Mini survival kit
A mini survival kit is a small survival kit which consists of the most essential outdoor survival tools and supplies which are the hardest to improvise or replace. A mini survival kit is intended to be carried along all the time and is usually designed to complement other survival tools carried along in a larger, separate bag. These kits may be referred to as BOATs, or Bug-Out Altoids Tins.
Many items included in such a kit are difficult if not impossible to manufacture or obtain in real world survival situations. A mini survival kit is intended to remain on ones person always, be appropriate to all environments, and be a comprehensive kit without being too large. Other personal gear will primarily offer additional serviceability and ease of use, but the mini survival kit should provide for the basic needs of a survival situation, followed by self rescue, assistance, or a return to normalcy in optimum situations.
Two philosophies surround the preparation of mini survival kits. Some people like to carry a few, relatively large items such as a knife, box of matches, whistle, energy food, bottle of water, etc. Others prefer a collection of smaller but more comprehensive items such as rubber bands, paper clips, fishing equipment, lashing material, razor blades, etc. The decision of which technique to subscribe to depends on one's environment, physical condition, survival knowledge, and other factors.
The survival tools and supplies found in a mini survival kit are generally kept in a container that is small enough to fit in a pocket. Altoids tins are commonly used, but many other options exist, including specially purchased mini-survival kit tins, regular tobacco boxes, life capsules, film canisters, plastic bottles, tin cans or boxes. The popular Altoids-type tins measure approximately 9.3 centimetres (3.7 in) x 5.8 centimetres (2.3 in) x 2.1 centimetres (0.83 in). Some kinds of containers benefit from waterproofing, which may be done with adhesive tape or dipping the closed container in paraffin wax.
An alternative approach is to carry mini-survival kit items in no container at all, but loose on a neck-chain, or directly in a satchel, pouch or waist belt pouch. Additionally, it may also be included into the belt itself (as is done in money belts ).
Note that the list below is not the contents of an actual mini survival kit. Rather, each category lists some of the supplies or tools from which kit-makers choose when they are making a mini survival kit.
Fire, light, signaling and heat
- Fire source: butane lighter, matches, tinder and sparker (or processed flint and striker) or "life boat matches" and striker board
- Signal device: processed flint and striker, LED micro light, small mirror, or survival whistle
- Candle: can be used for emergency food if made from tallow
Food and water procurement
- Fishing line: (30 feet (9.1 m) to 100 feet (30 m) or all that will fit on a bobbin)
- Assorted fishing hooks: "split shot" lead balls, snap swivels
- Snare wire: copper or brass wire is best for workability without tools or steel 'trip wire' or utility wire for durability
- Dental floss: for any uses that rope might be helpful; lightweight and strong.
- Water purification bag: small capacity plastic bag, 10 US fluid ounces (0.30 l), to keep tinder dry or for water storage/transportation
- Food/energy source: glucose tablets, bouillon, tea bags or hard candy
- Water purification source: fire plus a tin for purification or chemical purification means; Potassium permanganate or bleach for chlorination
- Non-lubricated condoms. They are capable of expanding to store a large quantity of water. Magnums can hold several gallons before bursting.
- Button size compass
- Magnetized needle and thread
- Cutting tool: flexible wire or collapsible saw
- Bin bag: can be improvised as shelter or poncho or blanket; or as a condensation trap.
- Potassium permanganate or iodine tablets: wound treatment/water treatment/antiseptic
- Scalpel or X-acto blades: minor surgery and fine work
- Pocket knife
- Information cards with regionally selected information, knots for fishing, multi-use listings for kit contents.
In addition to the items marked above, the following items are also frequently found in many mini-survival kits (depending on the area the operator is expecting to be in, personal experience, multiple use considerations, serviceability, and durability). In some kits, certain items marked above can also have been completely replaced by certain items below. Items and many of their uses are listed along with alternative uses and/or alternative items to perform the role in the kit.
- Candle kit component: effectively replaced with 'ready-made' tinder i.e., tinder quick tabs, to save on space. Fire Kit components are further well filled by 4-6 LifeBoat/Storm Matches
- Alcohol wipes or Povidone-Iodine Prep Pad: wound cleaning, alcohol pads may also be used as fire tinder
- Needles or sewing awl and durable, thin thread: used for equipment repair, attaching fletching to arrows, and creating sutures.
- Butterfly closure, medium
- Braided nylon cord (10 feet (3.0 m) 150 pounds (68 kg) test): shelter building, lashing, repairs, 550 Parachute cord is a widely accepted kit component for its versatility being used whole or in its constituent parts i.e., with the inner threads removed and used individually.
- Waxed dental floss
- Waterproof paper: note taking or used as tinder
- Micro LED flashlight: signaling, work light, or fishing aid to attract fish.
- Additional water scavenging items in large kits include:
- Medium plastic bags 10x20in used in Transpiration water traps, bandannas
- Compressed sponges to collect dew.
- Small mirror 3 inches (7.6 cm) by 4 inches (10 cm): first aid, signaling
- Aluminum foil 1 square foot (0.093 m2): boiling water, cooking, signaling, reflecting fire or body heat
- Butane lighter or butane torch as a more "capable" flame to ignite damp tinder
- Electrical tape (18 inches (0.46 m)) or teflon tape to waterproof the container.
- Parachute cord (20 feet (6.1 m)) wound about the outside of the container or tin: tool and weapon improvising, lashing, fishing line, sewing repairs, to create lanyards for the kits contents.
- Duct tape (18 inches (0.46 m)): hasty repairs, waterproofing, one of the most versatile kit components.
- Safety pins: for hasty repairs.
- Sharpening stone
- systemic Analgesics such as aspirin or acetaminophen
- Anti-malaria tablets: for jungle or regionally specific kits
- Antibiotics: broad spectrum ones such as Azithromycin cover staphylococcus bacteria and can treat ear infections, pneumonia, strep throat, and sinusitis
- Antihistamine: first aid against insect bites and stings and allergies
- Anti-diarrhea medication such as Loperamide
- Beta Light, battery-less/waterproof light: work light or as an attractant fishing lure
- Tritium or Superluminova kit marker
- Magnifying glass or credit card sized Fresnel lens: igniting charcloth, many first aid applications
- Ziploc type bag: container to collect, treat, store, and transport water and to keep tinder dry
- "sweeper" (January 11, 2008). "Homemade BOAT (Bug Out Altoids Tin)" (PDF). Outdoors-Magazine.com. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- Life capsules also employed in mini survival kits
- Wilderness Survival Kit at e-ScoutCraft.com
- "Inner dimensions of Altoids tins?". ladyada's tea party. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Mini-survival kit items also worn on neck-chain