American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Friday, February 27, 2009

Altoid Tin Pocket Kit

I constantly struggle with the decision to carry more gear in order to be better prepared or less gear to streamline my pockets and prevent the jingling and saggy pants associated with over-gear-itis.

After spending some time looking at the Altoid Tin survival kits that are everywhere on the Internet these days it occurred to me that I could use one of the tins to carry the gear I'd like to have with me in a way that avoids pocket tangles and limits me to a maximum amount of space while offering a great deal of flexibility in choosing the contents of the tin.

This is the Altoid Tin as it goes into the pocket. I've put my EDC items in the tin to keep them from banging around so much in my pocket.
The first layer inside the tin is about two feet of neon yellow gaffer's tape. I like gaffer's tape better than duct tape because the adhesive doesn't seem to break down over time like duct tape can. It also comes in bright colors like neon yellow, blaze orange, and neon pink which makes it much easier to see in the woods.
Below the gaffer's tape layer is the meat and potatoes of the kit. This is the stuff I use most often. I've got a Victorinox Farmer, Army Firesteel blank, and Bic mini lighter in this layer.
Down one more layer you'll find a DMT Fine credit card sharpener which I've glued to a loaded leather backing. This piece is put in diamond-side down to prevent it from wearing out the layer above through friction. The leather may, over time, polish the items but nowhere near as much as a diamond stone would.
Here's the diamond plate side of the sharpener. I put a piece of paper cut to fit the tin under the diamond to keep it from abrading the inside of the tin. This piece of paper could also be used to leave a note or to scribble a phone number, grocery list, etc.

The Altoid Tin allows me to carry this gear compactly without the pocket clutter that used to drive me so nuts. Now I can just drop the tin in a shirt pocket (or coat pocket) and have what I need available but out of the way.

I've still got a tiny bit of extra room but not enough to toss in my Fox 40 Micro whistle so it'll have to go on my keyring.

Thanks for reading,



At 7:24 AM, Blogger JRE Industries said...

Now if you just had a pouch with a belt loop you could totally empty your pockets!

At 9:22 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Very true.

I just wish I knew someone who could make such a thing because my ability to design, cut, and stitch a material like leather is sorely lacking.

Maybe with a Sam Brown stud and a top strap/flap to make sure the tin stayed in the pouch.

I think I'm going to email these guys and see if they can come up with something.



At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anders said...

Hi B.

Very nice setup!
Maybe you could fit a mini flashlight in there.
Lighthound has "photon-type" minis for under a buck.

If you choose a minibic you perhaps could fit a cordwhistle from GoingGear in there, they are great!

Best regards.
Anders from Sweden

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anders said...

Just realized it was a minibic in you kit...


At 1:52 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


The only reason there's not a Photon Microlight in the tin is because I've got one on my keyring already.

I'm going to look into the cord whistle though. I'm also going to look into one of those micro compasses from Sun Company that fits on a cordlock.

I think if I drilled the tin I could thread a piece of cordage through it and then tie some sort of braid to make a lanyard that would also provide me with cordage AND give me a pre-drilled tin for making charcloth.

Thanks for your comments,



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