It’s great to have emergency supplies stockpiled in your home. Unfortunately, that won’t do you much good if disaster strikes when you’re on your lunch break downtown or caught in traffic.
When you think about it, how much of your day do you really spend at home? For some of us, that’s an hour in the morning, an hour after work, and however long we’re asleep…
That’s why the concept of a “survival tin” has become a mainstay for those who live by the Boy Scouts motto: Always be prepared.
What is a Survival Tin?
Simply put, a survival tin is a pocket sized version of a bug-out bag. A survival tin is a small can, usually an empty breath mint tin or a can of snuff, stuffed with a few select items that may come in handy during an emergency.
Common items carried in a survival tin are: Pocketknives, can openers, dry tinder, compasses, fishing kits, bandages, suture kits, and sewing kits. As you can see in the nearby image, space is limited in your survival tin. The selection process involved in building your own survival tin is part of the fun.
Why You Need a Survival Tin
Total preparedness can be a problematic concept, because you never know where you will be when you’re thrust into an emergency situation. Read: you may be separated from all of your most important gear.
A bug-out-bag is one solution for this problem, but a backpack is a little bulky for an “everyday carry” item. An Altoids box, on the other hand, is designed to be pocket sized.
Thus, if you have an empty Altoids box, you already have an excellent foundation for a custom survival tin. As I said before, the process of deciding what goes into your tin is half the fun.
Will you spare the space for a cigarette lighter? A magnesium fire starter? Or a few waterproof matches?
If you typically carry a pocketknife, putting one in your tin may be redundant.
A strand of strong 40lb test fishing line can serve as an alternate for paracord in many applications and it takes up much less space.
Below is a list of typical survival tin items, just a few quick ideas just to get the wheels spinning:
- Suture kit
- A needle and thread
- Fishing line and hooks
- Pain killers