Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#244773 - 04/11/12 03:33 AM Mini Survival Kits


While it seems PSKs are all the rage currently, I have been making them since I was a child. Oh, I read Bradford Angiers Survival In The Outdoors until the poor thing fell apart and put together my first survival kit on his advice. An army surplus mussette bag jammed so tight I had no room for the items I would need on a simple trail hike, And I had less than a third of what he had suggested.
Thinking there had to be a better way I began to cut it all down. Even though my hiking was in the New Mexico desert I often had to cross the Rio Grande river and desert rain storms can be monsoons, so I needed a water and dust proof container. My mom gave me a 12x12x3 inch tupperware container which fit perfectly and left plenty of room for food and and water. As a loner I hiked alone and merely told my mother, "I'll be across the river." Or "Past the ponds." I know, pretty basic, and I would'nt let my kids be that vague, but this was in the 70's, a gentler time. Being alone and perhaps hurt, I had to pack the container tightly and carry extra rations and water. The only extra clothing I ever carried was a ratty old hoody. And hiked in tattered Keds. I had to dig into that kit a few times but I never had to actually use it in a survival situation. Moving into my teens I hiked farther and in more rugged terrain, taking more clothing and trail gear and cutting down the survival kit. Less survival items and smaller containers meant more room for what I used daily, and less dead wieght.
So began the trend towards smaller and smaller. A tobacco can. A baking powder tin. "You can cook in it," my brother said. Ever smaller I went. An M-16 magazine pouch was extremely complex and was eventually stolen, Altoids tins, 35mm film bottles, tubes which had held glucose tablets, small mint tins, Tic Tac and Double mint containers. To date the tiniest kit I have made which could be depended on to give one a chance at survival is built into a plastic box which held automotive blade fuses. About 1.5x1x3/4 inches roughly. It's contents are below.

1 single edge razor blade
1 X-Acto blade
25 small strike anywhere matches trimmed to fit and waterproofed
1 homemade spark device
2.5 cotton balls torn up and used for packing now, tinder for the spark device later
2 tinder cubes my own design
1 cut down birthday candle
2 striker strips, one inside one out
2 sewing needles in a bottom groove of the container
10 feet dental floss unwaxed
10 feet strong sewing thread
2 small safety pins
1 copper snare
12 feet fishing line
1 swivel
2 fish hooks
1 crappie jig
3 split shot

I'll try to post a photo with this long, drawn out ramble.
My current project is a complex Tic Tac kit with a compass and magnifying lens and possibly a battery operated light. Yes the container is fragile but it's the challenge which motivates me.
I'm still looking for an old aspirin tin for a kit container.
My question is this: What is the size of the tiniest kit you have ever made? And what are its contents?
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for any responses you may care to post.
NOTE: Fot some reason my digital camera is refusing to do it's job, so i apologize for not posting any pics of the kit.

#244777 - 04/11/12 03:59 AM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: ]
Stephen Offline

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 177
Loc: Canada
I never ever warmed up to the little kit idea. Never found a practical use for all the little gizmos, fishing lines, razor blades etc. I understand it's like a hoby to some folks. Me, I just stuff what I need in my pockets.

If I were to make a mini kit I would most likely consider using a crosman pellet tin as the container. I use them for carrying snare kits or fishing kits in a similar way to what you describe as a psk. The way the lid threads together combined with a length of tape makes the can reasonibly water proof.

I will post a pic here in a sec......

Edited by Stephen (04/11/12 04:05 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

#244778 - 04/11/12 04:01 AM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: Stephen]
Stephen Offline

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 177
Loc: Canada

#244779 - 04/11/12 04:04 AM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: Stephen]
Stephen Offline

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 177
Loc: Canada
There you go. I bet you could make a mean mini kit in one of these if that floats your boat. I sand the paint off and add glow in the dark tape to both side. Once I write on the tape I can see it in the dark most times without having to use my light.

It's big enough for most mini stuff (spark lites etc) and rides really comfortable in a pocket.

#244780 - 04/11/12 04:09 AM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: Stephen]

Thanks Stephen. I made a pellet tin kit about 20 years ago. It sat out in the garage with other kits. It and an 8MM film can both held quite a bit, but they rusted hopelessly shut. Think I still ahve them in a box somewhere.

#244788 - 04/11/12 12:08 PM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: ]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 864
Loc: wellington, fl
Great post. Lots of the forum folks seem to have been making psk's since childhood.Or in my case, seem to have extended childhood beyond previously known limits.

Chris Kavanaugh identified Oetzi as the first member of the forum: a description of O's belt-pack psk is here . His equipment choices are interesting: plenty of emphasis on fire-making and equipment repair. It is also apparent that O was committed to new technology: he had abandoned spark-making technology in favor of transporting hot embers, and had replaced his stone axe with a copper tool. Just like us.
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

#244792 - 04/11/12 02:27 PM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: ]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Great link Mike. Thanks! Interesting how similiar is was to us today.

Thanks for the nostalgia, Snake. I too made survival kits as a kid. I loved stories like "Swiss Family Robinson", "Robinson Crusoe", "The Hobit" "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and all things Jack London. Having grandparents who lived in the country and the freedom of childhood in the 70s, many an adventure was had with one of those kits.

I'm sure part of the reason I love making survival kits oday is because of those early childhood adventures. I've made of little PSK component kits (i.e. tiny fire kit or tiny FAK) but the smallest survial kit I've made is about the size of an altoid's tin. I just can't help the urge to go a little bigger so I add a few more goodies.
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#244805 - 04/12/12 12:45 AM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: ]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852

this is a repo of the "lost kit" i had in Scouts back in the late 50's.

the can is for fish hooks and many of the items are from that old kit.the matches in the box are the old WP ones that i cut down for that first kit but the repo has new ones,the pink things are cut birthday candles for fire starters.the needle taped to the lid was run over a magnet and the north end marked with red paint.
the dime? well on a Scout hike we crossed a road in a place where us kids thought we were way out in the woods in Southern NY and there was a tiny one pump gas station with a pay phone!

#244840 - 04/12/12 09:32 PM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: CANOEDOGS]
mattmayhem Offline

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS

this is a repo of the "lost kit" i had in Scouts back in the late 50's.

Wow! Great contribution. Thank you for reproducing that kit to share with us!
What is the small (glass?) vial?
Actually for that matter can we get a detailed list of the contents?
Thank you.

#244851 - 04/13/12 01:02 PM Re: Mini Survival Kits [Re: ]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1633
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
mattmayhem..in case CANOEDOGS can't get back for a reply... the black capped vial..halizone tablets were the most common water purification tablets for us Scouts in the 50's and 60's...though my Scoutmaster (an OSS vet)had us carry tincture of iodine...the top vial with cotton looks similar to an iodine ampule that came with "snake bite" kits... the Cutter snake bite kits, small bottle of iodine, matches in a safe, roll of electrician tape, Scout compass, and single edged razor blade, along with a couple of dimes, some string, and a whistle would fit in a GI first aid kit pouch... we couldn't afford real camping gear, so my stuff was GI surplus... stainless canteen and nested cup always on your web belt along with the first aid pouch...I think there was an angle headed flashlight too

Edited by LesSnyder (04/13/12 01:05 PM)

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Who's Online
1 registered (Phaedrus), 236 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
brenaline, keril, MarcusPetz, CBlackRaven, TnSweetie
5322 Registered Users
Newest Posts
I'd like to improve my night vision capabilities
by LesSnyder
Today at 01:43 AM
Radiooddity DB25 shortwave transceiver
by Blast
Yesterday at 11:21 PM
More power sources!
by RayW
Yesterday at 11:07 PM
Globe Knot Bracelet
by TonyE
Yesterday at 07:41 PM
Overhand Knot Lanyard
by TonyE
Yesterday at 07:40 PM
Everyday mask carry?
by hikermor
09/22/20 06:09 PM
Notes from Getting Through Hurricane Sally
by LesSnyder
09/22/20 12:24 AM
In favor of the sling bag*
by gulliamo
09/21/20 09:07 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.