Author Topic: Altoids Tin EDC Kit  (Read 21484 times)

Offline InquiringMind

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Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:33:51 PM »
I recently put together a small EDC kit in an Altoids tin. I dug around a little online and found a number of videos on the topic on YouTube, but not a whole lot here on the forum.

In putting together the kit, I wanted something small enough and light enough that I could always keep it in my backpack or truck. Something that's carried everyday, and used frequently, not just in extreme 'survival scenarios'. The Altoids tin is just the right size, durable, and inexpensive. Within this size constraint, I wanted as many plain old 'handy' things as I could fit. The way I see it, these sorts of items fit into three categories: fix up a thing, fix up a person, or get me out of a situation. I think I've got a good start, but will likely refine it over time.

I'm curious to see what others have chosen to include in similar kits.

Content List:
- Altoids tin
- Rubber bands (x3)
- Duct tape patches (x5)
- Electrical tape (strip around inside wall)
- Sewing kit: needle, thread wrapped around a piece of cardboard, safety pin
- Cotton string (5')
- Stiff wire (1')
- Paper clips (x2)
- Paper
- Pencil
- Sheet of aluminum foil
- Money: $5, $1, quarters (x4) taped to inside of lid
- Matches
- 'Trick' birthday candle (relights when blown out, so potentially helps in the wind)
- LED flashlight
- Swiss Army Knife: blade, phillips screwdriver, wire stripper, bottle opener, flathead screwdriver, file, scissors, tweezers, toothpick
- Ziplock plastic bag (many uses, including holding all the contents if you can't fit them back in the tin)
- Toilet paper (5')
- Alcohol swabs (x4)
- Bandaids (x4)
- Tylenol (x2), Bendryl (x2), Imodium (x2), all wrapped in the aluminum foil


Front:
There are a thousand uses for rubber bands, and they make sure the tin stays shut.


Back:
I layered 5 patches of duct tape with roughly 1/4" offset so they're easily peeled off.


Inside, Packed:
It's sort of a 3D puzzle to get everything in.


Inside, Unpacked:
All laid out.


Offline Hurricane

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 10:06:27 PM »
I Haven't actually finished one, but I have these two sets of ideas from other forums:
--------------------------------------------------
Altoids Tin Kits:

NOTE: IF YOU BUY WHITMANS CANDY SAMPLER, YOU CAN FIT A BOTTLE OF POLAR PURE AND SOME MORE STUFF IN THE 30% BIGGER TIN - WHITMANS CAN RECOMMENDED IF AVAILABLE.

Last-ditch backup to everything else. Buy small tin of Altoids Mints, dump the mints (store in Ziploc for later use), and replace with:

>>2 single-edge razor blades with covers
>>BSA Hot Match and striker (can use P-38, but make sure it works first, some cheaper P-38's won’t spark the ferrochromium rod)
>>3 trick candles – light several fires with 1 match, or light fire in rain
>>3 Petroleum Jelly saturated cotton balls in vacuum-sealed plastic (seal-a-meal works great)
>>Micro Fishing Kit (2 small bait hooks and 2 #12 treble hooks, 2 pieces of split shot, 50 feet of monofilament all wrapped around small piece of cardboard)
>>Contractor Grade trash bag (2 for Whitman’s can)
>>Short roll of snare wire and finishing nails (Steel or galvanized wire works best - NOT braided!) Fine but strong wire (50# steel leader wire works too - need crimps)
>>Photon knock-off LED light (blue or white, red doesn’t show blood)

Water Container: Gallon Freezer Ziploc bag. Cover 3 seams with duct tape by cutting tape to length of seam, laying bag all the way out, align tape to cover half of seam, press to fix to plastic bag, flip over and fix other half of tape to other side of seam. Once all 3 seams are taped, bag will last much longer. Fold CAREFULLY and put in tin. Make sure you get ALL air out of bag. You won’t have enough room for water container if you use an Altoids tin instead of Whitman’s Sampler tin.

Finally, Seal kit with duct tape - keeps you from messing with it, and gives you a supply of duct tape. If you have access to a shrink-wrap machine, try shrink wrapping it to waterproof and possibly fool someone into thinking it’s still a tin full of Altoids mints - might come in handy.

It will take some work and finagling to get everything to fit, but it will. Once everything is in, seal kit, and DON’T OPEN!!! Everything will be fine for years as long as case is sealed and watertight or at least sealed if you don’t run it through the washer!

AND

It's amazing what will fit in an Altoids tin. Several years ago I made kits for each of the vehicles using them, one tin as a fishing kit, one as a first aid kit, one for fasteners (safety pins, a needle threaded with heavy upholstry thread, an alligator clip) and other odd potentially useful things, and one with emergency numbers, a stubby pencil, post-it notes, and a bit of cash, things like that. I then bought on clearance a couple fanny packs in the hunting section to hold them all, along with a small flashlight, emergency candle and other things I thought necessary. I painted the tins and labeled each as to the contents. My son keeps one of the first aid tins with his hunting gear, just in case he needs it while in the woods.


Offline Cedar

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 10:10:45 PM »
You might also tape or glue some sandpaper to the bottom inside can or lid or somewhere, to strike matches on as well. It works better than the paper match book I find. I use120 grit or better and maybe use wooden matches?

Cedar

Offline Nate

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 06:04:04 AM »


NOTE: IF YOU BUY WHITMANS CANDY SAMPLER, YOU CAN FIT A BOTTLE OF POLAR PURE AND SOME MORE STUFF IN THE 30% BIGGER TIN - WHITMANS CAN RECOMMENDED IF AVAILABLE.


Can polar pure still be found?? 

I would ditch the matches and go with a small bic lighter.  I have used matches in kits before, both book and wooden, and after a few years in the kit they seem to be finicky to start.  I want fire NOW with as little headache as possible so I have switched to Bics. 

Toss in a P-38 can opener.  If you need a container to boil water, I am sure you can find a discarded beer can.  Use the p-38 to remove the top of the can and there you go!  you will still have the lip of the can left so no sharp edges.  (Or carry a full size SAK with can opener in your pocket at all times like I do!)

I have used the cash the most in my kits.  I have been just a few bucks short, or I get somewhere that is "cash only" because the computer is down.  The extra cash in my kit has supplemented what I carry in my wallet.  Very handy!

These threads are fun and educational.  Thanks for posting!

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 06:20:40 AM »
But I carry bandages,money,duct tape,electrical tape,spare keys ,P38 and bandages in my wallet and a bic lighter,led light ,550,and knife in my pocket.I guess I should put them all in one box ,that is inconvenient to open ,not waterproof and less likely to be carried every day due to the size...

Talk me into this , I know it is better to have a KIT than a bunch of stuff in my wallet and pockets that I carry anyway.....

I am not looking for a confrontation, I really want to know how it is better....

Offline David in MN

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 07:35:59 AM »
But I carry bandages,money,duct tape,electrical tape,spare keys ,P38 and bandages in my wallet and a bic lighter,led light ,550,and knife in my pocket.I guess I should put them all in one box ,that is inconvenient to open ,not waterproof and less likely to be carried every day due to the size...

Talk me into this , I know it is better to have a KIT than a bunch of stuff in my wallet and pockets that I carry anyway.....

I am not looking for a confrontation, I really want to know how it is better....

It's a way to contain it all. Truth be told it's more of an urban edc challenge. An Altoids tin is about the largest non-crushable container you can carry. Buy one and fill it, it's a fun exercise.

Mine has:

Band Aid (2)
Alcohol pad (2)
Antibiotic gel (1)
Sudafed (1)
Anti-diarrheal (1)
Allergy pill (1)
Post it notes (5)
Pencil
Minimag Maglite
Lighter
Floss
Swiss Army Knife
Safety pin (2)
Razor blade (1)
P38 can opener
Q tip (2)

It sounds dumb but carrying that little tin gets me out of most jams. The run of the mill cut or swinging by a house with a dog are handled. Call me crazy but the tweezers on the knife probably get the most mileage. I'd highly recommend trying this out for a few bucks. You might be surprised how useful it is.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 07:40:19 AM »
I would ditch the matches and go with a small bic lighter.  I have used matches in kits before, both book and wooden, and after a few years in the kit they seem to be finicky to start.  I want fire NOW with as little headache as possible so I have switched to Bics.

I originally planned to include a mini Bic but ran out of space. What would you leave out to substitute the lighter for the matches? Maybe I'll just make sure to replace the matches periodically.


Talk me into this , I know it is better to have a KIT than a bunch of stuff in my wallet and pockets that I carry anyway.....

This is a good point. I suppose it depends on your daily activities and how you organize. There is a balance between having useful things with you and lugging them all around. Some people like to have a utility belt (literally or figuratively) worth of tools and supplies with them at all times. I prefer to be a little more streamlined, so I take a modular approach.

I generally keep most of the items you listed on my person. These items are used nearly everyday, so it makes sense to have them with me and highly accessible. Pockets and wallet work well for organization.

Other (different or redundant) items are used on a weekly or monthly basis. It's not necessarily worth the bulk of keeping them on you, but it could be good to have them accessible. Since many people generally have a bag or vehicle around, that's the natural place to store them. And since these items are possibly bulkier or more numerous, it makes sense to assemble them into a self-contained kit. Some people go further and create multiple, specialized kits. For me, a single, simple kit should suffice. And by packing it according to likelihood of using each item, I will rarely need to dig all the way to the bottom.

The next level up in my modular approach is the bag I keep in my truck. This extends into other things like food/water, more extensive first aid, tools, change of clothes, etc.

By this logic, you could keep going all the way up to include your preps at home.

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2015, 08:34:06 AM »
I would add that dental floss and the packaged Tylenol/aspirin...etc are handy too...and if Altoids can is used...maybe a sandwich bag to rain proof the 'kit'. It fits more the role of a Possibles kit ,and if the tin helps you remember your stuff...so be it.

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 09:16:11 AM »
I built one of these a couple years ago.   Same type of stuff in it....birthday candles, tape, razor blade, bandaids, etc etc.    I carried it for awhile and stopped.  It went from EDC to NDC for no other reason than I was tired of being weighed down all the time.  Pockets bulging out with a bunch of stuff. 

I posted similar comments about carrying a backup gun too.   After awhile, it just got to be too much.   It wasn't comfortable to have all that crap in my pockets :(

My EDC doesn't include the altoid tin anymore, but I didn't discard it either.   It's right here on my desk, and I should throw it in the glove box of the car as a spare assortment of gadgets.   

Offline BLACK SHIRT

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 11:12:14 AM »
My buddy put together a cool snuff can EDC kit.
I would post picture but I can't figure out how to.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 11:15:29 AM »
My buddy put together a cool snuff can EDC kit.
I would post picture but I can't figure out how to.

Sister Wolf posted a really handy how to: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=21040.0

Basically, you need to create an account on a photo sharing site such as PhotoBucket, upload the picture, then include a picture link in your post.

endurance

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 01:26:22 PM »
I eventually dumped the tin in favor of something waterproof and more flexible, but the size is very similar:



Contents:
Wetfire cube, 1 liter water pouch, #10 scalpel blade, CRKT Doug Ritter knife, 18" duct tape, compass, 10' steel wire, pen cartridge, 6 aquamira purification tablets, squeeze light, 12' reflective 125# rated cordage, whistle, ferro rod, 4 tinders, vinyl pouch, 2 safety pins.

It generally resides in my coat or pants cargo pocket when I'm out and about with a two-person space blanket in the other pocket.  My first priority has always been securing water.  For the most part, that's what I've gone into my kit for the most often over the years.  Shelter is always a priority, too, but I have yet to need to construct an emergency shelter in the field for anything other than training.  But I've had a half-dozen or more hikes and mountain bike rides that ran short of water and having tablets is a real life saver.

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 01:45:58 PM »
I eventually dumped the tin in favor of something waterproof and more flexible, but the size is very similar:



Contents:
Wetfire cube, 1 liter water pouch, #10 scalpel blade, CRKT Doug Ritter knife, 18" duct tape, compass, 10' steel wire, pen cartridge, 6 aquamira purification tablets, squeeze light, 12' reflective 125# rated cordage, whistle, ferro rod, 4 tinders, vinyl pouch, 2 safety pins.

It generally resides in my coat or pants cargo pocket when I'm out and about with a two-person space blanket in the other pocket.  My first priority has always been securing water.  For the most part, that's what I've gone into my kit for the most often over the years.  Shelter is always a priority, too, but I have yet to need to construct an emergency shelter in the field for anything other than training.  But I've had a half-dozen or more hikes and mountain bike rides that ran short of water and having tablets is a real life saver.

I would add a small BIC lighter and some write in rain paper make the duct tape the reflective orange and I'd call it perfect. A great possibles kit and I rarely get out of sight of civilization.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 01:52:13 PM »
That's a pretty good water solution. I can appreciate that after having drank puddle water during a rather bad mountain climb that got out of hand.

I'm usually not far enough from civilization to be so prepared but out in the boonies I see a lot of value.

Offline Hurricane

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 02:04:45 PM »
I eventually dumped the tin in favor of something waterproof and more flexible, but the size is very similar:

Contents:
Wetfire cube, 1 liter water pouch, #10 scalpel blade, CRKT Doug Ritter knife, 18" duct tape, compass, 10' steel wire, pen cartridge, 6 aquamira purification tablets, squeeze light, 12' reflective 125# rated cordage, whistle, ferro rod, 4 tinders, vinyl pouch, 2 safety pins.

It generally resides in my coat or pants cargo pocket when I'm out and about with a two-person space blanket in the other pocket.  My first priority has always been securing water.  For the most part, that's what I've gone into my kit for the most often over the years.  Shelter is always a priority, too, but I have yet to need to construct an emergency shelter in the field for anything other than training.  But I've had a half-dozen or more hikes and mountain bike rides that ran short of water and having tablets is a real life saver.
I like this idea!
Where did you find the pouch?
(I could use something like it for work, too)

d3nni5

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2015, 02:17:24 PM »
Endurance, is this EDC?   Or just when you head out for a long walk or something?

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 02:44:24 PM »
That's a pretty good water solution. I can appreciate that after having drank puddle water during a rather bad mountain climb that got out of hand.

I'm usually not far enough from civilization to be so prepared but out in the boonies I see a lot of value.
It's not truly EDC for me, it's what goes in my pockets when I wander off the pavement, even if just for a quick trail run.  As I go deeper afield, I carry more kit in my pack, but I never even get out of my tent without my pocket kit.

My EDC is boring as hell by some folks standards here.  Knife, flashlight, keychain w/ Resqme, smart phone, wallet & belt with enough cash to buy my way home from pretty much anywhere I'd drive, and generally (but not always) a 9mm & pepper spray.  My car is kitted out.  My office at work is kitted out, but after carrying a magnesium firestarter in my pocket for over a decade after leaving the Forest Service I realized it was nothing more than a talisman and I'd be better served carrying more cash where I function day to day.  I used to have a compact lock pick set I carried, but I lost it.  That's an item that seemed much more suited to the urban survivalist than some of the trinkets I have in my pocket kits for the back country.  If I find another one like that that fits nicely on my key chain, I'll gladly add it again.  It just had a basic torsion bar, raker and single pick, but it sure beat trying to do it with paper clips, which is frequently what I end up doing at the office every time someone accidentally locks their filing cabinet.

endurance

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 03:00:29 PM »
I like this idea!
Where did you find the pouch?
(I could use something like it for work, too)
I just spent 10 minutes searching the wrong website, but finally found the right one:
http://survival.instantestore.net/pd_vinyl.cfm

I thought it was on my 'everything I can't find anywhere else' site, http://www.survivalresources.com/Products/Survival_Products.html

Between those two and, http://www.selfrelianceoutfitters.com/survival-gear-1/, there's just about everything you could ever want for backcountry kits.

d3nni5

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 03:54:07 PM »
Endurance, this is my approach.   I gave the Altoids tin a serious try...it was like carrying a little too much in my pockets to be worth it.   I've designed my surroundings to have stuff available to me in progression depending on how far I plan to wander.

It may seem like a small thing, these Altoids tins, but I couldn't stick with it every day.   I was bulging out of every pocking with "stuff".   Risk vs Reward was not there for me.   So I keep the car and truck stacked with stuff, and if I plan on a hike or something, then I get a pack out.   Easier than having it on me EDC, like I think the intent for these Altoid tins are made.

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 04:01:17 PM »
Endurance, this is my approach.   I gave the Altoids tin a serious try...it was like carrying a little too much in my pockets to be worth it.   I've designed my surroundings to have stuff available to me in progression depending on how far I plan to wander.

It may seem like a small thing, these Altoids tins, but I couldn't stick with it every day.   I was bulging out of every pocking with "stuff".   Risk vs Reward was not there for me.   So I keep the car and truck stacked with stuff, and if I plan on a hike or something, then I get a pack out.   Easier than having it on me EDC, like I think the intent for these Altoid tins are made.

They oughta' make a survival baseball cap with that watertight bag thingie in it.

Offline Nate

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2015, 07:50:47 PM »
I originally planned to include a mini Bic but ran out of space. What would you leave out to substitute the lighter for the matches?

Try a Boy Scout hot spark with some cotton balls.  One cotton ball can go a long way.  You can even mash some Vaseline into the cotton ball.  I carry a mini bic on my key chain.  I put a small split ring through the top front and it has held up for at least 3 years that way.  I have used it mostly for lighting birthday candles.  No joke.  Every b-day party I go to someone forgets the matches.

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2015, 04:29:24 AM »
They oughta' make a survival baseball cap with that watertight bag thingie in it.

They DO have a survival hat...  ;D

http://www.instructables.com/id/Wearable-Survival-Kit-Hat/

Offline mxitman

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 01:43:26 AM »
I've done several of the Altoids kits, I found one that I forgot about in an old bag under my old truck back seat...when I opened it I was happy to find $40, my missing mini neck knife...much like the doug ritter version. I also found my fishing kit had rusted to near nothing, the mini duct tape roll had congealed into one piece of unusable goo and the ferro rod had mostly turned to white dust. The led flashlight was dead too. The emergency windproof type matches I sealed in a section of an Icee straw were like new and worked like a charm lighting my my chapstick tube stuffed full of cotton ball...

I do have 2 sets that I still keep, one is in my tackle box...well you never know? and the other I designed for air travel....has been to Jamaica/Europe/Hawaii/Mexico... and I still have it and mostly have used the Imodium & other assoc drugs plus the bandaids and TWEEZERS...almost forgot...those are a must have when you need them.

I now go the endurance route and use the soft bag type too, I got mine from REI I think for a map cover or book maybe? Can't remember....but my kit is very similar to his and I use it much the same...in my Cargo pocket or coat pocket at all times when out in the bush. I found these items to be the most useful/hardest to come by when desperate in the field; Water container for transport/purification (water bag & Aqua tabs) & Firestarter (2...Mini Bic/Fero rod plus plenty cotton rope/tinder)

BTW; If you do go the tin route try this for keeping your tin water proof; Buy or get for free....stop by a bike shop and find a bike inner tube that will barely stretch over the tin, cut to length and presto! I can't remember the size but it's a larger one for off road bikes....I did this to my other kits a few years back and I really like it....gives it that undercover look ;D

For a good deal on water purification tablets go with the Aquamira or Katadyn, search for Aquamira 50 and you should find the military ones for around $18-25 shipped or Katadyn Micropur MP1. I use to be able to get the old white label Aqua tabs....the not for retail-old military version for less than $8 for 100 tabelst (10-10 packs) Of course I resold them on ebay...but then my source dried up and I had to keep a few around JIC.

Offline blueyedmule

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2015, 04:09:03 AM »
I love Altoids, so I have many cans and kits of various kinds in my gear. One has a few rounds of various ammo in it. Another is many of the small items ya'll have mentioned. I have another to keep my med gloves in my shoulder bag. They've got lots of uses. I like to use strips of bicycle inner tube rather than rubber bands to keep them shut.

Offline Carl

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2015, 04:39:12 AM »
I love Altoids, so I have many cans and kits of various kinds in my gear. One has a few rounds of various ammo in it. Another is many of the small items ya'll have mentioned. I have another to keep my med gloves in my shoulder bag. They've got lots of uses. I like to use strips of bicycle inner tube rather than rubber bands to keep them shut.

How do you know whats in the box?

Offline Nate

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2015, 04:50:58 AM »
Has anyone noticed that altoids are not coming in tins anymore?  They are in sealed foil bags that resemble the shape of a tin.  Better stock up now if you still have tins in your area!

Offline Giff Sheriff

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2015, 05:16:47 AM »
you can still get tins on amazon with no problem, http://www.amazon.com/Altoids-Curiously-Strong-Wintergreen-1-76-Ounce/dp/B000FKL0EU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441278892&sr=8-1&keywords=altoids+in+tins not to contradict you ;) just for informational purposes :)

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2015, 05:58:46 AM »
Big packs of tins at Costco, too.

Offline archer

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2015, 07:53:42 AM »
you can get them here also:
http://www.countycomm.com/tin.html

Offline Giff Sheriff

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Re: Altoids Tin EDC Kit
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2015, 09:50:32 AM »
you can get them here also:
http://www.countycomm.com/tin.html

Hmmm $3.45 per EMPTY tin plus shipping vs $17.34 for 12 with the mints and free shipping if you spend $35 (an easy thing for me to do) Not sure it's much of a comparison? But I guess if you only need one or two and don't like mints, the above would be a better buy :)