Mini-Mess Tin Survival Tin.





Introduction: Mini-Mess Tin Survival Tin.

There are a lot of survival tin guides on here, but I still decided to make one. I am a royal marine cadet and have made this survival tin up with a lot of thought put into it. I have taken it on all of my cadet exercises and always have it with me. It was specially put together for a natural resources and survival weekend. 

Step 1: The Tin Itself

The tin i have used is an old mini-mess tin. The reason i used this is unlike other mess tins it has a lid and can easily be emptied. It is best to use a metal container as you can then use it to heat and boil water, as well as offering you a container to purify water.

I also added one of my spare boot elastics, not only does it keep the container closed but it also can be used if you lose one of the ones you are wearing or one breaks

Step 2: The Contents

Hereis a list of contents and why they are in the tin:

Mini Mess Tin - To hold contents, and can be used for cooking. 

Spare Boot Elastic - To hold the Mess tin tightly shut and is also spare for if you lose or break one. 

Waterproof/Wind proof Matches - Used to light fires, This container holds 20 and has a striker on the top and bottom, it also has cotton wool in the bottom which can be used as tinder 

Leathermans Micra - This is just a small leathermans that contains Scissors , tweezers, a blade and other tools.

Ziplock Bag - This has many uses but i placed it in here to hold all items in the survival tin when it was emptied so i could use it to cook, and it can also be used to carry water. 

Dynamo torch - Light inst essential for survival, however Dynamo torches are perfect for survival as they never run out of batteries and come in all shapes and sizes

Tissues - These have all sorts of uses and can also be used as tinder to get a fire going.

Tea light candle - You can use this to light/start fires as it is easier to light than the fire itself  

Snare wire - This can be used to catch your food and can be made easily and quickly and is easy to set up

Flint and tinder's - These are used to create sparks that can light try tinder. 

Aqua Pure Tablets - These are used to clean dirty water, Instructions are usually provided with the tablets. 

Spare Locking Blade - This is just a cheap sharp knife that can be used for cutting most things. 

Safety pins - Theses can be used to aid you with sewing or holding things together.

Basic fishing kit - This is easy to set up and use and can catch edible fish. 

Spare matches - These matches are not waterproof and wont work when wet, so to prevent this you can coat the heads in a thin layer of wax and scratch it off before use, I haven't bothered with this as i keep mine in a water tight container. 

Tin opener - This one isnt essential as you wont probably have tins in a survival situation, however if you are hiking and you have taken tin food you have a spare one if you lose your main one.

Button Compass - These are only for survival situations and should only be used if it is your only compass.

Two small Pencils - There is no need to take full size pencils or a sharpener as they could be sharpened by knife, The reason for taking to is they can be used as handles for the wire saw to prevent cuts and blisters and making it easier to cut through large objects. 

Mirror - this can be used to signal and make people aware of you position it can also be used for shaving etc.

Elastic Band - Fairly obvious, it can be used to hold things together.

Basic sewing kit - This can be used to sew up any rips in clothing or sleeping bags, to keep you warm and dry.

Wire saw - This can be used to cut logs and branches to a size that is more suitable to you, and supposedly can saw through metal. How ever they still need to be maintained and it is best to lightly oil them and keep them in a small bag. 

Step 3: Any Questions or Suggestions

Thank you for reading, This was my first instructable. 

If you have any suggestions or questions please feel free to comment. 

A final note from me, Survival tins don't have to be expensive, and can be made from most things you can find laying around the house. 



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    22 Discussions

    Nice, but if you took that torch(which I also happen to have) you shouldn't really use that at night, you should get a red sharpie, colour in one lense red, then to use it at night just hold your hand over the white one, or go the whole way and colour in both. I'm also a Marine Cadet, I learned that from experience, you probably know but white light messes up your night vision. Good luck

    Yeah your boot elastics gave away that you are military. :)

    Nice kit. I thought about doing a kit in a mess kit but I ultimately opted for an altoids tin for everyday carry and integrated a larger kit into my KaBar's sheath. I uploaded my Altoids kit to this site but I haven't uploaded my KaBar survival kit but maybe I will...

    Anyways, good luck in your military pursuits!

    Think this is a great idea. Personally I would use normal matches and put them into a plastic medicine jar/pot made of plastic with striker glued to both ends. Also would use a very shiny piece of metal as a reflector rather than a breakable mirror. Having said that, think your ideas are great and easily adaptable to suit personal needs and requirements.
    One important point I would add is:- If you need medication on a regular basis, take some with you in a small waterproof tin or such like. Thanks for this instructo, for your first it's very well set out. Thank you.

    did u get ur flashlight and Valley fair i saw one there like it

    hey i was wondering where you could snare wire? could it be found at a basic sporting goods store or would i need to order it on line. also is there a way to make it?

    3 replies

    Hi zipzapper859,What you can use is picture wire available at any hardware store or art shop. I hope this helps.Raibeart

    I would suggest used guitar strings. You can loop the line through the end piece. Just a thought.

    Hello, Snare wire is just a thin flexible piece of metal wire (it must be quite strong) and it can be found in most pre-maid survival tins or ordered on-line, possible some survival/military surplus shops and also could be brought at a hard ware store.

    Check my instructable for how to make the matches ''strike anywhere''

    Using cigarette lighters aren't very good because they can break if they get wet or thrown around also they don't last forever so i would recommend flint.

    Great Kit. there are a few things i would do different though. instead of matches i would recommend getting a mini cigarette lighter, i use a Bic brand and have spares in my Jeep. i would carry a small bottle of chlorine bleach instead of tablets, the bleach will give a taste that will cover up the potentially foul taste of the water you use, when using it only use what you need, a couple drops goes a long way. add a couple drops then shake it up and wait about 10 minutes, now smell it, if it has a chlorine smell to it it's good to go, if not repeat the process until you can smell it. you can also use the pencils for tinder if needed. i would recommend getting a small Fresnel lens, you can find them online for a couple bucks and they work great for starting fires with a little bit of practice. Great Basic Kit though

    3 replies

    There are a couple of down sides to using liquid bleach; the obvious of course is that the liquid can leak, but liquid bleach also has a shelf life. Depending on the temperature it is stored at, liquid bleach can lose its effectivness rather quickly.

    A better choice would be to carry powdered calcium hypochlorite and mix your own bleach solution on scene - powdered calcium hypochlorite remains effective many, many years after liquid bleach has become useless.

    Thank you. i agree with your points, and you are right however as this is a survival kit the parts are very basic and i always have a jet lighter as my main form of ignition tied to my jacket to avoid loosing it, also the bottle sounds more effective however i would worry that it could smash in the tin if it gets knocked about abit. How ever thank you for you advice!

    i like the kit but i would replae the dynamo torch with just a small led torch like a micro maglite esc thing. (VEry Small, single cell extremly bright) and some fuel for a stove like a tea light stove. other than that great kit

    I'm A royal Marine cadet aswell I've never needed anything like this but i suppose if i put a small kit together IT could come in handy :) .. Where did you get your mess tin ?? .. The ones we use dont have lids and we just simply put the big mess tin over the small one while cooking to keep the heat in .. A Lid is handy

    3 replies

    Hey, We to use the larger mess tins, however I carry this with them as well as I put all my rations in the mess tins to stop them rattling. How ever this is just a survival tin that is used in an emergency so the tins should only be used for cooking if you have to. And they can be brought off online surplus shops (or cadet direct) how ever they are now smaller as theses models are the older ones. Thanks

    I've never thought of cadet Direct .. Thanks for the tip :) .. We usually do what you said you do aswell .. Put our 'boil in bag rations' Or a whet Kit in the mess tins to keep them quiet while moving

    We do the same, the only problem is once you go through the rations the tins get empty and start to rattle, so i lay the bottom with tissues, they are thin and stop it rattling when empty.