I carry an Altoid EDC Emergency Kit just about everywhere I go.  I have one that can get through airline security (no razor blade or knife, but it does have a fire steel and scraper in the kit that makes it through security with no issues).  The one I carry every day however has a razor blade, matches, fire steel, etc.

Here are the contents of my Altoids kit:

  • 1 – Button Compass
  • 1 Each – Salt & Pepper Packet
  • 1 – Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 1 – Fire Steel
  • 1 – Fishing Lure (this is in the kit in the event I cannot find bait and have to fish)
  • 4 – Fish Hooks
  • 2 – Birthday Candles
  • 2 – Zyrtec (allergy medicine, because I have allergies)
  • 1 – Immodium Pill (enough said)
  • 1 – Sudafed Cold & Flu Pill
  • 4 – 200mg Advil Pill
  • 1 – Packet Antibacterial Ointment
  • 1 – Antiseptic Pad Packet
  • 3 – Waterproof Bandaids (CVS Brand)
  • 1 – Quart Ziplock Freezer Bag (folded)
  • 2 – 1 Square Foot Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (cooking, purifying water over a fire, signaling)
  • 1 – Razor Blade
  • 5 – Strike Anywhere Matches – Wax Covered (hand dipped)
  • 2 – 24″, 45lb test steel fishing leader to be used as snares
  • 25′ Waxed dental floss string (Very strong)
  • 25′ Sewing Thread
  • 3 Sewing Needles
  • 10′ Duct Tape
  • 2′ of Electrical Tape wrapped around the outside of the Altoid Tin, sealing it from the elements and water
  • 10′ 550 Paracord (seven strand) wrapped around the exterior of the Altoid Tin.

I built the kit based on my needs.  This is really bare bones, as well.  If, with luck, I am ever stranded in the wilderness, this kit would allow me to have a few creature comforts easily, such as fire, spice up a bad meal, more easily find direction, find a protein rich meal, hold water, cook, etc.

I am of the opinion that everyone should look at their own needs and requirements and build an EDC kit around that, and not mimic someone else’s kit.  I also carry it for the psychological benefit of feeling more prepared that if I went out into the forest with just nothing.  Making a bow drill, and using it looks simple enough, but have you ever tried?  A fire steel and matches are always more helpful when you need them.

I also keep an inventory list with the kit at all times so that I  can remember what is in the kit if I need to open it up.  It rarely gets opened.  Maybe once a year to retrofit it with a new item or to taken an item out based on my needs and requirements.  The last time I changed out some of the contents was spring 2010, and will probably do so again next spring if I feel the need or desire.

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.