Altoids tins revisited

Aug 9, 2004
Ok, since I got my new Becker Combat/Utility knife 7 (awesome!), I discovered that the pouch on the sheath was designed specifically for an altoids tin. And yup, the tin fits it nicely. Thus, I'm forced to backpedal on my trashing of the altoids tin. After all, why not take advantage of a perfectly designed space? So here's the question: what would you put in your altoids tin, assuming you were carrying it in the pouch of the BeckerCombat/Utility 7.
A bic lighter.
2 gauze pads
couple banaids
photon 2
some twine
small mini compass
small diamond sharpener
I have never been a fan of little survival kits, put a army firesteel, wetfire tinder, a photon mini light, and a whistle, in the pocket of that sheath, I bet you can still fit a bottle of iodine tablets in there also. ;)
I have to agree with Myakka - an Altoids kit is good, but the space can be used better. I'd put a SAK SwissChamp, a Bic, a few trick birthday candles and a bottle of water purification tablets in a ziplock freezer bag and stuff it in the pouch. Everything else can be carried elsewhere.

You might also want to look at this...

I have three stashed in different places.
I have the C/U-7 and managed to get the altoids tin, a 1gal. freezer ziploc bag and a bottle of purification tablets into the pouch. Since the photo of the kit was taken, I've taken the ziploc out of the tin and added a photon clone and a BSA hotspark to the tin and wrapped it with duct tape.

Inside the tin is:

I'm with Myakka as well. Screw the tin can. Use the space for no-nonsense, useful stuff.

- Swedish Fire Steel (screw the scraper, and wrap it in a shrink tube to keep it dry or else it will corrode into some light gray stuff)

- A film canister with 6-7 cotton balls soaked in vaseline

- A small iodine bottle, if possible with dropper

- A folded ziploc (rotate regularly as it will get damaged shortly) to contain water/berries/whatever.

- A self-made, super tight and small roll of duct tape (priceless)

This way you've got water and fire pretty much covered. You also have some first aid covered... at least you can fix a twisted ankle with duct tape and walk out, and disinfect a wound, etc.

Also make sure you wrap as much paracord as you can (get the real 7 strands stuff) around the sheath.


I picked up some water purifying filter straws at the local gear shop for about $2.50 ea. Don't remember the brand (Pur?) but they are good to the 5 or 6 micron level and are good for about 40 gals each. Weight is negligible. Sizewise the filter is about the size of a Bic lighter and the straw that plugs in is about 4" long. If there is any water that you can stand the smell of long enough to lean over and suck through one of these, it supposedly is drinkable. I usually have a fairly clean stream nearby to use mine with. Pur makes a fist sized pump type filter for hikers and backpackers also. I think it runs about $75 and repl filter cartridges are about $20.
I'm a big fan of knife based kits but I'm not into the everything but the kitchen sink mentality altoids can. I try to keep it simple and practical. Fire, water, signal, navigation, light, etc. Just the basics that you can't do without. Whatever you carry on the knife I suggest that it be redundant to the normal gear you carry so you don't have to tear into the kit on the knife every time you need something. Mac
Here's a copy of the label of my Altoids tin PSK:

Contents: Swiss Army knife, micro torch, whistle,
BIC lighter, 50’ of 50lb kite line, 12” of 2mm tube
3 scalpel blades, 3 x 75mm nails, Brufen 4 x 400mg
P38 can opener, 4 Puritabs, 180 x 200 mm plastic bag
3 x 20p coins, pencil, writing paper, 2 safety pins,
2 paper clips, 2 Elastoplast, 2 antiseptic wipes,
1 colloid dressing, 1 elastic band, needle & thread,
3 No.8 fishhooks, micro safety pin, survival tips, ID

Attached to the front & rear respectively by bands cut from a bicycle inner tube are a Pocketwrench...


.. and a StarFlash signal mirror.


maximus otter