Tobacco Tin Survival Kits


Kit Reviewer
ukiri said:
unlike those scroats who got lost in tailand i think a couple of years a go, in some lost world crack in the ground for about 3 weeks
A number of us have been known to get stuck into cracks whilst in Thailand.
whistler said:
I used to be with an EW unit and as they were deemed 'prone to capture' everyone had them - in fact it was Regimental SOP.

Of course PRI sold them but most of the guys made their own. It was CO's TD for everyone to partake in survival training and conduct after capture techniques annually and we had a load of instructors too.

I found my old box a while back, it's amazing the stuff you can jam into a small tin. Button compasses, wire saws, edible candles, durex (for carrying water before someone wahs me) and that kind of stuff. I don't think it's waltish for professional soldiers to prepare for the worst eventuality, you might go through your whole career and never use it - but just once your co driver might map read a left turn instead of right and you're up sh!t creek. For the space it takes I think 'why not'?

I don't care too much for these things the NAAFI amongst others adorn their shelves with though.
Christ yes, reminded by whistler, I've just unearthed mine.

Sweaty Palm. Oh my word.
make your own up. did a survival ex last year and use the BCB ones, bags of shit, the issued fishing kits are quality, now have my own made one up, its the size of a cr2
Bag of shite IMHO. I never heard of anyone actually using one.

Bit of prior thought should tell you what your priorities are, probably something like:
1) Get rescued
2) Keep yourself alive for a short period of time while your waiting for 1.

Your kit should be chosen with this in mind and will probably consist of something like flares/strobe/sarbe/mobile phone/whistle etc to cover 1 and med-kit, space blanket, millbank/puritabs, etc to cover 2. Also some rats and hexi to help keep the morale up.

Personally I used to carry most of this kit anyway. Probably the only pure survival kit I used to carry regularly was the space blanket and a fire steel (in case my spare lighter stopped working).

Also you need to think about where you are. A wire saw isn't much use if there aren't any trees or fishing tackle if there aren't any fish.

Final point: I hated that tin anyway, impossible to stop it rattling and too small to fit anything inside bigger than a button compass.
Hi, I'm new here......but old.

Loads of people are giving it "yeah, but I've never known anyone use one". A bit like thermo nuclear weapons really, there just in case. Lets face it the new issue one is a nice bit of kit and it would not be available and used if it was not needed. Fine, it only gets given to SF personnel or personnel prone to capture (bit of a cost issue) so the troops make their own or buy their own. Nothing wrong with it, a baccy tin full of bits n' pieces does not an SF Trooper make, and quite frankly if I was in sniper role or frontline infantry I'd be carrying one in my jacket.

My RSM was keen on such soldierly accessories so we made and carried them - nobody called him Walt or Nigel. After my regular military service I had a mate at Uni who was big pals with Lofty Wiseman, his philosophy is that you should carry one in the car and when travelling abroad. Look at the shit in new Orleans recently and the current weather forecast there, a tin might have given the couple of extras that improve the quality of life just a tad. Ray Mears is good, but try walking around a City under martial law carrying a machete.........

I was recently asked to put a tin together for some German para's, to show them what can be carried and what can fit into a tin. They were all quite happy and impressed and are now trying to find the Boxhead equivelent of Golden Virginia so that they can smoke themselves silly before using the tin productively. The newer version of the official tin contains such goodies as mini Leathermans, space blankets and micro maglites the tin is itself purpose made and is better for brewing up in than a baccy tin ever was. If you want one they pop up on that world marketplace ebay sometimes and go for around £80...........a bit more than a B*B tin.

Cheers, Alex
Just as a point of reference. You're supposed to be able to survive from your smock. Therefore the survival tin should be in your smock, not your webbing.
Only ever used the contents of mine to supply dry matches to a smoker . and fishing kit to annoy kids by tying bag of haribo
to nylon line to dangle out of guard tower .Got lots of little bits in might come in handy sometime .


Book Reviewer
Strange topic - but I've done survival/bushcraft since I was 12 (25 years ago) you can always learn more and pack more into your tin. I started with the survival aids tin which still is a cracking bit of kit to start from and recently I transferred chinks of it to a US version of the 'ultimate survival tin adding loads of other kit. the tin impressed me as it has latches but is now so well packed that its still taped and placcy bagged. I purchased more of the tins for my FAK and my fishing/trapping kit. I guess you have to be where you need it to appreciate it.

I guess everyone is trained differently I like survival and often wander off to practise.

whats it used for in the army -

fishing/trapping when bored
sewing rips
fixing fingers
general repairs
making fires to warm and dry kit
using the cash to buy a kebab and a taxi home
occasionally to help keep me or someone else going

In mine I have loads of extra stuff for example extra fishing kit and brass wire, a roll of dental floss as fish line, strong thread or suture, nails and screw eyes for traps, gaffa tape for patching, plasters, sweets, anti histamine and general meds including antibiotics and whacko painkillers, potasium permanganate, a fresnel lens,folding scissors, small tube of puncture repair glue which goes like stink with a spark as do steret injection wipes, led light and 20 quid or local money for when the cash machine is bust. I darent list it all as it would mean unpacking it - I do have a dupicate kit tucked away just in case and a list of people I regards as usefull protein when the world ends :D

At minimum I was taught to have a knife and fire on you at all times so I carry a multitool and a big firestick on my belt. a pack of strike anywhere matches, a few plasters and some painkillers in a bag along with a survival blanket in one back pocket. my wallet in the other which has a baby sewing kit and a fresnel lens in it. thigh pockets or chest pockets take the survival and fak's. a few other bits and bobs dot my person like a small bar of soap, packs of brew kit, kfc clean up wipes some tissues, sweets, gum etc... I was taught that combat survival was just getting home again regardless of how you do it. survival is staying alive in adverse conditions, bushcraft is being comfy in such situations and is usefull for padding out boily meals with a few extra vitamins and some fibre. A mini book is also usefull incase you have to go somewhere different.

the american system is to split the contents of the fak and surv kits into two equally usefull packets so you can still make a fire should you lose one of them.

for effect and to look the rambo part I have a modified buckmaster which I aquired from a seal back in '89 or a kukri which lives in the bergan :D

this topic is often misused as a walt free fire zone but it has serious overtones - we are taught to improvise, modify, adapt and overcome - its easier with the right kit and they dont issue everything to us like the yanks. back in the cold war days we were expected to survive should we be overrun and unable to get back home or even got lost on a nav ex pre mobile phone days.

I've done loads of ops/ftx's with nupties more interested in beer to sort their kit out properly. how many have you all seen with their balls hanging out after a bad scaling of a barbed wire fence and no housewife to deal with it or 200 fags but only half a box of matches or only 1 water bottle.

I admit that it meant I carried some redundant kit and its extra weight and still do but savings can be made elsewhere.

Its packed tight but if I need it I'll use it its not just a survival kit but more like pocket webbing and goes most places with me if I have a big enough pocket.

sorry its a long one but I get carried away sometimes :D
ukiri said:
4(T) said:
Best to make up your own out of decent quality items. Hard to imagine any circumstances when you might need it, though. I only really carried mine in the jungle (in the days before GPS!) and flights over barren areas. World has changed since the survival needs of WW2 and the 50s campaigns - these days you can be in any jungle or wilderness and only have to walk 10 minutes in any direction to bump into a group of locals wearing Coca-Cola teeshirts.....
unlike those scroats who got lost in tailand i think a couple of years a go, in some lost world crack in the ground for about 3 weeks
What, the British Army exped up Mt Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia that ended up getting lost and stranded in Lowe's Gully? RLC officers and HK Mil Service guys left behind by the NCOs who walked out to get help? They were screwed well before they even set foot in the Ulu, poor planning, inexperience and over confidence so that a survival tin may not have done them much use. But alls well at the end of the day, every one was rescued, no fatalities.
The irony is that "survival kits" are probably now more relevant than ever before, 'cos the RAF & Movers will have stripped you of all of your belt kit/pointy objects/ pencils/ food & water before you get on the C130 for your hazardous trip...... Come to think of it, the last survival situation I was in was a 17-hr stopover in Akrotiri "departures" with no sustenance other than water from the washbasins in the bogs....
Movers would probably confisciate any survival kit as well as it had matches
and possibly sharp pointy things .
plus looks gucci and could be flogged on ebay:)
personally all those horredous survival stories you never here anyone going fortunatly ihad my survival tin so obviously they work :)
carry one guarentee never to need it
bit like waterproofs pack them look forward to heat wave leave them behind torrential rain
whistler said:
I used to be with an EW unit and as they were deemed 'prone to capture' everyone had them - in fact it was Regimental SOP.

Of course PRI sold them but most of the guys made their own. It was CO's TD for everyone to partake in survival training and conduct after capture techniques annually and we had a load of instructors too.
Ah, Sweaty Palm... a survival tin was useful, 50DM shoved up your back passage*, even more so!

student_grant said:
Maybe its a bit waltish but so what, I'd want to encourage my kids to be interested in the outdoors and things like that rather than be glued to the Xbox or whatever. Its also a good idea to practise using the stuff in it in case you might actually use it
Get The Dangerous Book for Boys by Hal and Conn Iggulden - teaches kids to climb trees, make catapults, navigate by the stars etc as well as being full of tales of derring do. Great book.

*waterproofed, of course.
Make your own


Kit Reviewer
Yes Black Nasty the most wonderfull bit of kit, combined with green string you can fix/make anything and im sure survive indefinately.

This claim may not actually be true and i accept no responsabillity(sp?) whatsover for any deaths resulting from one's over reliance on the above mentioned materials.
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