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.