BOAT (Bug-Out Altoids Tin)

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Jeriah
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BOAT (Bug-Out Altoids Tin)

Post by Jeriah » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:59 pm

So I ended up with a tin of altoids someone gave me, and have decided it would be a good chance to experiment with a pocket-size survival kit. It's probably just a silly exercise (if you have the foresight to slip it in your pocket, you should have the foresight to bring a real survival kit), but as such, it might still be useful. I have included the following:

1. A coil of stranded steel wire (for snares) will, if wound to the right diameter, hold itself perfectly against the outside wall of the round Altoids tin, thus taking up very little space. The sheer convenience of this one fact makes me very favorably inclined towards the altoids tin surival kit.

2. A pack of matches and the napkin from an MRE, as tinder. These are in a small ziploc bag (the kind one of my pistol mags came in). May replace the matches with a mini-Bic lighter later.

3. A very small lockback knife. It's a total POS, but it fits in the kit, and it's better than nothing. I also considered enclosing the blade from and old POS pocketknife that broke; I kept the knife blade thinking it might be good for something someday. But, it's a little bit too long. If I want to jam more in the kit, I may dirch the lockback and grind 1/4 off of the knife blade so it'll fit, since it's thinner and thus takes up less volume.

4. A fishhook and some line. I figure, considering the small size of this kit, I can use a stick for a float and a rock for a sinker. I may get a few more fishhooks and a small sinker, though. As well as some more line, right now it's only got the foot or two that came on the hook.

I plan to add:

5. A p-38 can opener; it's a back-up blade, of a sort, as well as very useful if I happen to find canned food. Althoug I have, in a pinch, opened a can of pineapple juice using a rock and a pair of scissors; this was actually my ersatz-GF's idea, when we were in a motel room wanting vodka and pineapple juice, and the liquor store didn't sell can openers.

6. 1 non-lubricated condom as a water container. To forstall the inevitable jokes, I will pre-emptively also confess that I may resort to using the condom for protection against disease when having relations with one of the numerous attractive women I plan to encounter when lost in the woods/PAW.

7. About 10 feet of 550 cord.

8. A super tiny compass

9. A wire saw, maybe, if it'll fit well


Anybody have any suggestions as to things to eliminate/add? I really like the idea of a super-last ditch survival kit this small, you can put it in the back pocket of a pair of jeans, or even a T-shirt lapel pocket, so you can ALWAYS have it on you, if you want.
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Post by Rooster » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:31 pm

That's actually a cool idea, man. If I may offer a suggestion, include a 4" piece of 1/4" rope twine (non-synthetic) to use as tinder. When unraveled, you'd be surprised how much tinder you will have.
And how about a leaflet of asprin and a few water purification tablets?
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Post by Gunny » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:17 am

Toss in a split shot lead sinker, they will take up almost no room.

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Post by olaf_yahoo » Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:19 am

This is a very good idea, any amount of preparedness is better than none. The small size of container is limiting but it will force you to be creative. Tip, pack as much as you possibly can into the container, if you must use a wide rubber band to hold it closed then so be it. What you have in that case might be all the gear you've got. I find this to be useful to me when trying to plan new bags or what have you. Go sit outside (if you are anywhere near woods/forest/trees) and think, what would I do right now if I were lost/bugging out/forced to get the hell outta dodge? Empty your pockets and from there think of what you might need. Good job on the paracord, condom and matches, you're doing well so far.


Ideas for things to add;
hacksaw piece, as long as will fit
hacksaw blade with other side sharpened into a blade OR....
razor blades
small magnifying glass
purification tablets, as a bottle of iodine won't fit
needles
thread
waxed floss
mini leatherman, they have really small ones now that I'm sure would fit
thin piece of polished steel for signaling (1/16" thick or so)
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Post by ratpack7 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:22 am

A p-38 can opener
I carry one at all times in my wallet.
Its also a chained walet which gives me a 2 ft. length of chian as well as the 2 ft. chain for my keys. as well as bieng stiched leather which gives me 4 to 5 pieces of leater and some thead when I take it apart.

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Post by Foxen » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:52 am

Hmm...

Since I'm working on my first aid kit...

Perhaps some:

-Band aids
-antiseptic wipes
-mini bottle of iodine or rubbing alcohol
-very mini flashlight thingy
-very small and thin pencil or pen and some paper
-Q-Tips/toothpicks
-Tweezers
-Paperclips
-Safety Pins
One Jolly Roger Hard Candy Watermelon Flavor or Sugar Packet
-A few strands of Puple Hair

Just some ideas...and y'know what, I think I'm gonna try make myself a BOAT too!

Fox

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Post by FartInAirConditioner » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:12 pm

Yeah, I actually carry on an ever-expanding BOPT (I use Penguins, not Altoids). It's current contents include:

A packet of pure cane sugar
A full pack of matches
A few safety pins, a needle and some dental floss (in a little ziplock bag)
A pencil sharpened down almost as far as it can go with a rubber band wrapped around it
A piece of paper which has a to-get list for my BOPT and BOB. Can use for tinder.

I'm looking to get a P-38, a mini pocketknife and some fishing supplies (they're in my basement...I'll get them sooner or later.)
"Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands." -Leonardo Da Vinci

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Post by Orson » Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:18 pm

I'd say no on the fishhook, they are pointy and could easily get you when stuffed on something like that, and how about some paperclips, you could probably find a use for those, and what about those little rolls of grip tape, never know when that could come in handy.
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Post by Sturmwehr » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:16 am

I don't have an Altoid tin around me... so I have no idea if this stuff would fit.

1.) Matches
2.) Mini Multitool (about 4 inches long folded, 2 inches wide)
3.) Mini-map of my state (South Carolina) taped to inside of tin
4.) Cracker Jack compass (things are the size of a nickel and they work)
5.) Ditto on safety pin.
6.) Hairpin (never know)
7.) Heavy-duty paperclip
8.) 5 feet of 550 folded up with rubber bands holding it (if it can't fit inside with everything, them wrap the cord AROUND the tin and rubberband it)

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Post by Bear_B » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:30 am

Oh man, and I just threw out a bunch of altoids tins... well, guess I gotta buy more toids.

Maybe add small pencil and a folded bit of paper...

A $50 dollar bill for emergency money.

A "wet-nap" (the individually wrapped kind)

Package of salt.

Package of sugar.

A single hard candy.

A couple water purification tablets wrapped in a bit of plastic wrap.

Alcohol pad (individually wrapped)

A couple asprin or (insert medication here) wrapped in a bit of plastic wrap.

Small mirror

magnifying glass (can be used to start fires)
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Post by 2now » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:54 pm

I have been carrying a similar thing for more than 20 years.
I use a shoe polish tin as it latches closed better and has no pointy corners.

In addition to some of the things mentioned I like to include:
A square of heavy tin foil.
Folded square of saran wrap.
Lots of Mono filament line wrapped around something (a strike anywhere match is a good choice)
Small Swiss army knife.
Small magnesium fire starter
A piece of ID [like a temporary license] folded up.
A piece of paper with a current valid credit card number on it.
Lots so fine wire.
Needle and thread
Safety pin
I used to carry a single .22 shell but I have found it was too much trouble after 9-11 (it was a great water proof tinder container)

The in order to preserve my pockets I slip it into a small cloth bag that goes into my pocket.
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Post by Foxen » Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:32 am

Okay, picked me up some Altoids...which are now sitting in a ziplock bag and a empty plastic dental floss container (might be the new mini-BOAT). And thus begins my experiment with these things...hehe. I'm popping Altoids like candy, this is bad...err.

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Post by *angryFinn* » Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:08 am

I think im gonna use these over matches.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/754d/

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Post by Jeriah » Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:36 am

Split shot lead sinker: good idea; will buy some when I buy more fishhooks.

Rope as tinder: I will try burning a piece of a few kinds and see how it works. I was excited about the dryer lint idea, but my experiments were disappointing. The standard to beat, right now, is my MRE napkin.

Water purification tablets: Good idea; actually, I meant to list that under "planning to add." The idea would be that worst, worst case, I could fill the condom with river/lake water and throw in a tablet.

Signal mirror: I could just polish the inside of the altoids tin or the lid and use that; I'm not sure how well it would work, though.

Needle and thread: good idea. Will add this.

Waxed floss: I assume this is as sewing thread (for which it's quite awesome); is this right? I have found it to be stronger than most thread, so might throw some in for clothing repair.

Razor blades: also a good idea

Magnifying glass: not really sure what use it would be; I mean, yes, starting fires, but I've got matches, so it'd be redundant. I'm in favor of redundant means of firestarting, absolutely, but it's got to be really compact, or it'll take the place of something else I could carry.

Piece of hacksaw blade: not a terrible idea, as an alternative to the wire saw. Ought to do a comparison test sometime. Bulk, and cutting power.

Mini Leatherman/other Multitool/mini swiss army knife: I will keep my eye open for one. This would definately be the bulkiest item in the kit, so it's got to be just right, no useless crap.

Band aids: Is it just me, or is any injury that will be okay with a band-aid, will be okay without a band-aid? I understand the idea of keeping dirt out of the wound, and keep you from bumping it...yeah, now that I say that, you're right, a band-aid or two, and an antiseptic wipe wouldn't be a bad idea. Hate to have a little cut get infected. Good call.

Mini-flashlight: have been keeping my eye out for one that will fit, without displacing too much other gear.

Safety pins: Seem maybe useful, but since I'm trying to keep this to the bare minimum (anything I put in takes the place of something else, obviously), what would they be used for? I know you can use them as fishhooks, but I'm just packing fishhooks, which are smaller. They can be folded up in a piece of paper or something, to keep them from poking anything, but the tin keeps them from poking me.

Paper clips, Q-tips, toothpicks: what for? I mean, in terms of critical, last resort survival; obviously they are nice things to have day-to-day.

Bottle of iodine or rubbing alcohol: I think a few water purification tablets and an antiseptic wipe would be more compact. I'm not sure what kind of bottle I'd use. Something with a dropper, I'd think...ooh...like the little plastic squeeze-dropper those "Ice Drops" breath freshener come in! That would work great! And, since I've eaten all my altoids to make room in the tin, I can freshen my breath with them in the mean time, to empty the little bottle. Awesome. Great idea.

Pencil and paper: I can see there being uses for this. Small golf pencil and a few sheets of folded paper (which could also be used as tinder).

Packet of sugar or jolly rancher: I see the idea of "super-duper emergency food item" for energy. A sugar packet is a good place to start. Any other ideas?

Cracker jack compass: great idea. I don't eat much Cracker Jack, though. Have to figure something out about that one I guess.

Map of local area: good idea, however, seems too generalized to keep it in a super-backup plan kit, since you never know exactly where you're going to be.

Aspirin: I've never found aspirin to make a difference between functionality and non-functionality. If I've got a headache, it seems to be an annoyance, not debilitating. Hate to get my aspirin mixed up with my water purification pills. Any other opinions about aspirin? Also, what about a few caffeine pills?

Packet of salt: good idea. I have left over from an MRE, I'll add that. For consumption along with water, if available, during periods of exertion.

$50 bill: ideally, yes. In my present situation, I'd rather have $50 worth of gear I'll use now. There is some good opportunity to double up roles here though: a few bills could be useful, even small bills, because if you can't spend 'em, you can use them as tinder.

Shoe polish tin: good alternative. My altoids tin is the round kind, not the rectangle kind, so it's very similar to a shoe polish tin.

Tin foil: Good container to boil water in, I've heard. Will consider it.

Saran wrap: what for?

Lots of monofilament: good idea, I plan to add some more to mine.

Piece of paper with a credit card number on it: damned good idea. A calling card numner, in case you find a payphone, would be good too.


GREAT IDEAS, guys. Very helpful. Thanks.
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Post by olaf_yahoo » Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:49 am

The hacksaw blade is for making the notches in game traps (not as easy as snares though) or for shelter building. The saran wrap could be used for collecting water.
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Post by HEX » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:34 pm

i'm not sure how big an altoids tin is. We probably get them here but i just cant remember the rough dimensions off the top of my head. As a compact survival food may i suggest the sachets of peanut butter you get in MRE's if space will allow. It's high in sugar, protein, and will give you loads of energy.

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Post by hydrogen » Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:41 pm

good idea, in the past 11 minutes i have eaten almost half the pack of these cinnamon altoids..


so far i have gathered:

1x mini multi tool
2 x razor blades
1 x p-38 can opener
2 x saftey pins
1 x alcohol wipe
1 x quarter
1 x 3.5 inch piece of hacksaw blade
3 x bandaids
1 x sleeve of imodium (6 x 2mg tabs)
1 x cotton ball
1 x pack of sugar
1 x pack of salt
25 x strike anywhere matches (to be replaced with a mini bic)
tin foil (folded on bottom of tin)


i need to add:

fishing line
2 hooks
2 lead weights
small "cracker jack" compass
some dental floss

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Post by Jeriah » Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:35 pm

Good call re: peanut butter packets. Good food value in a compact size, methinks. It wouldn't fit in my little round BOAT, but a rectangular Altoids tin would probably fit one.
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Post by Survive1999 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:04 pm

Superglue! Gotta put some superglue in there.

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Post by olaf_yahoo » Sat Oct 01, 2005 1:43 am

In the spirit of small survival kits I thought I would post some photos of other kits I have found online over time. I have other photos if anyone wants them.


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This saw blade goes with the above kit

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"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum"

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Post by Jeriah » Sat Oct 01, 2005 2:11 am

Thanks for those photos; they're awesome and have given me a plethora of new ideas.
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Post by hydrogen » Sat Oct 01, 2005 11:27 am

damn man, so many ideas i think i have to redo my BOAT now, as soon as i finish typing out my first aid kit.


edit: olaf, can you send me all the pics you have to

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Post by HEX » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:53 pm

loose the matches. They just arent that useful, go for a mini bic lighter instead. For the space used up you're getting many dozens of times more fires than you would with matches of the same dimensions. maybe 6 fires vs over 100. You know it makes sense.

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Post by hydrogen » Sat Oct 01, 2005 1:09 pm

HEX wrote:loose the matches. They just arent that useful, go for a mini bic lighter instead. For the space used up you're getting many dozens of times more fires than you would with matches of the same dimensions. maybe 6 fires vs over 100. You know it makes sense.
thats what i plan on, i just dont have any mini bics on hand

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