What should I add to my altoids EDC tin?

I’ll have to make an altoids survival tin sometime that could help me survive a night in the woods with just what is in the tin, but I do have an altoids EDC tin that I use almost everyday. Take a look at it and let me know if there is something I should add.

What would your altoids EDC tin look like? Try making one and share it on here using the kit builder!



  • Comments (16)

    • 5

      I love the kit! One other idea would be one of those mini bic lighters, or maybe 2-3 strike anywhere matches dipped in candle wax to make them waterproof.

      Fire is such a great thing to have on hand, from just burning a loose string on your clothes, to lighting a fire. I’m sure you’ll find a use for it.

      • 5

        Thank you for the suggestion! I will have to add that to my kit 🙂

    • 2

      Rubber bands!

      • 2

        You know, I used to wrap and hold the tin shut with rubber bands but lately have been using a single ranger band to hold it shut. I should go back to multiple rubber bands for the more uses it will provide. Thank you for the idea.

    • 1

      Replace the limited use antibiotic ointment  with potassium permanganate crystals. On their own the crystals can be used to help start camp fires, mark snow bright red to show rescuers were you are, and dissolved in water  they becomes anti fungal and anti septic. You can use Pot Perm crystals wrapped in a tissue and add a couple of drops of glycol based antifreeze from a cars spares and it becomes self igniting firelighter.

      Add scalpel blade, and a sewing pin, the pin can be self magnetised by rubbing it on your clothing, then you gently place it in a bit of water and it will point to north.

      And polish the inside of the tin lid to use as a reflector for signalling aircraft

      Couple of storm matches or ordinary matches dipped in candle wax to waterproof them.

      Add Condom for carrying water in.

      The electrical tape along with a couple of reusable cable ties  gets wrapped around the outside of the tin , often with a wire snare under the tape.

      • 2

        My Altoids kit contains a signal mirror, a RSK MK5 knife (carefully sharpened), a hunk of fire tinder, and a ferro rod and striker.  It is a component of my “essentials bag”, which is a small accessory bag containing a compass, a match safe, a Bic lighter is a waterproof Exotac container, a small pad of paper, a sierra cup with Esbit cubes, more fire tinder, a small roll of duct tape, tea and coffee packets, cordage, and a SOL Bivouac d’Urgence (much classier in French!).  This is a reasonable start for an impromtu night out, but I would hope my pack would contain spare clothing and that I could find a decent bivvy site.

        The one essential missing is water.  I have spent a lot of time in Arizona and often times your survival odds directly relate to how much water you can obtain or carry.

        This is kind of a generalized, “average” kit and it should be modified or supplemented, depending upon circumstances and season of the year.  Vital to your survival might well be an accurate map of your surroundings.

        Learn the night sky and you a direction finder that is more accurate than your compass or a magnetized pin floating in water.

        An Altoids tin is just the beginning…..

      • 1

        I forgot my lighting!!  A AAA flashlight (Fenix LD01), a spare lithium battery in a waterproof container.  I would also heartily recommend a small headlamp – there are several.  my fave is a Knog Quokka (available in the USA only from REI, AFAIK.

    • 2

      My Altoid kit has a length of dental floss, a (dental) proxy brush and a mini tweezers.

      Foot Note: not in an actual Altoid tin.  My Altoid tin is in my sovenier collection of historical items.  It’s somewhat old and has some Chinese characters for the Hong Kong, BCC market.

      • 1

        Dental floss will take up practically no room at all but has a multitude of uses. I will be adding that to the kit.

    • 2

      If you have the space, a pair of sewing scissors or a mini Swiss army knife to cut through packaging can be helpful. 

      • 2

        A small pair of scissors would be a good addition. I do carry a pocket knife with me, but sometime scissors give a cleaner cut when opening packaging. Thank you for the idea Kira.

    • 4

      I made up tins for my sons and their spouses and gave them as stocking stuffers last Christmas. More as an everyday kit…call it an introduction into Prepper mode for them. One D-I-L thought it was silly then, but has since told me some of the items have come in handy. My actual contents list came from this site and is similar to yours Gideon, but I found I couldn’t put as much in the tins! No clippers, no mini-Sharper for example. Mine are pocket sized. Are there larger tins available? Also wanted to add that I included a much expanded list in their tins so they can tailor them to their needs.

      • 2

        An Altoids tin has the dimensions of 3.5″ x 2.25″ x 0.75″. Here are some larger options:

    • 3

      I like this a lot!

      I started building my own tin-based urban EDC a few months back and quickly ran out of space. Turns out that once you stuff a USB microSD card reader, Maratac Peanut XL lighter, pocket multitool, and jackknife-style lockpicking set into a tin, there’s barely any room for other things. I might need to rethink my strategy. 😅

      I really like the idea of keeping immunization records on hand, because that’s something I can never keep track of in my mind. And the Fresnel lens is a cool gizmo―I might get one to store alongside my little portable mirror!

    • 5

      I keep a 4 GB flash drive in my pocket survival tin, with all my familiy documentation on it.

      • 3

        That is a very smart thing to do Bill. I have about 7GB of important family documents on my 64GB drive. A large portion of that flash drive has prepping books and other resource documents, and then I keep a large chunk empty to use the flash drive for transferring files between computers.