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Everyday Carry Altoids Tin Mini Smalls

altoid smalls edc contents packed

The Altoids tin is one of the best, and least expensive ways to store and carry small objects.

I have used these little tins for years to hold small things like computer screws, nuts and bolts, fishing hooks and sinkers, and a lot of other stuff, but just recently, I completed one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do:

Create a small, functional everyday carry inside an Altoids Smalls container.

Altoids tins make great storage containers. Even though they’re not watertight, they’re widely used to hold everything from cigarettes to screws, nuts and bolts.

The Altoids “Smalls” container measures 2.36″L x 1.65″W x 0.68″D and creating an essential everyday carry out of one is a bit of a challenge.

It started out much like any other, where I purchased the Smalls in a gas station and over the next two weeks ended up consuming them more like candy than breath mints. Being left with the small tin, I wondered what in the world I could stuff into it that could be both functional and useful for my everyday carry.

I realized that since I carry the Condor MA16 Pocket Pouch, this little tin would have to one of two things:

  • Have an essential set of items that I could use when the MA16 was inaccessible
  • Have items that would compliment and supplement the MA16’s items

After giving it some thought, I decided that the first would be the way I’d go with the Smalls tin, creating a very small set of items I could carry when it just wasn’t feasible to carry the MA16.

The biggest factor in choosing the items that I’d pack is obviously the size. Since the Altoid Smalls case is so small, choosing the items takes a LOT of careful thought. I decided that the tin had to be functional for everyday use. It’s not a survival tin that just adds weight to my pocket, and only is useful in a survival situation.

For me personally, the tin has to carry items that I’ll actually use throughout a day to get me through. Here’s the final tin dump, if you will. 😀

  • P38 Can opener – the can opener at work and when I’m on location seems to always be missing. Having a P38 eliminates the frustration of having food, but not being able to eat it.
  • Rubber Band – Because there’s always a use for one
  • Bobby Pin – Good to have around since I have a daughter that loses her pins all the time.
  • Matches – Since a lighter just won’t fit, having some matches works for me.
  • Safety Pins – Always good to have when you split your pants! (Been there, Done that)
  • Life Gear micro LED light (requires 4x LR41 cells); runtime: 7 hours, On/Off, 10 Lumens, same as Streamlight Nano
  • 8x LR41 batteries – Extra batteries that fit into a Smalls case with all this other stuff is impressive, and I have a cumulative total of 21 hours of usable lighting.
  • Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife – Amazed that it fits, but gives me Knife, Scissors, file, flathead, tweezers & toothpick
  • 1″ standard Band-Aid – because small cuts do happen.
  • Handcuff Key – Curiously enough, some of the Dell Server lids  I work on can be opened with this key.

Obviously, the Altoid Smalls kit won’t address every need, but it’s enough to ensure that I have at least something that could help me through the day if the Condor MA16 was ever out of reach.


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