How To: Altoid Survival Kit

Packing everything you need to survive in a few square inches
Hero altoid 11

Sep 27, 2014 | By Chase Pellerin

There are many ways to keep out of danger, but a life without it is one we wouldn’t want to live. So for all the moments we find ourselves in a sticky situation, it pays to be prepared. 

Our good friends at Art of Manliness found a creative way to turn a common Altoids tin into an always handy emergency EDC. It's a bug-out bag in pocket form, and we couldn’t help but try out our hand at assembling our own Survival Kit.


First things first, we had to get rid of the mints. Share them, inhale them, or use them for slingshot ammo — the only way for this kit to get off the ground is to max out on fresh breath.

Next, we paired two of the most inconspicuous items in the kit (Ibuprofen and Band Aids) with one of the most necessary (a pocket knife). The Ibuprofen will assist in any minor aches or pains, and the common Band Aid will help keep small cuts clean. The flat surface of the three left us with plenty of room for everything else.

A waterproof Nano Cache proves to be a perfect location to store matches. And we opted for a trick birthday candle to add to the kit — the wick is infused with magnesium, which allows you to keep a flame even in the windiest of conditions. We then wrapped rubber bands around the cache. Melted, they make a useful adhesive or they can assist in a finger splint or tourniquet.

A Survival Pod was the next addition. Designed for this very reason, the pod is stuffed with helpful gear including 550 paracord, sharp eye knife, flint, 6” of Jute Firstarter Tinder, and duct tape. (Pro tip: buy the Survival Pod as a part of our EDC Kit, and you'll get a stainless steel Peanut Lighter to boot.)

Tru-Nord’s Pocket Compass was next on the list. This moisture-sealed compass supplies a cobalt steel magnet and luminous paint dial for superior orientation, even in the dead of night. And for when the matches run out we’ve packed an additional stainless steel lighter to keep the fire going.

Following that, we added tweezers to aid in the removal of any splinters, thorns, or pesky stingers. Next, we stuffed Vaseline-covered cotton balls into the kit. Easily compactible and practically weightless, this combo is a fail-proof firestarter.

And last but not least, a couple safety pins. Use them to repair torn clothes or a ripped bag, assist in a makeshift sling, or as a humble fishing hook — even a single safety pin performs a number of infinitely vital roles in the field. 

Far from an exact science, this survival kit was modified to suit what we believed to be some of our most pressing needs when out of luck in the wild. And until we figure out how to stuff a tent into one of these things — we like our odds with this kit in tow, the next time we head out the door.


Got a worthy addition to the Altoid Survival Kit? Or your own spin on packing the Altoid tin? Be sure to share it with us on Instagram.

Images: Chase Pellerin