Bushcraft Altoid Tin – What to Put in Your Pocket Survival Kit

by | Oct 1, 2020 | Bushcraft

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There are a few items that you wouldn’t leave the house without. I know for me, I check my pockets for my phone, keys, and wallet before I go anywhere. Living in the city, there’s not really much else I need, but what about when I’m in nature? That’s where the bushcraft Altoid tin comes into play.

When you’re in the wild, your keys and wallet don’t do you much good. If you’re deep in the wilderness, chances are your phone won’t help either. Which is why it’s so important to always carry an emergency survival kit with you.

What is a Bushcraft Altoid Tin?

The bushcraft Altoid tin is exactly what it sounds like. A pocket-sized case that you can conveniently fit all of your survival items. Being as small as it is, the bushcraft Altoid kit is really only good for the bare essentials, which we’ll get into a little later down the road.

Why it’s the Perfect Survival Kit

Altoid tins quickly gained popularity in the bushcraft and survival world for a couple of reasons. The first being size and weight. The common Altoid tins that you find in the store are lightweight, and only measure 9.2cm x 5.7cm x 2cm. Big enough to hold a variety of items, and still small enough to fit in your pocket.

Altoid tins are also made from a lightweight steel. Which makes it easy to carry with you, and also, fairly durable to keep your most important items safe from the elements. There are alternative options that may be more durable, but for the price you pay, it’s hard to beat.

One added benefit is that you have a reason to finish a tin of Altoids. Who doesn’t love that? Plus, when you’re done, your survival pack will smell extra minty.

Planning Out Your Kit

Bushcraft Altoid tins are limited in size, which means that no two survival kits are going to be the same. Everyone has their own preference on what a survival kit should include. For example, you may focus more on first-aid items, while someone else may choose to focus more on fire building. 

Additionally, not every survival item is useful in any environment. Think about the area you are going to be exploring, or what the climate looks like by where you live. Creating a bushcraft fishing kit may seem like a good idea for when you’re near a river or lake, but won’t do you much good if you’re trapped in the desert.

Items to Put in Your Altoid Survival Tin

As we mentioned earlier, it’s really up to you to make your bushcraft kit your own. Whether you want to include a family photo, or fill it with oil or wax to make an emergency candle, there’s really no going wrong here. 

That being said, we’re going to break down some of the most important and popular survival items that fit perfectly in your bushcraft Altoid tin.

Emergency Fire Starters

Fire is the most essential element you need to survive. It’s used to keep you warm, cook raw foods, and even signaling for help if you’re looking for help. For that reason, most survivalists include some sort of fire starter and tinder that can help them get a fire going quickly. Items like:

  • Lighter
  • Waterproof Matches
  • Fire Steel
  • Tinder
  • Fuel Tablets

Water Purification Tablets

Water is essential to life. You can go without food for just over a month, but water is a completely different story. People can’t go without clean drinking water for more than three to four days, sometimes even less depending on the situation. 

There are a number of ways to purify water in the wild, such as boiling or distilling it. However, that takes time, and what if you don’t have access to fire right away? 

Water purification tablets, or other purifying chemicals are a good survival item to include. They work quickly, and can save you when you’re in a pinch.

Fishing Necessities

If you’re going to survive for any extended period of time in the wild, you’ll need to learn how to source your own food. Fish is an excellent source of essential nutrients, which help you maintain your strength. You may not be able to fit an entire fishing rod in your kit, but you can include the following items:

  • Hooks
  • Fishing line
  • Lures
  • Weights
  • Bobbers

First-Aid and Medications

Depending on your health, there may be medication that you need to bring with you at all times. For example, if you’re a diabetic, you’ll need to have a backup supply of insulin just in case. But even if you don’t have a pre-existing health condition, it’s still a good idea to carry a mini first-aid kit with you.

The truth is, nature can be wildly unpredictable, especially if you’re not a survival expert. From new bacteria being introduced to your body, to falling and getting a deep cut, you’ll want to have medical items that can fix you right up. Those items may include:

  • Gloves
  • Imodium
  • Anti-Inflammatories
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Gauze

Needle and Thread

In a survival situation, the clothes on your back are all you have. Most people underestimate just how important it is to protect yourself from the elements. Keeping your skin covered from the sun, or other harmful elements can be the difference between life and death. So, why take any chances?

If your clothes rip, and chances are they will, having a needle and thread in your bushcraft Altoid tin can be a lifesaver. Patching up any holes in your gear can be crucial to your survival, which is why we strongly recommend you pack a needle and thread.

Navigation and Survival

Nature is vast, and often, unforgiving. When you’re deep in the wilderness, it’s incredibly easy to lose your sense of direction. That’s why you should pack a small compass or navigation tool to take with you. Preferably, something that doesn’t rely on batteries or wireless service to tell you how to get where you need to go.

A compass may not be too helpful if you don’t know where you’re trying to go. Sure, it could point you in a direction, but how do you know it’s the right direction?

We recommend keeping a survival map with you at all times. It doesn’t have to be large, and it doesn’t have to map out the entire world either. You really just want something that shows you the terrain you’re in, and helps you plot your routes to get out. This may require extra planning, but it’s well worth it.

Final Thoughts on Altoid Survival Kits

The bushcraft Altoid tin makes a great survival kit. It’s durable, lightweight, and keeps all your survival gear neatly tucked away in your pocket. While the Altoid tin may be a favorite, it definitely doesn’t mean that’s what you need to use as your survival kit.

If you want to bring along larger items or gear, like pocket knives and tarps, a small tin may not cut it. However, the Altoid tin does make a great supplement to the rest of your pack, and can help you in tight situations. Whatever you decide to make your survival kit out of, all that really matters is that you can carry it with you at all times.

Brian Segal

As an outdoor enthusiast, I was drawn to bushcraft at a young age. I constantly find myself trying to learn and improve on my survival skills, and enjoy writing about everything I discover to help pass along to others.

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