Small-vival Kit




About: I have a burning passion for building and creating things, and that's why I admire Instructables so much - everybody welcomes and helps inspire creativity.

Now we all know there are a lot of variations of altoids tin survival kits all over the internet, and while they're portable (and frankly, they're sort of cool) I think they could be even more slim (and more cool) while still being useful in a survival situation. Thus, my own, the small-vival kit, the smallest survival kit you should see for a long time. Because sometimes you just don't have the pockets big enough to carry around big kits, and lets face it: small things are cool! Here's how to make one in case you ever get stranded on an island (and if you do, best of luck!) I hope you enjoy making this project as much as I did, and will continue to do.

EDIT: Wow, looking back at these silly instructables I made when I was younger is embarrassing! :P

Step 1: What You'll Need

When you actually get out there you wont care how big it is as long as you have what you need. But wouldn't it be handy if it was easy to carry? Heres a list of what you'll need to survive:

Altoids smalls (duh!)
Duct tape
Plastic seal wrap
Plastic straw
Thin wire
Small strike anywhere matches
LED & watch battery/batteries
Small pocket knife
Fish hook and fishing line
Tin foil

BONUS: Glow-in-the-dark paint

Step 2: Plastic Wrap & Tin Foil

Both of these are not very durable, but if they're used correctly, can be very valuable things to have. Plastic wrap can be leaned up against a tree to collect rainwater or dew so you can have a water supply. Tin foil is useful for signaling passing planes or helicopters, treating it like a mirror to get a reflection (also if you make a fire and can get come embers in the foil, you might be able to take some "fire" with you). Tape a piece of plastic wrap about 15 inches long and wrap it up into a rectangle that will fit into the tin, secure with that rubberband (which can come in handy later) and do the same with the foil, but it doesn't need a rubberband. Make sure they are packaged very carefully and you might be happy you have them later!

Step 3: Mini Duct Tape Roll

Now, if you're like me you LOVE duct tape and can find indefinite uses for it. But sometimes, a whole roll is just to big to cram in our survival kit :( but now there is a way to take some on the go, heres how you'll do it: Start with finding that plastic straw and cutting off around 1/6 of it.Then take off a decent length of your duct tape and wrap it around it, very precisely so that it will unroll later. Now its like having a smaller roll of duct tape, just ration it.

Step 4: WIre

Wire is very important here, choose a thin one that is strong but easily moldable. One of a few uses for wire could be making snare traps to get food! There are a lot of ibles i'm sure that teach you how to make snare traps. Another is tying stuff together, like fishing line and a long stick to make a fishing pole. Cut off around 2ft and wrap it up nicely to fit in your tin.

Step 5: Matches

The all important matches, no survival kit should be without them! I found some strike anywhere matches and cut off a little bit of wood at the bottom so they would fit in my tin. I dont think you need me to go through a list of why these are important! Make a fire and keep it going, with just one match you can have a fire for the night, embers for another night, cooking your food, and torches.

Step 6: Knives, Knives, Knives

Knives. Got it? If you are ever in a survival situation one of your most important tools will be a knife. No matter how big or small. Find a pocket knife that will fit in your altoids tin (if you're wondering I have a little knife by spiderco) and you will use it all the time. Very important tool to have!

Step 7: Let There Be Light

And it was so. If you are to be exploring caves or moving at night, while it might not be a big flashlight or torch, you'll be happy you have it in a pinch. Buy a watch battery and white LED and touch the top side of the battery to the long wire on the led, and the short wire to the bottom of the battery. Holding those together will cause the led to light up!

Step 8: Hook Line and Sinker!

If you can fit some fishing line and a hook in your kit, there is no excuse not to. Fishing poles will be a very valuable ally, plus if you can find a long stick it would be perfect! Catch some bait and stick it on there. You can also find other uses for the fishing line, its small but strong, almost like small paracord. These things might keep you from going hungry.

Step 9: Fitting It All In

Time to take all of your tiny tools and fit them in there like a puzzle. Shouldn't take much moving stuff around to find a good setup.

Step 10: Survive

I hope that you are never in a survival situation, but if you are, you know you're ready now. You can drink, you can eat, you have light, tools and materials. Hope you enjoyed this Instructable! (=

Step 11: Bonus Step: Add a Bit More Glow

This step is not necessary, but adds a bit of convenience with a touch of awesomeness! If you have any glow in the dark spray-paint/normal glow paint (if you don't you should be able to find some online or at your hardware store), cover it with a couple thin layers of the paint and let them dry in intervals. It looks awesome at night, and you'll be able to see the tin so you know you havent lost your most important assets. This stuff glows bright too!



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    11 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great kit! I like that you have a reliable blade. Spiderco is one of my EDC blades. If you want check out my Altoids survival tin that I just uploaded!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like your kit. If I may, I would like to add a suggestion or two that could make your kit even cooler.

    Sometimes matches don't strike well, and you end up with a small stick. Where you only have a couple matches, this can be very bad.
    To improve your chances of success, cut the red striker bar (that little sandpaper thing) of the matchbox and glue it to the inside top of your can. You will always have someplace handy to strike the match.

    If you are lost and near a road at night, passing cars may not see you until it is too late, or may not realize you need help. You will want a way to easily signal them or get their attention, and your kit is the answer.
    Get a reflective tape. You can find it just about anywhere, but I used the more expensive version I found at an autoparts store. It has an adhesive back, and there is white and red. I used the red part and cut it to fit my tin, then stuck it on the back. If you need to signal anyone with a light, like a search party, just pull out your tin and aim it at the light. You can even do Morse "SOS" if you want to. :)

    1 reply

    Hey thanks, I like both ideas and I even considered them, but I was unable to do so for these reasons: An altoids smalls tin with all the stuff wrapped up in there left no room for a piece of paper/cardboard for the striker, and felt very fragile. I simply didn't use the reflective duct tape because I didn't have any and i heard the reflectivness wears off, so I substituted with foil, but I like your idea too and think I may give it a shot. I might just update my instructable in the near future to incorparate these neat ideas! Thank you, any suggestions are appreciated (-:


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've been backpacking for 15 years and I can honestly say, this would without a doubt come in handy. I spent $30 for a similar kit at REI and it didn't even have a knife or LED flashlight! You should be proud of your hard work. Thanks for sharing the ible and happy camping... :)

    1 reply