Ultimate Altoids Tin Survival Kit

Introduction: Ultimate Altoids Tin Survival Kit

This is my version of a compact D.I.Y Altoids survival kit. There have been many of these posted on this site and I have taken some of their ideas and many of my own to create the ultimate kit. My survival kit is slightly bigger than most but it can still fit in a pocket. I gathered all of these things from around my house and I am sure most everyone can do the same or substitute some of the items. This should be an inexpensive project that just might save your life.

P.S. If you are ever lost and this kit does save your life be sure to mention me to the press. : - )

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Survival Basics

If you find yourself in a situation where you are lost and forced to survive you need to keep what you take with you at a minimum. Weight is a killer in heat and cold so you only take items with you that have at least three uses, any less and it is dead weight. Another thing to keep in mind are the 5 Cs of survival. What you take with you must meet at least one of the 5 Cs.

1) Cutting Device
2) Cup
3) Container
4) Combustion Device
5) Cordage

Lastly, the point of survival is to "survive until rescue". This means you shouldn't be setting up mailboxes and placing door mats in your shelter. Rescue is your main objective and your items should be oriented around this.

Step 2: Materials

These are the materials you will need for this survival kit. Feel free to add whatever else you have room for.

1) One-altoids Tin
2) Nine-Matches
3) One-Match Box Striker (If You Use Strike Anywhere Matches Omit This)
4) One-Trash Bag
5) Two-Candles
6) Five-Band Aids
7) Three-Packets of Salt
8) Three-Packets of Pepper
9) Two-Packets of Sugar (Artifical Sweeteners Will Not Do)
10) Five-Fish Hooks
11) One-Ten Foot Strand of Fishing Wire
12) One-Box Cutter Blade
13) One -Balloon
14) One-12 in. By 12 in. Square of Aluminum Foil
15) Two-Clear Plastic Zip Lock Bags
16) Two-Cotton Balls
17) One-6 in. By 6 in. Piece of Cloth
18) One-15 Foot Piece of Thin String (I Used String That You Wrap Hay Bales In)
19) One-Foot Piece of Rope
20) Electrical Tape
21) Around 20 Rubber Bands (You May Not Use All of Them)

Step 3: Uses for the Materials

All of these items follow the five Cs of survival and the rule of three.

1) Altoids Tin- The Altoids tin fall under the Cup and Container Catagory. This can be used to heat food, store items, drink from, signal for help, and numerous other things.

2) Matches- Matches fall under Combustion Device. Matches give you fire and fire has many applications such as defense, cooking food, sterilizing water, ect.

3) Match Box Striker- This allows you to use the matches (Duh)

4) Trash Bag- The humble trash bag falls under Container and can be used as a poncho, and fish net, a storage device and other things.

5) Candles- Candles are under Combustion Device and they can give you one more thing that plain fire cannot, portable fire. The ability to transport fire is a very important factor.

6) Band Aids- Band Aids are believe it or not Cordage. Band Aids can be cut into sections, protect wounds, fletch arrow and more.

7) Packets of Salt- Salt falls under Container not because it can hold items but because it helps items last longer. Salt can preserve food, you can soak fish in salt water to help scales come off, you can test eggs freshness with salt by dropping them in salt water (Bad Eggs Float, Fresh ones Sink), and flavor that bland food for you.

8) Packets of Pepper- Pepper falls under Container like salt. Pepper is more of a luxury than salt, however it has just as many survival uses. 

9) Packets of Sugar- Sugar falls under Container as well. Sugar can heal wounds, besides being used for food preparation, sugar in an open wound will make the blood coat nearly immediately, and as bait for insects (Don't Knock Crickets Until You Try Them).

10) Fish Hooks- These are a cutting device. Fish hooks can be used to slice through fabric as easily as a knife, they can also catch fish, and be used as needles.

11) Fishing Wire- Cordage and can be used for snares, fishing, and creating a shelter.

12) Box Cutter Blade- No brainer a Cutting Device. A knife can be used to hunt, defend yourself, and even cut a string, take your pick.

13) Balloon- This is a Container and a Cup. You can hold water in a balloon and drink from it too.

14) Aluminum Foil- Aluminum Foil can be used as a temorary Cup or Container. You can also signal very easily with foil, you can use it to flight arrows, and cook food in it.

15) Zip Lock Bags- These are Containers and Cups. You can also sterilize water in these with out fire. Fill the bags with water and lay them out in the sun. The UV rays will heat the water and kill most pathogens making it safer to drink.

16) Cotton Balls- This is a Combustion Device at its finest. Cotton balls can hold flame very easily and for a good while as well.

17) Cloth- Cloth is a container. Cloth can also be used to filter water, signal for help, and create a marker to remember which direction you came from.

18) String- String is Cordage and can be used for snares, building shelter and fishing.

19) Rope- Thick rope is Cordage and can be used for many things building a shelter, part it out for snare wire, and tie your food in a tree (To save you that uncomfortable moment when the bear has your food and you want it back.)

20) Electrical Tape- Tape can the used as Cordage, can be used to make arrow flights, and as a Band Aid if you are all out.

21) Rubber Bands- Rubber Bands are Cordage, they can be used to make sling shots, and for holding items together.  

Step 4: How to Pack the Materials

1) Glue the striker to the lid of the tin. Then place the salt, sugar, pepper, and band aids.
2) Fold the aluminum foil to where it just fits in the tin without bending.
3) Tape a small piece of thin cardboard around one end of the box cutter blade. Then tape the blade thinly.
4) Fold the trash bag up and rubber band it. It should cover half of the tin and not stick up ofver the top.
5) Place the box cutter, eight of the matches, and candles next to the trash bag. Wrap the fishing line around the last match stick and place it in the tin. Place five extra rubber bands in the tin.
6) Close the tin and rubber band it tightly. (If you packed it right it should close normally)
7) Place nine strips of tape, one on top of the other, on the lid of the tin. (This is extra tape for use later if you need it, and you can also take the tape off the knife if you ever need tape.)
8) Slip the rope under a rubber band on the lid and wind it aropund the tin. Do the same for the thinner string.
9) Place the cloth over the tin and wrap it tightly. Then rubber band the cloth to secure it.
10) Place one of the plastic bags over the tin, get all the air out of the bag, seal the bag, and then rubber band the bag to secure it.
11) Rubber band the balloon to the tin.
12) Place the final plastic bag over the tin just like the other one.
13) Your done.

Step 5: Finished

You now have a pocket sized survival kit chock full of things that are dead useful if you ever need them. This kit is completely waterproof and there is a possibility that it could float because of the air trapped inside. I don't know if it does because I've never dropped it in water. Someone who reads this throw one in a pool for me and see if it floats, then get back to me. If it doesn't just blow a little air into the bag on top and it should. So good luck and let's hope you don't need it.

Be the First to Share


    • Tiny Speed Challenge

      Tiny Speed Challenge
    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest

    9 Discussions

    That guy cool
    That guy cool

    4 years ago

    I love it I made this though I managed to keep it all in the tin


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great job knowing the priorities in a survival situation! There are a number of different ways that you could streamline your kit so that it can be comfortably carried on you. I've recently uploaded a kit of my own if you'd like more ideas. :)


    9 years ago on Step 5

    This may be one of the bulkier altoid's survival tins here but it's also the best. The only thing I would probably change is getting 1 long segment of high strength fishing line to replace the fishing line and string and using paracord instead of rope because of it's size and strength. All in all an amazing instructable and will probably make one once I get home from work.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much. I would have used paracord had i had any. That stuff is amazing.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    I was thinking of some other items to replace and add. One thing you may need is at least one nail, you can use it for piecing holes to thread through, poke sap holes in trees to make a torch and may be used as a knife in very sticky situations. Assuming you're going to be in a wooded area you can ditch the candles and just make a torch out of stuff found around you. You can also change matches into an all-in-one flint, steel and magnesium striker which would last longer and if it gets wet you can still use it, some of the strikers even have a pretty sharp knife but razor blades are better in most cases. Also noticing how large the garbage bag is you could omit that and replace it with a semi-large grocery bag considering on how large you are and if it could be used as a poncho. Not trying to be picky in fact Instructables are meant to be worked upon and improved by the vast community, just throwing my 2 cents in that would probably make it more efficient.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    True but getting hot air in it would be a problem.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    you can use the balloon as a signal to


    8 years ago on Step 3

    You can also use the balloon as a signal

    that shelter you made is there like a name to that type i want to make 1 can you make a instructable on how to make 1