Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Altoids Survival Kit

OK, the Altoids themselves aren't going to save your life, except in the case of a really important blind date and the unfortunate loss of your toothbrush. The idea here, is that the tin itself can be turned into a container for a handy little survival kit. Ron Hood, a survival expert, designed this set-up and briefly explains the reasons behind most of the contents. He mentions the "Rule of Threes" but didn't elaborate. I couldn't easily find any information regarding this on his site, so I did a web search and found many places that mention the concept. This page had an understandable explanation.

Briefly, The Rule of Threes refers to the general parameters that you can live three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. When going out into the wilderness supplies should reflect this thinking. Pack and plan accordingly. The Altoids survival kit was designed with these rules in mind.

Hood has something called the "Survival Cheat Sheet" in his kit. I found a link to a pdf file and printed it out. It's font is way too small for my old-man eyes and would be useless to me out in the wild. Further searching led me to this Army Survival Manual. It looks like some of the material in the cheat sheet was pulled directly from this source but it's 646 pages would be a bit bulky for an Altoid tin. If anybody has a source for a "cheat sheet" that is a little more legible, leave a response.

Lastly, remember that I am a school teacher who has never had a survival experience other than being dropped into a classroom of rowdy 7th graders. My best advice in a situation like that is to give each child an Altoid and pray for the bell. If you head out into the wilderness with a tiny-tin of supplies because I thought it was cool, you may be cursing me with your last breath as you lay dehydrating in the summer heat. Ask someone who knows first! Remember.....I am the guy who heads out into the woods with a camp box the size of a baby rhino. Condensing everything down to one Altoid tin blows my mind.

[Image: Captured from]


  1. Here's a link to a survival cheat sheet that contains good information and prints out well. Slainte !

  2. Jennifer,
    Just printed this out and it looks great.

    Note: Had some trouble printing the PDF from Firefox but worked just fine from Safari. So, if it doesn't open for you just try a different browser.