Make Your Own Mini Survival Kit in 3 Easy Steps

Ever wanted to downsize your survival kit but didn’t know how or weren’t sure if you wanted to skimp out on essential survival gear?

We’ve got the solution—just create a mini version of it!

Yep, you read that right. It’s all about the mini survival kit, the baby version of the survival kit you’ve got in your supply closet. It’s perfect for when you want to go out and still be prepared without looking too suspicious to others. 

In this article, we teach you how to build a DIY mini survival kit. Ready to learn? Let’s get started:

Refresher: What’s a Survival Kit?

To jog your memory, let’s take a miniature refresher course in this section.

A survival kit is a pack filled with the essential supplies for an emergency. A standard kit in the armed forces, survival kits are a big must-have for preppers and survivalists since it provides the tools and supplies you need to survive when basic necessities aren’t readily available.

There are different types of survival kits, many built or made to address a specific scenario. The most common ones are:

So, What’s a Mini Survival Kit?

Now, you’re probably thinking—everyone should be getting survival kits left and right, right? Sure. But you can’t exactly pack a hurricane survival kit in your camping bag or have your kid go to school with one just ‘cos you’d feel safer if they had it on them.

That’s why mini survival kits are a great addition to any prepper’s stash. They’re small, compact, easy to hide and stash in your bag, and they are the perfect companion to their bigger brother, the survival kit.

Survival Kit vs. Mini Survival Kit

To get a better picture of the difference between the two, check the comparison table below:

Typically, a backpack or duffel bag is used Containers are usually small in size
Can hold more survival items Limited to holding a few survival items only
The items can be curated to a certain emergency situation Has only the general but most important survival items

Now that you know the apparent differences between the two, let’s focus on the beauty of mini survival kits from here on out.

More Reasons to Own a Mini Survival Kit

a collection of items that can be found in a mini survival kit

For those unexpected emergencies that pop up out of the blue, a mini survival kit will do the job. But that’s not the only reason you should own one or two of these compact kits. Here are a few more:

It’s Portable

Okay, so ALL survival kits are portable, duh, but a mini kit? God-tier level of portability. Stuff it into your bag or even your pocket and hit the road knowing you’ve got a safety net in the form of a mini survival kit with you.

It’s Low Profile

Next to a duffel bag that’s filled to the brim with survival supplies, a mini survival kit won’t look suspicious to someone who is on the lookout for valuables when SHTF. You lessen the risk of your stuff getting stolen and achieve the prepping goal of being lowkey, much like the gray man theory.

You Can Make Several of Them

Filling up several survival kits for different scenarios can take its toll on you but, more specifically, on your wallet. As much as we want to be prepared for it all, we have to prep smartly, too. Since mini survival kits don’t require a bunch of things, you can create a few handfuls to tuck in your bag, car’s glove box, or even in your family’s bags. This leads us to the next point.

You Can Make Them For Loved Ones

As a gift or intro to prepping, mini survival kits for your loved ones will be super helpful. They might even get them into the survival mindset. If you want your loved ones to be prepared at all times, making sure they have a mini survival kit is one way to put your mind at ease.

DIY-ing Your Mini Survival Kit in 3 Easy Steps

As easy as it is just to buy a mini survival kit than to make one, there are some cons to getting a premade mini survival kit. Cons like:

  • The quality will depend on how much you spend
  • You can’t personalize it to your needs
  • There might be defective items inside the kit

And the list goes on. So what’s another option? DIY-ing it, of course!

Here at Tactical, we’ve got many DIY projects you can do. DIY-ing your mini survival kit is highly recommended, especially for those who want to curate what they put inside their kit.

So let’s get to it:

Step 1: Choose a Container

The key to a successful mini survival kit is the container you use. Now, since mini is in the name, you have to focus on finding a container that’s, well, small.

It has to be compact and won’t stand out. Here are some options for you:

Water Canteen

You might not think much of a water container, but it’s pretty much perfect for a mini survival kit. Get one with a wide enough opening for you to drop your items in or get them out quickly.

A metal water container is a safe bet because one, it’s more durable. And two, if you ever need to purify water via the boiling method, a metal water container will come in handy.

Altoids Tin

“Altoids? The mints?”

You bet! You have no idea how many preppers recommend using the distinctive Altoids metal tin as a holder for survival items. It’s durable, easy to get anywhere, and is the epitome of “mini.” For this container, though, you’ll have to curate your items well since it is pretty small.

Survival Cases

If tin boxes and containers aren’t your things, then, of course, you have the choice of buying a survival case. No, not a premade kit—just the case alone! There are a lot of heavy-duty cases online up for sale, some even waterproof and airtight. If you’re willing to shell out a few bucks for a quality container, then a mini survival case is for you.

Step 2: Choose Your Items

Once you’ve figured out what container you’re going to be using, it’s time to choose what to put into your kit.

Now, you can’t just grab whatever random household item is next to you, no. There’s a little more finesse to it than that. First, you have to consider the following things:

  • Who is this mini survival kit for? 
  • What likely emergencies could you get into?

Once you figure that out, you can be more purposeful with what you pack. Here are a few things we came up with that’ll be perfect for your compact mini survival kit:

A Notepad and Pencil

Don’t go overboard—you’ll be good to go with just a few pieces of paper cut out to fit your container and a small pencil. Aside from writing, you can use the paper to start a fire and the shavings of the pencil as tinder.


It doesn’t have to be a whole roll of hundreds. Just a few $2 bills will do. You don’t want to add too much cash, or you’ll get tempted to spend it.

Waterproof Matches

In a survival situation, warmth and light are two important things to have. One way to achieve having both is by starting a fire, so it’s a no-brainer that waterproof matches are essential in your kit.


You can’t fit a full-fledged medical kit into your mini survival kit. You’ll have to make do with a few strips of band-aids to patch up minor bruises and cuts and keep them from getting infected.

Alcohol Wipes

What other medical items should be in your kit? Alcohol wipes. These are pieces of gauze soaked in alcohol and individually wrapped for sterility. They’re perfect for wiping wounds clean, especially if you don’t have access to clean water and soap.

Sewing Kit

Great for mending clothes, tears on your bags, and even for stitching cuts closed in dire emergencies. Of course, we hope you never have to use it for that, but it pays to stay prepared.

Dental Floss

An unassuming item, dental floss has many different uses, so it is wise to pack it. Pair it with a small angler hook, and you’ve got something for survival fishing. Another use for dental floss? Setting up triggered booby traps.

Wallet Multitool

A sharp edge for cutting, a few hex wrenches, a bottle opener, and more in your mini survival kit? With a wallet multitool, it’s possible! Wallet multitools were built to be tough and, at the same time, compact enough without sacrificing function. You won’t go wrong with a wallet multitool in your kit.

If you’re looking for the best wallet multitool out there, the TAC9ER wallet multitool is a good choice (it’s TSA-friendly).

Mini Compass

add a mini compass to your mini survival kit

Suppose you’re in an unfamiliar area when an EMP attack happens. Chances are, your phone won’t be any help in navigating your way back home. On the flip side, a mini compass will be helpful, as long as you’ve learned the underrated survival skill of reading maps and compasses!

Step 3: Place in Strategic Areas

So you’ve assembled it all, and now you have a slick-looking mini survival kit in front of you. Where are you going to place it?

You have a few options, but the best places are usually those within reach. Here are a few examples:

In your most-used bags

Don’t just put a mini survival kit in your everyday bag. Put it in your most-used bags, too. We’re talking about your camping or hiking backpack, that big old luggage you use for traveling, your gym bag—bags that you often use.

In your BOV

a bug out vehicle racing through mud

Your bug out vehicle (BOV) might also be your everyday car, so you may already have supplies in the back or even a BOV emergency kit. But as much as possible, you don’t want to touch THAT supply. A mini survival kit in the glove box will assure you don’t have to use up your main supply.

In your lockers

Whether it be your locker at school, work, or the gym—you can put your mini survival kit in there. These are places you most frequent, and if a disaster were to strike, you’d most likely be in one of these areas.

In a drawer on your desk at work

Again, if you’re working for the majority of your living days, you’ll be in the office or at your desk, so it makes sense to have a kit stashed away in your drawer.

In survival caches

If you’ve planted survival caches along your bug out route, then you might as well include a mini survival kit in there. Since a survival cache will help you replenish your supplies when on the run, get a freshly stocked mini survival kit while you’re at it.

And in just three easy steps, you’ve got a DIY-ed mini survival kit!

Final Thoughts

You can never be too prepared, and having a mini survival kit on top of all your other gears and survival equipment won’t hurt. It’ll only help you become an even better prepper and survivalist.

Got tips and tricks for making your mini survival kit? Let us know in the comments!

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One thought on “Make Your Own Mini Survival Kit in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Altoids tins are great for projects but as a serious survival kit. Nope. Try it, spend a few nights out with only what you can carry in an Altoids tin. I know survival is not about being comfortable but you cannot get a shelter component in a Altoids tin.

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