I’d like to thank J.C.R. for his article on the survival kit tins. I have been meaning to put mine together for a while his article definitely gave me some more things to think about. However, while I have not completed my tin build, I have been thinking about the different aspects.
I have seen various articles advising that we prepare for what is most likely first (power outage, snowed in for a few days, etc.) up to however far you want to take it (up to a total apocalyptic event). With this in mind, I feel you should build your tin for the most likely situation you will find yourself in. For instance, if you are about to go hiking, hunting, camping, or similar type activity, then what we normally think of as the “survival tin” should be taken along. However, if you are going to church and then out to eat afterwards, a different type of tin could be carried. Whereas one tin would contain fire and steel, the other would contain a highlighter. Paracord is replaced with floss. You get the idea. Of course there can be a lot of overlap. Flashlights, band aids, and common medication will be handy in almost any situation. As my tins are still a work in progress, I do not have much advice on what to carry but figuring out what you think you might need is half the fun.
One thing I am interested in trying out is adding small containers of liquids and gels to the kit. I commonly have access to dental supplies and some of the containers are quite small and seal up very well. I was thinking I might add some vaseline to help give my kindling some staying power or a little bleach to help make me feel safer about the water. So once you decide you need a tin for 10 different situations, how do you keep them all straight? It turns out that Altoids actually makes a variety of different flavors of mints and each flavor is color coded so you can easily color code your tin to your situation. How great is that? Also, if you just don’t think you can fit a standard Altoids tin into your pocket or purse, Altoids also makes Altoid Minis which come in miniature Altoids tins. Now you have no excuse. – T.N. in Tennessee