a bland lunch.
To start with, my family got tired of seeing my 15 year old Walmart leather wallet, which appears to be falling apart. It has a good bit of wear, but it is still fully functional. They got me a new one, and that inspired me to upcycle this perfectly good tool into what you will see.
Stuff you will need:
- A wallet - old or new, leather or duct tape. It's up to you.
- Sewing kit
- 2 Bandaids, 2 alcohol wipes and 2 butterfly closures
- 1 Single size headache powder
- 1 Credit Card knife
- 1 Credit card sized multi-tool
- 1 Fingernail clippers
- 2 Salt, 2 pepper and 1 sugar packets
- 1 Herb-ox bullion soup packet
- 2 Handi-wipes
- 1 Book of matches (not shown)
- 2 6 inch Zip ties
- 1 Foldable cup (not shown. I made it out of duct tape but I'm still trying to make it not leak)
- $10 bill (or other denomination)
- Cling wrap
Let's get started!
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Step 1: Prepping Your Contents
First, I wrapped stuff in the cling wrap to help make the items moisture resistant. It will be in my pocket which means it could get damp. I don't want the things to be ruined by the time I need them.
I wrapped the soup mix by itself, teabag by itself, matches by itself, 2 bandaids together, and sugar, salt and pepper all together
The matches didn't work out great as a fresh, new book. I took out all the matches except the last row so they wouldn't rub against each other before I wrapped them.
After wrapping the items with cling wrap, I put a piece of scotch tape over it to keep everything nice and tight.
I took a dollar store sewing kit and made it into a wallet friendly package. The thread is wrapped around toothpicks and the needles and pins are in a paper pouch that keeps them nice and neat. All the items fit into a home-made pouch I made from some poster board. The concepts for the sewing kit could work for a fishing kit, too, so I might add it later if I feel like I want it. Maybe I'll make an 'ible for the sewing kit if people want me to.
I also made a pouch from duct tape for the all first aid items to fit in.
Step 2: Prepping the Wallet
Not much to prep here, but still a couple things to do.
I took out the insert for the credit cards. I like the pockets it provides, but they aren't very durable and they add considerable thickness to the whole thing. With all the items I am putting in, I want to remove anything that isn't needed.
Since I used an old wallet, there were a couple minor repairs I wanted to make. The plastic thing that goes over the driver license was old, yellow and coming loose. So I took it out and replaced the plastic with duct tape so I could keep the pocket. A couple other minor repairs to the fabric inside were also needed.
Step 3: Adding the Contents
Probably the most difficult step of the project is adding the contents. You want to add the items in such a way that they don't get too bulky. This will be in your pocket, after all.
I tried a couple different methods before I found the one I like. I staggered the items throughout the money pockets so that when the entire thing is folded up, it is much thinner. You want to take the time to get the placement right, and don't be afraid to do it two or three times (or more if you need to).
I put the first aid pouch in the integrated credit card slot so it would be right up front and easy to retrieve. The bill pocket is good for most stuff, but things may move around. I wanted to keep the bandaids verticle.
The nail clippers was tricky. Since my wallet is old and well worn, it has some interesting extra space. Specifically along the folds. The leather has stretched a bit and makes a little bulge in those two places. I stuck the clippers in one of them.
I hid the money in the space where the insert (that I removed) is supposed to go. It is invisible and no one will find it unless they go on a search, which is unlikely.
Step 4: More About the Contents
- Credit Card Knife - This is made from plastic and surgical steel. I got mine for a couple bucks at Survivallife.com
- Herb Ox bullion soup mix - I found these at Walmart near the other bullion. It is equivalent to 1 cube and has some other seasoning with it. It packs well and is easier to mix with hot water.
- Tea bag - Folgers makes these really awesome coffee bags that is essentially instant coffee in a tea bag. If you prefer coffee to tea, this would be a good addition (or swap). They are a bit spendy, though.
- Headache powder - Another Walmart special. They have the displays at all the registers for the single use medicines. They have heartburn, allergy, ache & pain and a couple other kinds.
- Credit card multi-function tool - this was some gimmick thing that I got for free. I'm not sure how useful it would ever be, but I had it so I put it in the kit. If I need to make room or slim down, this will be the first thing to go.
- Other single sized packets - I picked them up at various gas stations or diners. I didn't make a specific effort, but I always seem to have a couple of these left over.
- Foldable cup - Ok, this one is still in the works. What I have will hold about half a cup of water and folds down to 3x2, which is perfect for the wallet. The problem is that it leaks. It isn't in my wallet right now because of that. But, once I have time to figure it out, I'll fix it and add it. Maybe I'll share that one, too.
- Zip ties - These are garden variety zip ties. I used the 6 inch ones because they fit the space.
- Money - I always like to have a little extra cash for an emergency. You can choose the denomination, so it is very flexible!
All these items fit and are fairly comfortable. I put it in the pocket opposite my regular wallet so it took a bit to get used to it, but after a couple of days I barely notice it.