Do It Yourself
Altoids Tin Survival Kit DIY
Fill your Altoid tin with these tiny survival tools to stay prepared no matter how little space you have!
Follow this DIY for easy assembly of this compact kit full of small but mighty survival gear.
Use this list to get together the essentials for your tin.
From a list of phone numbers and a sentimental item to matches and safety pins, this DIY provides the ultimate list for an Altoid Tin Survival Kit.
Check the video at the bottom of this post for the models of all the items used in the kit and extra tip and tricks!
First, gather your items:
Here’s a packing list for your survival kit tin along with some tips for filling it up.
1. Will to Survive
Keep an image or token with you that will keep you going when things get rough. Cut your photo small enough to fit flat in the tin. A wallet size picture will work nicely for this!
2. Emergency Numbers
Glue a list of emergency numbers that you would need to have in a survival situation. A spreadsheet or simple handwritten list would work well for this. Cut the list small enough to fit inside of the lid, then glue or tape it in place.
A small pair of tweezers are a very useful tool to have in your kit. The kind pictured keeps themselves pinched closed while being stored, a handy, space-saving feature.
A couple of quarters might come in handy. Tape them together to keep your kit organized.
5. Duct Tape
A little duct tape can go a long way in a survival situation. Wrap a foots’ worth around a piece of a credit card for easy storage.
6. Nail Clippers
This super slim pair fits perfectly in an Altoid tin survival kit.
This model is a telescopic, ultra compact pen. Small and very helpful to have around. A collapsable, high quality pen is a great addition to your kit.
8. Thumb Drive
Another compact tool, this USB thumb drive takes up very little space in your tin.
This lighter may be tiny, but in an emergency it will definitely come in handy.
This loud whistle isn’t something you want to blow unless necessary, but it could definitely get someone’s attention if needed.
This kit features a scissor multi-tool, specifically chosen for an urban environment. Pick a multi-tool that works best for you. They come with all different types of tools, so the choice is yours!
12. Pills and Tools
Two tiny compartments full of pills and tools of your choosing. Whether, pain relievers, matches, Q-Tips, or safety pins, whatever little things you think you’d want with you, add them to these compartments.
13. First Aid
A bandaid or mini-first aid kit would be a great addition to your kit. Finding a type of bandage with ointment already on it would increase the benefits of it even more!
Having a little bit of money on hand is definitely a great idea. Fold it small enough to fin flat in the bottom of the tin.
Putting your tin together is a little tricky. The best thing to do is start with the flat items in the bottom of the tin, then work on the arrangement of all the others on top. You might have to play with it for a bit, but with small enough components, it should all fit! Here’s a photo of the inside of the kit featured in this DIY:
Here’s another variation of the kit showing a more detailed assembly:
Watch the full video here:
Like tiny survival kits? Check out this Pill Bottle Survival Kit DIY!
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March 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM
My wife uses the “instant” International Coffee and it comes in a nice little plastic container that would work good for this and would be somewhat waterproof and rust proof.
January 20, 2019 at 2:51 PM
I have several from the late 1980s, they are metal with a tight snap on plastic lid that seals well. The cans are 3 times as deep as the altoids tin so they hold a lot more but don’t fit into a pants pocket, just a jacket pocket or pouch of a knapsack.
March 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM
I could not get the Altoids Tin video or Pill Bottle Survival Kit to open. Anyway, I built a few Survival Tins myself. I used larger containers, though. I will copy and paste the contents below. I put the tins in larger containers. Actually, both tins are components of Get Home Bags. One backpack is centered around an AR-7 Air Force Survival Rifle and Taurus Public Defender, the other goes with a ruck stored with a Ruger Mini-14 and an M1911A1 pistol. The lists for these packs are considerably longer, so I am only posting the Survival Tins:
1. CABELAS WALLET TIN
2. EMERGENCY (SPACE) BLANKETS – 1 EACH
3. CREDIT CARD TOOL (Compass, knife, whistle, fire start, 8x lens)
5. PARACHUTE CORD BRACELET
8. CABELAS MINI-TOOL- Pliers, knife blade, saw & flashlight
9. BAGGIE WITH BANDAIDS & ADVIL
10. ALCOHOL PREP PADS
1. NARUTO CARD TIN
2. ALCOHOL PREP PADS
3. EMERGENCY (SPACE) BLANKETS – 2 EACH
4. SWISS ARMY KNIFE – (Huntsman)
5. TIN FOIL – 12” by 12”
6. BAGGIE WITH BANDAIDS
7. PARACHUTE CORD BRACELET
8. LED FLASHLIGHT (+3 AAA Batteries)
9. WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS – 1 bottle of 50
11. FIRE KIT – 2 mini lighters, candle, box of matches, dryer lint
12. FISHING KIT – line, hooks, bobber, etc
13. PACK OF JOLT CAFFEINE GUM
14. WIRE SAW
Survivalists looking for a small tool/container that contains the basic needs can invest in the Adventure Medical Kit SOL Survival Tool!
March 4, 2018 at 8:55 AM
hi thats cool
March 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM
The first thing to modify is to DUMP PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE. The founder and owner is one of the most ANTI-GUN PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, and by buying his product, you are just financing your own disarmament.
March 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM
I always paint the Altoid tins flat olive drab and write on the outside, “kit, militia, apocalypse, patriotic, survivalist, emergency, MIL-K-8866614”. It makes one long for the old world odor, when bandaids came in a useful tin. (I used ’em to make testers for telescope mirrors.)
I include a small blade made for a broken hack saw. I wrap duct tape around it to serve asw a handle. A bit of paracord can be used to fabricate emergency weapons like a nunchuck, morning glory, or bolo.
Dental floss and large needles have many uses. Antibiotic oinkment repacked in sealed soda s5traws. Etc.
In general, the kit should be filled with stuff that takes no space, weighs zero, and is very useful in emergency.
March 4, 2014 at 5:57 PM
Instead of a tin, I use a little plastic waterproof clear box that you can purchase as wallyworld. They are not much bigger. I have also made some out of plastic water bottles. I like these the best because now I have a way to carry water. I can transfer all the equipment to my pockets.
I added to mine: water purification tablets, One bottle has a straw type filter, a flexible finger saw (not sure of correct name) with key rings for holders, part of a hacksaw blade, small quickclot or blood stop packet from walgreens,(although I am never without a 1st aid kit nearby) 1/3 bar of magnesium fire starter.
I like the idea of the thumb drive, cash and coins.
March 6, 2014 at 9:49 PM
As the author states, this is more for urbanites, but hardly for actual survival, depending, of course, on your definition and the situation at hand.
I’ve become a fan of the Altoids-style kits, and have built a few of my own, which continually ‘evolve’. I got several great ideas from other YouTube videos, especially a series from “mezilch”. I thought I was good at packing a lot into a little space, but he’s ‘Da Man’.
March 6, 2014 at 11:55 PM
Good article, thanks.
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April 14, 2014 at 11:07 AM
Thank you for your video. I’d like to pursue it further but, there’s no listing for the items, where they can be found or, the prices. I’d be very grateful if you could forward it to me at the above listed address. Also, do you think a Sucrets tin will work? Thank you again. JS
January 20, 2019 at 4:49 PM
Secrets tins are hinged & therefore not water resistant
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