IN A TIN
The essential survival
tools, picked to fit inside
the ubiquitous mint tin.
Note the hole in the tin lid,
which allows it to function
as a rescue mirror.
tool. The handle has been
shaved to save room in
the mint tin.
Mini “cube” compass
If you pack carefully,
there’s room for cordage or
other survival essentials.
Fox 40 Micro Safety
Princeton Tec Pulsar
or outdoor store. Stir in a little maker attitude TIP: Save the sharp edge of your knife blade. The back
with Lundin’s experience and it’s easy to build a edge will usually work just as well when striking a metal
pocket-sized survival kit that rival Q’s best efforts. match.
Illustration by Julian Honoré/ p4rse.com
I started the project with a mint tin. Since it’s not If you carefully remove as much extra plastic
waterproof, I needed to choose tools that could still or metal from survival devices as possible, you
do their duty if exposed to moisture. can stuff even more items into the mint tin. I was
Any good survival system begins with a high-quality able to remove enough “meat” from the whistle,
cutting edge. I chose the Gerber Mini Paraframe compass, LED light, and metal match to make room
knife ($12). It’s made of stainless steel, has a 2¼" in the case for 12' of 7-strand nylon “paracord.” This
serrated blade, and weighs only 1½oz. You may 500lb-test cord can be used whole, or the individual
choose to substitute a MAKE: Warranty Voider, strands can be separated for other uses.
aka the Leatherman Squirt P4 multi-tool ( 2¼", Not only can a mint tin serve to carry my survival
2oz, $40 from
makershed.com). essentials, its shiny inside surface makes for an
In the event I find myself in the dark, I included excellent signal mirror. I just punched a small hole in
a Princeton Tec Pulsar LED flashlight ( 1", ¼oz, the lid. Sighting through this hole allows me to flash
$8–$11). Its lithium batteries last for 12 hours. the mirror onto my rescuer’s location and draw
Letting rescuers know where you’re located can attention to myself.
be as easy as whistling. In this case I’ve added a flat, Your personal preferences and needs will dictate
“pealess” Fox 40 Micro Safety Whistle ( 2", ½oz, $6). changes to this kit. As always, a bit of scrounging
And keeping your bearings can be critical, so and repurposing will go a long way. And finally, the
I added a mini “cube” compass ( 1", 1/5 oz, $2). maker mindset will always be the most important
Being able to make a fire can help rescuers locate tool you can bring to an emergency or survival
you, as well as provide necessary warmth. Since situation. Q would be proud.
I wanted to keep this kit small and free from wet
worries, I chose a Swedish FireSteel magnesium
fire-starting tool ( 3", 1oz, $12). Lighting a fire is as
simple as building a pile of dry tinder and striking
the steel with your knife.
Thomas Arey has been a freelance writer to the radio/
electronics hobby world for over 25 years and is the
author of Radio Monitoring: A How-To Guide.