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BUILD YOUR OWN MINI SURVIVAL KIT

Bigger isn’t always better. Sure, a large survival kit packs a punch when you need it and has a great place in your emergency supplies collection, but it is just that – large. Multi-person survival kits are best for stationary situations, like when an earthquake, tornado, or some disaster scenario that prevents you or your family from leaving and replenishing supplies elsewhere. There’s usually food, water, sanitation, emergency medical equipment, and general gear for staying put. But what if you have to leave in hurry?

There are a variety of choices for containers to use, some of which will provide more space for more things or a different kind of space for a different kind of thing. The small plastic boxes are partitioned for better organization, while the traveler’s wallet can be used for flatter items, has zippered pockets, and has plastic windows for IDs or other things.

There are a variety of choices for containers to use, some of which will provide more space for more things or a different kind of space for a different kind of thing. The small plastic boxes are partitioned for better organization, while the traveler’s wallet can be used for flatter items, has zippered pockets, and has plastic windows for IDs or other things.

What if you find yourself in such a dire situation that you must leave immediately, no questions asked and with nothing but the clothes on your back and the stuff in your pockets? What then? What do you grab on the way out?

Your bug-out bag is in the back of the upstairs closet where you keep it out of the way, or maybe there’s no space on whatever’s transporting you out of the area. You have your wallet, your wedding ring, and a mini survival kit you keep near the door for just such occurrences.

It has what you would need or want inside. It is tiny enough to fit in any pocket (or to easily hide), and you know exactly what’s in it, because you made it yourself. And here’s how.

There are a host of containers available around which to base your mini survival kit. There’s a larger traveler’s wallet (it’s even RFID protected), little plastic storage boxes, a travel soap container and even a small zippered pouch used to carry plastic bags for your dog. The best container, however, is the ubiquitous Altoids tin. They’re cheap, sturdy and perfectly sized to not only fit in your pocket but fit stuff in them. Once you’ve emptied out the “curiously strong mints” and washed out the container, you can either give it a coat of paint for personalization or leave it looking like a tin of mints to give it a more clandestine appearance (if you’re ever in a situation where someone is frisking you down, they might pass on a simple-looking mint container).

There are dozens of things available and appropriate that can be included in your mini survival kit, and depending on the size of your container, include as much as you see fit to include.

There are dozens of things available and appropriate that can be included in your mini survival kit and, depending on the size of your container, include as much as you see fit to include.

What we decided was best for us to include in our kit may differ from your own priorities. We made sure to include a mini toothbrush (green cap) because dental hygiene is important to morale, and the mini dice? You’d be surprised how much sanity can be restored to a bad situation by a game.

What we decided was best for us to include in our kit may differ from your own priorities. We made sure to include a mini toothbrush (green cap) because dental hygiene is important to morale, and the mini dice? You’d be surprised how much sanity can be restored to a bad situation by a game.

Laid out, the contents of our kit look impressive, and we were surprised everything fit. However, that fitment literally came down to the difference between five pieces of paper or six.

Laid out, the contents of our kit look impressive, and we were surprised everything fit. However, that fitment literally came down to the difference between five pieces of paper or six.

There are dozens of things you could put inside… that’s dozens of things that could help you in a wide variety of situations. The prepper in you will want to include them all because you won’t know what trouble you will fall into, but the practical person in you knows that a mint tin is only so big and it can only hold so much. So, sacrifices have to be made: No toilet paper, no tiny bar of soap, no moist wipes, no insect repellent wipes, no whistle, one cotton ball instead of two, four matches instead of a pack, a small knife instead of a multi-tool, two dollars instead of four.

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This mini kit isn’t supposed to be all-inclusive — it can’t be — and it isn’t supposed to include creature comforts — it won’t — but what it is supposed to do is give you a big advantage in a small package.

However, have you got a tiny bit of extra room in the corner? Throw in a mint. It won’t help you survive, but it will help you feel a little more human.

Always include money in your kit, but why a $2 bill? Inflation. A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to, and any more than that and you’ll be tempted to pilfer from it when you’re craving a taco one day. The pencil and paper are to keep notes of your adventure or to leave a message for someone.

Always include money in your kit, but why a $2 bill? Inflation. A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to, and any more than that and you’ll be tempted to pilfer from it when you’re craving a taco one day. The pencil and paper are to keep notes of your adventure or to leave a message for someone.

A mirror, matches, a square foot of tin foil for cooking are useful. The small emery board can be used as a striker for the matches, while the Fresnel lens can be used to start fires and is the perfect size to fit in the mint tin.

A mirror, matches, a square foot of tin foil for cooking are useful. The small emery board can be used as a striker for the matches, while the Fresnel lens can be used to start fires and is the perfect size to fit in the mint tin.

A couple of basic medical things should be included, like band-aides and an alcohol wipe. The cotton ball and ear swabs have a number of uses. If the swabs are too long for your kit, they can be cut in half.

A couple of basic medical things should be included, like band-aides and an alcohol wipe. The cotton ball and ear swabs have a number of uses. If the swabs are too long for your kit, they can be cut in half.

Sewing kits can be used to mend clothing, sure, but it can also be used to mend you. Giving yourself stitches doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but neither does bleeding to death. Also included is a safety pin, paper clip and a foot of duct tape.

Sewing kits can be used to mend clothing, sure, but it can also be used to mend you. Giving yourself stitches doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but neither does bleeding to death. Also included is a safety pin, paper clip and a foot of duct tape.

Fishing line, dental floss, hooks, and a sinker are all helpful if you are surviving in a wilderness environment where the possibility of fishing is available.

Fishing line, dental floss, hooks, and a sinker are all helpful if you are surviving in a wilderness environment where the possibility of fishing is available.

A small button-battery flashlight is essential (they make them smaller even), a singleblade pocket knife, a razor blade, and a rubber band all have countless applications. The dice are included to stave off boredom and can be used to keep the brain active and alert.

A small button-battery flashlight is essential (they make them even smaller than this one), a single-blade pocket knife, a razor blade, and a rubber band all have countless applications. The dice are included to stave off boredom and can be used to keep the brain active and alert.

The biggest trick is to place things into your container in a combination of two ways: 1) how it best fits; and 2) the likelihood of use. Organize your mini survival kit so that the items fit most efficiently, but also so that you can easily reach what you’ll need quickly. Put the pocket knife, flashlight, and band-aides on top, for instance, while the matches, paper, and fish hooks can go toward the bottom.

The biggest trick is to place things into your container in a combination of two ways: 1) how it best fits; and 2) the likelihood of use. Organize your mini survival kit so that the items fit most efficiently, but also so that you can easily reach what you’ll need quickly. Put the pocket knife, flashlight, and band-aids on top, for instance, while the matches, paper, and fish hooks can go toward the bottom.

A little trick is to cut the corners off of the paper and packaged things so they better fit in the rounded corners of the mint tin.

A little trick is to cut the corners off of the paper and packaged things so they better fit in the rounded corners of the mint tin.

The mirror can be glued to the inside lid of the tin so that it can be available quickly if used as a signal device.

The mirror can be glued to the inside lid of the tin so that it can be available quickly if used as a signal device.

Once completed, make sure it won’t fall open by double wrapping a rubber band around the tin. Though it does have some friction closures, if you packed it correctly, it will be bursting at the seams.

Once completed, make sure it won’t fall open by double wrapping a rubber band around the tin. Though it does have some friction closures, if you packed it correctly, it will be bursting at the seams.

If you live in wet environments or there’s the possibility of ending up in water, seal your mini survival kit in a standard sandwich bag. Not only will it keep the kit waterproof, but the bag can be used for a host of things.

If you live in wet environments or there’s the possibility of ending up in water, seal your mini survival kit in a standard sandwich bag. Not only will it keep the kit waterproof, but the bag can be used for a host of things.