Altoids Survival Tin Book is Now Available.

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by UncleMorgan, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    My new ebook is finally out. It's called A Curiously Small Survival Kit. It's about how to put together a seriously useful Altoids tin survival kit.

    It's available from SurvivalAssured on Etsy, for $14.95 US. It can be purchased by credit card and download instantly.

    I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was writing the book. I thought it would be done in a week.

    Well--That didn't happen.

    The book was about 95% done then and looked like an easy glide to completion. But it took three more weeks of revoltingly hard work to do the other 5%. I think I broke my nose on Calibre's learning curve.

    But it's out now, and it's got some good stuff in it.

    The kit holds 57 items, all prime survival gear, minus the junk.

    Several items in it are of my own design and have never been published before in print or on the Internet. Nor taught in any survival class or course, anywhere.

    It costs about $8.00 to build the kit, counting just the cost of the materials used. Like part of a roll of duct tape, for example. Call it about fifteen cents per item, on average.

    One of the nicer items included in the kit is the Big Bucket, which is a durable cook pot carried in the tin in the form of a flat Aluminum packet 2.125" square and 0.080" thick. It folds out to a sturdy watertight and fireproof container that holds 2.5 cups of water. It's very reusable.

    It has a nice set of brass bails (also in the tin) that allow it to be hung on a spit over a fire, or hung on a handle for easy one-handed carrying.

    As far as I know, no one has ever successfully managed to put a large cook pot inside an Altoids tin before now. Condoms don't count, of course, because it's really hard to cook in them. Especially with a fork.

    The book also includes a section on how to make Omega-Matches, which purely put boat matches to shame. They're little strike-anywhere bonfires with incendiary inclinations.

    Plus a lot of other stuff. Like my Saw-Knife, Survival Drill Bit, and Skinny Scissors.

    The kit has redundancy: Three ways to make fire, six ways to cut things, a LOT of snare wire, three compasses, nine fish hooks, etc. Plus antibiotic ointment, insect repellent, and two mini-meals.

    The book is written as a How-To slide show with every step in preparing and packing each item shown from start to finish. That's why it has over 200 photographs.

    That may seem like a lot--and it is--but it's really all a matter of perspective. If they were a video, the run time would only be a little over 8 seconds. Or, on average, it's about 3.5 photos per item.

    As it is, a person can view them in any order, with no rush at all.

    The book also includes sources of supply and prices for everything that goes into the kit. Plus the usual list of tools needed for each item.

    Here's a little teaser: If you buy the book you'll find out why you should hit the Survival Drill Bit with a rock.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Just a guess on the teaser here ,,,,,, it's a fire starter ?
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  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    LOL sorry I made that post, wouldn't have if I had known.............
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  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

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  5. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Ah! the teaser! Come to think of it, the Survival Drill Bit would be a great striker for a ferro rod. (Of which there is not one in the kit.) But hitting it with a rock isn't for fire. It's for something wildly different that's perfectly reasonable--once you see it.


    I'm really glad you did. It was the perfect motivation and definitely worth the effort. I never thought I'd see the day when I could bang out HTML.

    Plus a lot of people will get some good bush tech out of the book. The ideas in it will spread and become common practice. Some of them, anyway.

    I'll be finishing up another soon called Simple Survival. It should go a lot easier.

    Oh--just to mention. The book is out on Kindle, too. (For the moment.) There's a Look Inside preview on the listing that's probably worth taking a peek at.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I just bought your book @UncleMorgan Wow! this is more then items you can stuff into an Altoid tin, it is a treasure of info. I have only glanced through it but with the pictures and written detail. Great job. :5s:
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  7. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Ah, Motomom! Thank you so much!

    I really wanted to cover every step so every piece could be made right the first time, and so packing it all in the tin would always go as smooth as silk.

    You're right: A lot of what's in the book really is basic survival tech, stuff that can be useful in many situations.

    Thank you, also, for the marvelous comments you left on Etsy. I really appreciate them. Etsy is definitely my favorite place. Easier to sell on, and a better return than Kindle.

    And, now....(Drum Roll!!) now know at last (and at first) why you should hit the Survival Drill Bit with a rock.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    This is not intended to derail any thing, but I was just looking at my empty air gun pellet tins and pondering how much better they are at staying closed being a screw on lid . Often enough i've had an Altoid tin pop open the con-tense spread all over the place .
    Things like line and twine and gun patches store easily .Easily being made water tight if necessary .and substantially more crush resistant . Those of us that have air guns have a regular resource of these nice round tins .
    Or you could put Altoids in them.
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  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You might want to soap and water them first ---
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  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

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  11. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    One Ranger Band to bind them all! It's mandatory for any hinged tin kit. So says me.
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  12. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    OK, time to 'fess up.

    The Survival Drill Bit is a regular drill bit that has had its tang sharpened into a long, flat wedge.

    That means it can be "chucked" into the end of a stick just by driving it in like a nail.

    Once chucked, it stays put and won't rotate in its handle.

    That's a fast, easy way to mount it, and all it requires is a hammer--or, more usually, a rock.

    Hitting the end of it with a rock as you drive it into the stick doesn't hurt it a bit.

    The Survival Drill Bit centers well by eye, and the handle can be long enough to be the spindle of either a bow-drill or a pump drill. If you pick a suitably bent stick and use a hand-piece like a fire drill, you can also have a pseudo-Neolithic speed handle, aka a brace and bit. Let it spin inside a loose handle made of bark or leather to prevent blisters.

    With the Survival Drill Bit you can easily make holes in bark if you're building a shelter, coracle, or canoe. Or just a bark basket or container. Or maybe a pair of expedient snowshoes.

    You can put holes in just about anything a drill bit can drill.

    Sometimes just a few silly little holes can make an important survival project a whole lot easier, or make it feasible in the first place.

    The Survival Drill Bit is much better and faster than boring holes with the point of a knife. And you get more depth, too.

    The Survival Drill Bit makes a hole large enough to passage 550 paracord, which makes it especially useful in the bush.

    The Survival Drill Bit can be used to counter-bore it's own handle, the end of which can be wrapped tightly in brass snare wire to prevent splitting.

    And that, of course, is when you need a whippy-nick.


    The Survival Drill Bit is just one of my camping "inventions" that I've had knocking around for years. I never had any particular reason to mention it before, but it fits right into an Altoids tin survival kit. I kept mine in my Canteen Cup Survival Kit.

    That's why you won't see any mention of the Survival Drill Bit on the Net. I never had any reason to publicize it. Ditto for some of my other toys, like the Saw-Knife.

    My "Ultimate Survival Blade" is a large saw-knife that is mentioned in my short story Thursday's Child--which I haven't posted yet.

    (I'll get around to posting it, eventually.)

    People who make their own knife sheathes can easily sew in a tube for a Survival Drill Bit , which would also accommodate a honkin' large sewing needle--which could also be handy.
  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

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  14. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Cool kit!
    I can see how that could be super handy.

    (Was a little slow with my "Likes" for this thread. Good to get caught up.)
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  15. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

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  16. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    One of the projects this weekend was to make our Survival Drill Bit. We looked at buying a bench grinder but decided we really didn't need one. My youngest got out the angle grinder and these were the results. I think he did a good job.


    IMG_3750[1].JPG IMG_3751[1].JPG
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  17. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Primo! Bueno! Indeed-o!

    That bad boy will drive neatly into the end of any designated handle, quick as a wink and easy as PZ.

    Have the youngest try it out try it out (you can always recover it from the handle stick by just pulling & rocking it like a large nail.

    Have him drill a few palmetto fronds. That makes them easy to tie onto a frame, and easy to peg-hook onto a frame. Just drill a hole, and tap in a green twig. presto: Instant hook.

    Also, you can make up a fire-bow and a handpiece and use them with the handle to make a baw-drill that works fast and won't tire your wrist out.

    Good job. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 14.

    I used the side of the grinding wheel (an 8" one) on mine and held the bit with vise-grips. Kept a can of water nearby, and dipped it every few seconds to keep it cool. Once one side was ground, I just flipped the vise-grips over & ground the second side to match.

    The angle isn't critical. If it's a sharp as a nail, it'll drive like a nail.

    BTW: They can also be made with just vise-grips and a large file. Takes a little longer, is all. Lay the file down flat, and file away with the bit.
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  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Don't forget your first aid kit for the penetrating wound.
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  19. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Thank you. I printed off your book so I could check off the item list as we get them done. We are making two tins. One will be the test kit plus if we need to tweak for our needs, we can. The other will be just like the book says. So far we have had fun going through things, talking discussing and gathering items. I hope to make the matches this week.
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  20. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Way cool. The Omega-Matches are super easy to make and a real surprise the first time you fire one up.
    Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
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