Mini Altoids Urban Survival Tin




About: Choose again.

I love the idea of a "survival" kit in an Altoids tin but for me the normal Altoids tin was too large to carry around in my pocket all the time and it was too heavy. I didn't need things like a fish hook or water proof matches. I just needed a few emergency items.

I wanted something small and suited for my normal every day activities in an urban setting. Looking around I discovered the Altoids "smalls" tin. I found it perfect for my needs. Just the right size for my pocket but big enough to carry the few items I wanted.

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Step 1: Adding Your Items

For me the following items fit snugly in the tin while giving me a few things I might need in an "emergency" situation:
  • a light source (LED mini light, preferable red for night vision)
  • a flame/fire (mini butane lighter)
  • emergency cash ($60 US)
  • cutting implement (straight edge razor)
  • multi-tool (pliers, flat-head and Philips screwdriver)
  • rubber bands (general purpose use and to hold the lighter on the tin)
Placement of items in the Altoids tin:
  • Fold up the three $20 bills as shown then place into the bottom of the tin one of the $20 bills
  • Put in the straight edge razor near the top of the bottom of the tin on top of the $20 bill
  • Place the multi-tool on top of the razor
  • Put the LED light on top of the multi-tool
  • Put the two remaining $20 bills into the top of the lid
Close the lid. It might pop up slightly because of the cash but this will be taken care of in the last step.

Step 2: Inside the Tin

The main compartment of the tin holds a $20 bill folded, a straight edge razor, the multi-tool and the LED light. The top of the tin holds two folded $20 bills.

Step 3: Completing the Tin

Finally use the two #64 rubber bands to wrap around the tin with the butane lighter on one side as shown, with the label side facing the tin. This adds friction to keep the lighter from sliding back and forth. I wrapped each rubber band around three times. Any slight issue closing the lid caused by the cash will be taken care of after the rubber bands are in place.

That's it, that's your mini urban survival tin that fits easily into your pocket without taking up too much room!

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    15 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I have not. I've carried that in my pocket for a couple years now and have never had a problem with the lighter accidentally discharging. I think it would be super rare event for both the striker wheel to turn enough *and* at the same time as something in my pocket holding down the gas release lever.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Cool thank you for the update. I was more or less interested in if it ever discharged so if when you needed it it qas partially depleted. I too think it would be pretty rare for both the igniter and the gas release lever to be hit at the same time. Again thanks for the feedback.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great kit!

    When I see lighters inside Altoids tins I often wince at the space it is taken up and when I see people tie items to the outside of their tins I think of how the purpose of a small kit has been defeated. However, your kit is already tiny so attaching a lighter to the outside doesn't take away from compactness of it.

    Very smart good sir. Very smart.

    I uploaded my own kit today if you wanna take a look and I plan on starting on making an Altoids Smalls survival soon.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you kind sir! I carry it in my pocket every day. The normal size tin is is too big for my tastes but this one, even with the lighter fits well in my pocket.

    After this post I'll definitely take a look at yours.

    Lol, I hear you. I can understand having some matches for longer term storage and potentially more reliability long term but seriously, at least include a lighter as well!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    you can find those multi-tools at Lowe's home improvement or Home Depot. I think I've even seen them at Walmart in the automotive section where they make keys. Your best bet though is Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Good write up.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice 'ible.

    What brand/model is that little multi-tool? I've been looking for something of that size.

    3 replies