The Survival Tin – A Basic Essential

Here we have another survival article from ex SAS soldier Bob Podesta.  This one is about the importance of the humble survival tin and how to make your own.

Survival is all about being prepared and our top tip this week is to encourage you to start putting together your own survival tin.

A vital part of Bob’s SAS Selection was the survival instruction he received from the Regiment’s own ‘training wing.’ This involved learning how to survive on your own, outside in all climates, with little or no available tools to help.


From building beds and shelters, starting fires, hunting and preparing food, Bob was given the knowledge that would help keep him alive if he found himself in a wilderness alone.

One vital instruction that Bob received was to carry items on him at all times that could aid him in a survival situation.

The same principle can help you too. If you regularly go walking and camping, and if you haven’t already done so, then we would definitely recommend that you organize a survival tin to take with you on your adventures.

There are many commercial survival tins on the market that you can look at. We recommend BCB survival tins as a great starting point. A standard tin contains over 20 useful items which you can see in the photo below.

Better still why not make your own personalized tin from scratch. Here’s how.


To start with you’ll need a tin. You don’t want anything too big (approx 11cm x 8cm x 3cm) – you’ve got be able to carry it easily. You also need it to seal well so that the contents stays dry. A tobacco tin is ideal.



Now comes the fun part. You need to fill the tin with as many useful items that you can think of and of course they need to be small enough to fit in the tin and give you enough room for everything else. If an item has more than one use then even better.

The great thing about making up your own tin is that you can make sure it will be of most use to you.

Here are some ideas for your tin: –

Cotton wool
Alcohol wipes
Sterilization tablets
Button compass
Razor blades
Wire saw
Needles, pins, safety pins
Fishing line

Remember as well as a container for all your items; the tin itself even has multiple uses – polish up the inside of the lid to make a heliograph for signaling; use to collect and boil water; punch a hole in the lid, and the tin can be used to prepare char cloth.

Do you already have a survival tin? Why not share a photo of it with us.

Bob Podesta
‘A’ Squadron Ltd

If you want to know more about Bob and A-Squadron here’s a few links:


If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival Facebook page

If you have a good story to tell or blog let us know about it on our FB page, we’re also happy for article or review submissions, we’d love to hear from you.

We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all with the Outdoor


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival