Small can be useful

So, among the lists of things that I run across from time to time are lists of Altoids tin modifications.  They’re small, stackable, readily available, inexpensive, and full of tasty candy–what more could you want?

The most recent one that I’ve seen is “12 Useful DIY Altoid Tin Upcycle Kits“. Ten of these are certainly reasonable, if not necessarily for the listed purpose.  (And, of course, the things are small enough that having one or two “for fun” wouldn’t take up much space.)

Here’s the list:

  1. An “outdoor survival kit”, from Field and Stream. It’s got fire starting, water holding and purification, a fishing kit, signaling and navigation, extremely basic first-aid, and some variations.  I certainly like this one.
  2. A portable s’mores kit (Instructables).  Frivolous, but again–very small; maybe “emergency rations” for a camping trip?  Although a tin full of peanut butter would probably have a better quality of calories…
  3. A portable grill, as part of #2 above. At the least, this would be a good kit to start a larger fire in an emergency.
  4. A mini first-aid kit (more Instructables). The “basic kit” listed is actually fairly comprehensive, for as small as it is. Certainly worth exploring.
  5. An “urban survival kit.”  I can’t find the original photo on Flickr, but scanning the photo provided in the top link there are a few interesting selections. A bit of cash–both the folding and the clinking kind–is a good idea. I might not have thought to put an LED with some coin batteries, but that’s a very basic signal device. Chapstick, lighter, a bit of cotton wadding, and you’ve got fire, not to mention the intended uses for them. Micro multi-tool, check. Wire, rubber bands, string, tin foil.  Certainly some food for thought here.
  6. Pocket watercolor set, again from Instructables. Maybe it’s just not my thing; if it’s yours, go for it.
  7. A portable tackle box. If you’re anywhere near where you can fish for food, this is pretty ingenious…
  8. Another Flickr entry has a portable game chest, with cards, dice, a piece of paper with a chess/checker board, thin game pieces (more paper/card stock?), plus what looks like instructions for something I’ve not seen before. A folded piece of notepaper and a pencil rounds things out. If there are more than one of you, this is pretty convenient, for the rare “down moments” in survival situations, or to occupy you while you’re waiting for rescue…
  9. A mini martini kit. Very James Bond–something Q would probably come up with. (Well, something he should have come up with.) Not exactly a survival thing, unless you count it towards morale.
  10. A DIY mini LED flashlight. This is actually small enough to fit in a “normal” Altoids tin.  Pretty simple to make, and inexpensive–and if you’re unsure about electronics, it’s not a bad entry-level project.
  11. A portable mini barbecue. Well, yes… Or, you can use it (as with #3 above) to start a bigger fire, for something slightly more useful.
  12. An emergency candle. This one I’m actually going to have to make, and stash a few dozen of them in various places–in my BoB, my GHB, a couple in the cars, several in a few spots around the house… This one makes the list worthwhile, even if you don’t look at the others, in my opinion.

There you have it!  There are many, many lists out there similar to this one, and dozens-if not hundreds-of other things those ubiquitous little tins can be used for.  Do you have something really creative?  Let everybody know, down in the comments!


About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
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