Regular readers here know I’ve long been a fan of Survival Resources. Each and every product they sell has been thoroughly vetted by owner John D. McCann. In fact, he’s designed a fair number of the things they sell, such as this Pocket Tin Survival Kit.
Before I get into the actual product review, allow me to please clear up a few misconceptions about the various and sundry mini kits that are out there. Whether you’re buying a mini kit or making one yourself out of an Altoids tin or similar container, these aren’t intended to turn a survival situation into a weekend camping trip. These small kits aren’t supposed to take the place of a Get Home Bag. Instead, the mini kit is your backup survival gear. It is there in case you get separated from your primary kit and need supplies to get through a night or two in the wild.
Okay, with that out of the way, on to the review.
The Pocket Tin Survival Kit comes in a small tin, roughly the same size and shape as an Altoids tin. Accompanying the tin is a 10′ hank of blaze orange paracord, complete with instructions on how to wrap it around the tin securely. So, right off the bat, we have an important survival tool – cordage – that can be used for shelter building and many other purposes.
Opening the tin, we immediately see it is packed with gear, yet still has a bit of empty space. This is great because any kit needs to be customized to suit your individual needs and skill set.
The Pocket Tin Survival Kit comes with gear to satisfy your basic needs in several categories.
Every kit should have some sort of cutting tool. This kit comes with two — a razor knife and a small folding saw. Also shown is a six inch strip of blaze orange duct tape that comes in the kit.
For collecting food in the wild, we have both snare wire and a small fishing kit that is contained in a plastic vial. This vial includes different sized hooks, sinkers, and swivels, as well as a few safety pins and a sewing needle for use in repairing your gear. The Pocket Tin Survival Kit also includes 6′ of snare wire and a spool with 50′ of braided fishing line. Note, this is NOT cheap monofilament fishing line. The reason for that is monofilament line has horrible “memory,” meaning when you try to unspool it, the line tends to get tangled all on itself as it wants to say in the “spooled” shape. Braided line doesn’t suffer that problem.
For navigation, we have a decent quality liquid filled compass.
Another requirement for just about any size kit is a method for signaling for help. Here we have two methods, a signal mirror and a very loud whistle. Also included are a pencil and two sheets of waterproof paper. These can be used to leave notes for rescuers or to jot notes to yourself, such as direction of travel and landmarks as you attempt to self-rescue.
Fire making is another essential for survival. In the Pocket Tin Survival Kit, we have a Spark-Lite Fire Starter as well as six Tinder-Quick fire tabs. These cotton tabs work great at getting a fire started. You simply fluff one up and light it with a spark or match. Each one burns for a few minutes.
We also have a small fresnel lens, useful for solar fire lighting as well as helping you locate splinters in your finger.
Hard to believe all that stuff fits into such a small container with room to spare, right? Now, as with any purchased survival kit, I highly encourage you to rip it apart and get familiar with all of the contents. However, what you might want to do with this one is take a photo of it all assembled first, as that may help you with repacking the contents again. There’s a lot of stuff here and it can take some jostling around to get it all to fit properly.
All in all, I really like the Pocket Tin Survival Kit. It satisfies many survival needs in a very small, easy to carry, container. Missing are elements for first aid as well as water purification. The kit comes with enough room inside where you could add a few water purification tablets and some adhesive bandages and perhaps a small pouch containing pain relievers and such. But, the addition of these items also means you need to be vigilant about expiration dates.
The Pocket Tin Survival Kit is available from Survival Resources and retails for $36.95. The exact same kit contents are also available in their Neck Pouch Survival Kit, which retails for $38.95. This would be a great option for someone who wants to keep the kit on their person rather than in a pocket.