13 REAL Survival Uses for Altoid Tins – You Can Easily Make One Today!

13 Real Uses

I’m a big fan of used Altoids Tins.  I just think that for a few bucks, you get some great mints and a cool little metal container that has a TON of uses.  In the past, I’ve made Urban Survival Kits for family members as Christmas stocking stuffers (I didn’t really put it in their stocking).  And just recently, I started carrying a First Aid or “Boo-Boo” kit in the pack I take to work.  But there are so many other uses for these little metal tins.  Actually the internet is filled with many creative pictures and how-to’s from artwork to USB chargers to games.  But I’m more interested in using the tins for survival uses.  Here are the best 13 survival uses I found for Altoids Tins.

Wilderness Survival Kit – No, it doesn’t replace a well tested pack.  But it is better than nothing!  If you know that you are going off into the woods, for any reason, it is a good idea to put a Wilderness Survival Kit in your pocket.  There are so many variations and ideas out there.  Here is a good one for you to check out!

Urban Survival Kit – A lot different than the Wilderness Survival Kit, you will always find yourself needing something out of this kit.  My favorite kit ever was put together by The Urban Prepper.  He has a nice little video with a PDF to all the items and where he purchased them.  My only concern with his kit is the cost of some of the items.  But, if you have the money, what the heck!  Ultimately, everyone’s Urban Survival Kit is going to look a little different.


First Aid – “Boo-Boo” Kit – You are not going to do major surgery with this.  But having some medicine, an anti-itch pad or bandaids in a pinch is a great reason to carry this pocket first aid kit.

Fishing Kit (PIC) – You find yourself by a nice body of water and think to yourself, “Is this a good place to fish?”  You then whip out your pocket fishing kit and “test the waters.”

Fire Kit – You might not run out to the woods with just this kit in your pocket, but having this kit as part of your BOB or 72 hour kit makes for a nice way to keep everything in it’s proper place.

Char-Cloth Maker – Char-cloth is a piece of cloth that has been “charred” and prepared to start up with just a spark.  Having some char-cloth in your Fire Kit is a must.  You can easily make it with an Altoids Tin.


Sewing Kit (PIC) – You can pack a lot of sewing items in a little tin.  Needles and thread for sewing on a button, fixing a rip in a tarp or tent, or any other minor repair is a reason to carry some sewing items around.

Miniature Cooking Stove – There are many variations of cooking tins out there.  The one in the link is an alcohol stove.  I made one similar to this one when I was in Boy Scouts.  It uses only cardboard and wax.

Baking Bread – Yes, you can bake bread in an Altoids Tin.  You don’t need a lot of heat to make some survival bread out in the woods.

Solar Emergency Radio – There are a lot of projects you can do with solar and an Altoids Tin.  However a radio might be one of the most useful.  The radio featured in the link was made for $3.

Emergency Candle – This instructable goes step by step on how to make an emergency candle in an Altoids Tin.  I tend not to throw away old candles, even when they’ve burned down and are unsafe to light.  Melting the leftover wax and making an emergency candle might be the way to go!

.22 LR Ammo Can – If you are lucky enough to have some .22 LR bricks around, you can use an Altoids Tin to carry around quite a bit of ammo.

Backpack Seasoning Kit (PIC) – So you’re out in the woods, surviving and stuff.  You snared some rabbits because you’ve been reading Prepper Website and saw some cool tutorials (and were practicing too).  Why not throw some seasoning on that meat from your Altoids Tin Seasoning Kit?  It’s amazing how many seasoning straws you can hold in one tin.  Click here for SouthernPrepper1’s video on using straws in kits.

This last PIC is not included in my overall count  But I think it is a great example of using Altoid Tins to stay organized.


The above PIC is a small assortment of Altoids Tins.  To be fair, the small red tin is not an Altoids Tin, it is from Starbucks.  For some reason, I get Starbucks gift cards as presents from students at school, probably because they always see me drinking coffee.  But since I don’t normally buy Starbucks coffee, I had to try out this small tin. 🙂  I purchased the 5.11 pouch for $5 on clearance at a sporting goods store.  The two tins fit perfectly.

So what did I miss?  How are you using Altoids Tins for survival?


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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  1. Karen October 22, 2014
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