All posts tagged Altoids

altoids survival

By Travis P – Off The Grid News

Most of us hear the word survival kit and assume someone is talking about a bug-out bag or a get-home bag, or any number of different-sized kits out there.

A lot of people, though, aren’t just thinking about end-of-the-world scenarios, but day-to-day preparations. These smaller survival situations occur much more often than a widespread disaster situation, like Hurricane Katrina. These small situations can be things like car accidents in the middle of nowhere or hiking and hunting accidents.

Trying to carrying a bug-out bag or even a get-home bag everywhere is not realistic. Sure, your get-home bag would be great if you were in a car accident, and that’s what it’s intended for. Let’s say you are in someone else’s car, though. Or perhaps you are unable to access your bag due to severe vehicle damage. When hunting, you really don’t want to pile gear on yourself; this would make moving quietly nearly impossible.

Turning small Altoids tins into survival kits has become quite popular. These kits are easy and cheap to make. The tins are lightweight, but tough, and fit in the pocket well. Someone with good organizational and packing skills can pack these kits to the nines.

Buying such a kit isn’t a bad idea, but building your own kit is enjoyable and more efficient. You know where you live and what you’ll need. The personal needs of someone in Florida are going to be different than the needs of someone in Massachusetts or Colorado.

For example, someone living  in the desert isn’t likely to need fishing hooks and line. Building these kits is usually cheaper, too.

Continued reading at Off The Grid News: How To Turn Your Altoids Tin Into A Personal Pocket Survival Kit


Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

By Todd Walker

My bud over at For Tomorrow We... shared with me his article on building an office emergency kit. It reminded me that I should update my kit – and plan. Tip ‘o the hat, my friend!

If you’re fortunate enough have a job in today’s shrinking economy, it’s likely that you spend over a third of your life commuting to and from work. Whether your ‘office’ is a construction site, hospital, toll booth, boardroom, or classroom like mine, you must leave the house to get there.

Having a few preparedness tools stacks the deck in favor of you getting home.

And it all starts…

Before Stepping Over Your Doorsill

I give Dirt Road Girl a hard time about how long it takes her to get ready when we’re leaving the house. She returns the good-natured ribbing *hands on those beautiful hips and eyes rolling* as I start my ritual of loading my pockets and belt with stuff I carry everyday.

I just smile and say, “Ya never know!”

Pockets Full of Preps

The stuff you carry on your person is known in the prepper community as EDC (Everyday Carry). If you work in a victim zone (Weapons Free Zone) as I do, you’ll have to get creative with preparedness and self-defense items.

Ask a prepper if he has a knife on him. You’re likely to hear what my daddy’s says…

“I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”

But wait! There’s more room for other useful stuff besides a knife.

Wallet (some conventional and unconventional items)
  • Money (stash some so the spouse and kids don’t find it)
  • Duct tape – wrap 3 feet around an expired store card
  • I.D. to prove your residency when local law enforcement have blocked off your neighborhood after a natural disaster
  • Survival Wallet
  • Emergency contact numbers on a card. If your smart phone is lost, stolen, or dead, it’s no longer real smart. I personally don’t have my adult children’s phone numbers memorized. That’s why an old-fashioned paper card is important.
  • Pre-paid phone card. They work if you find a pay phone at a truck stop.
  • Condom. Of the extra-large, un-lubricated variety. Settle down, now! Condoms have more than one use. Creek Stewart shows 11 redundantly resilient ways a condom could save your life – with pictures and videos!
  • Sidearm – This item, along with a spare magazine, is on my person everywhere I go. The only exceptions are places my government permission slip won’t allow me to exercise my natural rights – like my victim zone classroom!
  • Flashlight – I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L clipped inside my pocket.
  • Reading glasses – LightSpecs go where I go. I use the two LED lights on these glasses far more than any other flashlights I own. DRG can tell you about my flashlight fetish.
  • Cell phone – smart phones are pocket-size, survival super-computers.
  • Swiss Army Knife – tool of my trade as the resident handyman at school
  • Tooth picks – it’s a personal thing.
  • Chap stick
  • Lighter
  • Metal mechanical pencil – for school.

Okay, stop stuffing your pockets! You’re beginning to look like the Michelin Man.

Here’s a place for the rest of your stuff…

Your Man Purse

Guys ~ time to swallow your pride and invest in a good man purse. One peek into the bottomless pit the ladies call a purse will convince you of its utility.

Manly men and only a few metro-sexuals correctly refer to their Man Purse as Get Home Bags (GHB). A book bag, shoulder bag, brief case, or duffel bag will serve the purpose. Keep in mind that a well stocked GHB isn’t built to get you through a sudden zombie apocalypse or end of the world scenario. GHB’s are simply a stopgap measure to get you home safely.

Your family is depending on you – prepare accordingly.

Here’s a look at my GHB ‘man purse’:

Maxpedition Jumbo™ E.D.C. Versipack® – (I have no affiliation with this company).

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

My Maxpedition Man Purse

I’ve owned this pack for a few years and absolutely love its utility! Your ‘office’ environment will determine the type of GHB you carry and it’s contents. If you wear suits and ties to the office, the Maxpedition line of bags will stick out like a man wearing a speedo to a lady-preachers convention. Choose a GHB that blends in naturally.

What should you pack in your Man Purse – GHB?

Personalize your bag to meet your needs (meds, contact numbers, etc.). Outside those personalized items, I recommend these items for every Man Purse – GHB:

Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Your packing list

  • Container: I carry a stainless steel water bottle full of agua. The metal container also allows you to kill nasties in drinking water via boiling method.
  • Fire: A couple of ways to make fire – lighter, storm matches, ferro rod, and tinder. Fire is even useful in an urban jungle. My fire kit is in a self-contained Altoids tin.
  • Self-defense Weapons: If legal at your ‘office’, pack heat. There are many compact handguns on the market to choose from. Less lethal pepper spray should also be included.
  • Flashlight: Ever change a flat tire with a mini Maglite between your teeth? Not fun! Invest in a good headlamp for hands-free operation. Don’t forget extra batteries. I wrap 3 AAA batteries in yellow electrical tape with the packing date written on the tape. This does two things – 1.) keeps them in one unit and 2.) reveals their freshness date.
  • Cordage: 50 feet of 550 paracord.
  • Knife: A fixed blade knife and a multitool.
  • Calories: Energy bars, pemmican, jerky, nuts, trail mix, and sardines. Be sure to rotate/eat any nuts in your GHB periodically to prevent spoilage. If your GHB is exposed to extreme heat inside your vehicle, spoilage can be a major concern. My bag goes inside my classroom and house.
  • Cover: Lightweight poncho, tarp or contractor garbage bags. I also pack an emergency space blanket. A tarp is in my vehicle emergency kit.
  • Compass and Map: Navigational instruments that don’t depend on electronics. Detours happen in disasters. A map of your city and state (states if you’re a traveling salesman) is an essential tool. Practice and be familiar with several routes home before a crisis. Reminder: Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
  • Pencil and Paper: A small note pad for taking notes, leaving messages, and playing tic-tac-toe with your imaginary friend in the passenger seat stranded in a winter storm. Seriously, it’s great to have these items!
  • Paper Money: Cache some cash of different denominations in different places in your Man Purse – GHB. I can roll about 5 bills and stuff them into a metal pill container.
  • Band-Aids: I pack Moleskin, a few Band-Aids, moist wipes, Advil packets, hand sanitizer, and a partial roll of flexible equine bandage wrap. I also pack duct tape and a 100% cotton bandana. These last two items are enough to get you home!
  • Dust Mask: A N95 mask allows you to breathe without inhaling harmful dust particles. They’re cheap, lightweight, and can be MacGyvered for other uses. Remember the scenes from 911 of people running through the streets of NY enveloped by dust and disaster debris.
  • Bandana: Speaking of MacGyvered items, pack a 100% cotton bandana in your GHB.  Makes a cool doo rag too!
  • Whistle: A simple signaling device to alert rescuers – if you want to be found.
  • Bug Spray: A small pen-style container fits easily in my kit.

Note to the ladies: Jane over at Mom With a Prep reviewed her GHB, or Day Bag, just for you. Just so you know, she’s not your typical soccer mom. So don’t call it a purse to her face!

A good Man Purse – GHB doesn’t take into account your vehicle or office kit. You’ve prepared your car and office emergency supplies, right? If not, I’m planning a future post on building these additional kits.

Whether you love your job or not, the fact is that you spend a lot of time away from your safe place called home. The important people in your life are counting on you to get home in one piece. Your Man Purse – GHB fills the gap when you step over your doorsill.

Do you carry a GHB? Add your valuable comments, suggestions, or subtractions from my list of contents. – Survival Sherpa

Keep doing the stuff!


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Your Survival Kit is Worthless Unless You Pack This One Thing

By P. Henry

The internet is a fascinating place and you never know what you will find if you go looking around long enough. As a prepper myself, I have to try to broaden my horizons from time to time because after a while of looking, you do start to see some repetition. I guess I am guilty of adding to this repetition somewhat myself obviously with the Prepper Journal. There is content that we post that has been covered before, but I hope we add a different viewpoint in some cases. I like to rationalize covering topics that have been well documented already by saying that there are different ways of looking at virtually everything under the sun and I am always game for finding or learning of a new way to do something.

The other day I was looking around, and this may happen in cycles, but on this day there seemed to be a higher than usual percentage of web pages, YouTube videos and articles on the subject of the Survival Tin. The Survival Tin if you aren’t aware is billed as a one stop shop for anything you need to keep you alive, stored in a small container. The container is usually the size of an Altoids tin; hence the name Survival Tin. The contents are very creative and diminutively packaged so as to get a whole bunch of little things in one small container.

One of the great things about a survival tin is that anyone can create one of these by yourself, and like I said, there are hundreds of videos at least on this very subject. The contents are all easy to find and can vary according to each person’s preference or situation you are preparing for. Here is an example of the types of items that some creative people have packed into their survival tin:Something for everything

Something for everything

  • Small flashlight
  • Rubber Band
  • Waterproof matches
  • Leatherman Micra
  • Ziploc bag
  • Wire saw
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Tissues
  • Basic fishing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Mirror – for signaling
  • Pencils
  • Compass
  • Can opener
  • Emergency whistle
  • Small candle
  • Snare wire
  • Flint and tinder
  • Water purification tablets
  • Spare knife

Pretty impressive if you think about it, that all of these little items can fit into that small container. The goal of having all of these items with you in that small container is that you will carry it with you at all times. By making this survival tin part of your Every Day Carry equipment you will be more likely to benefit from having these items when you need them.

But whenever I look at one of these tins, I imagine myself carrying it every day and wondering what situation I would need to be faced in that would make this tin something that would actually help me Survive. Most of us have pretty similar days in that we wake up, eat breakfast, go to work or school and then eventually come home. There aren’t a lot of opportunities I can see to use the tin but maybe I am wrong and you can think of a thousand ways these small items all make sense. It could be that some disaster strikes and you are no longer at home, but somehow transported into the wilds of Africa with nothing but your survival tin. Actually, if I wanted to I could easily rationalize how any one of these items could benefit me any day, but would they be required for survival? I don’t know, but that isn’t the main point I am trying to make.

Survival Kits attempt to address a wide spectrum of needs.

Survival Kits attempt to address a wide spectrum of needs.

So, you have a survival kit now and you carry this everywhere you go now. Maybe it’s in your backpack or your purse. Maybe you just stick it into a spare cargo pocket on your 5.11 tactical pants. Now you are prepared for anything, right? Wrong. I think there is something missing from this plan. If you have a survival tin you have to be prepared to use it. You have to have the mindset that says I am going to take my wire saw even though I live in a big city with zero trees and use it to live if something happens. You have to be able to do something with that compass. You have to know how to make a fire with that flint and tender. You have to have both a brain that knows how to use the items you have carefully assembled and the will to live that will give you the motivation and creativity needed to use these implements to somehow make your life better.

The survival tin is just a small example but I know of people who buy tons of survival gear. The most impressive to me are the ones who create color coded lists of their inventory, mark everything with colored sharpies and place everything they have in a basement on shelving units from floor to ceiling. Sadly, it is some of these same people who take a car trip without having a first aid-kit or a map if they get lost.

Purchasing some amount of survival gear is a requirement I think for most of us. You will need tools to help augment your natural inclination to live, but you can’t stop once you have purchased that lantern. You have to know how to use it. Ideally, that big generator you bought after last year’s blackout has been tested and you know how to hook that up and get it going quickly. Prepping isn’t about buying things, it is about being prepared. Preparedness doesn’t end when you have an axe. You have to take that axe and be able to use it. If not, what do you have? You have a lot of really nice stuff that someone who did not prep is going to want to take.

But that won’t happen you say because you also purchased the best handgun you can get. Seriously, if you want to call yourself prepared, an equal portion of this game is the mental attitude you need to survive. You can take someone with a strong desire to live and nothing but a pair of fingernail clippers and put them up against someone who has an entire warehouse of survival gear and guns, but not a clue as to how to use any of their stuff and guess who will win?

The most important item you have to consider is your mental state and that is what you need to pack first. This above all of the mini fishing kits in the world is what will keep you and your family alive. Survival tins and gear are all excellent tools, but make sure your head is on straight first and then regardless of what life throws in your path; you will find some way to make it through. – The Prepper Journal