Spend much time on the more heavily-trafficked survival message boards and you will inevitably see posts come up regarding mini-kits, like the kind you make out of the ever-popular Altoids tins. Frequently, what happens is someone posts a picture of one they put together, which is all well and good. But then, you’ll see several posts saying how it is a stupid idea, what possible use would such a small kit have, that sort of thing.
Part of the problem is that those who build these kits are often inexperienced with survival skills in general and perhaps feel these small kits are all they’ll need. At least, that’s how it sometimes comes across.
The reality is, these mini-kits are great.
But they certainly aren’t intended for long-term survival by any means. They are a backup, perhaps even a backup to your backup gear. They are not, or should not, be seen as the end all, be all survival kit.
The idea behind having a mini-kit is that, no matter what, you can always have at least some survival gear with you at all times. They are small enough to toss into a pocket or purse and not make you feel overburdened by the size or weight. If something happens to your primary gear, you’ll still have some of the basics at your disposal.
Typically, these Altoids tins and such have things like:
–Strike anywhere matches
–Tinder (Fire Straws, anyone?)
–A button compass for navigation
–A signal whistle to help rescuers find you
–A small razor knife or other blade
–Water purification tablets
–Some adhesive bandages
–Maybe even some paracord
No, a mini-kit isn’t going to keep you living high on the hog for weeks on end. But, it just might be enough to keep your butt alive for a day or two, at least long enough that you can work to improve your situation. As I always say, skills trump stuff every time. So, while you work on assembling all these nifty kits and whiz-bang gear, please be sure you know how to use all of it!