The “Curiously Strong Mints” seen at many checkout stands have actually been made since the 1700s, and the handy little tins they come in have been manufactured by Altoids since the 1920s. Very little has changed about the handy boxes with the hinged lids.
There is just something about these small, rectangular tins that make them difficult to throw away. “There’s got to be something I can make with this,” says the handy DIYer. There is.
Altoid tins can be made into a variety of nifty, portable tool kits. They include mini survival or prepper kits, fishing gear kits, spice kits, and even containers for mini travel games. Furthermore, each tin will be very personal. One person’s first aid kit will not look exactly like another or hold the same items.
These six kits are specific to campers and RVers and contain little items that tend to disappear inside larger containers, drawers, or storage bins. The kits are made from the larger Altoids tins and not the smaller, travel-sized tins named “Smalls.”
If you decide to make a bunch of little kits, it’s also helpful to mark which one is which. Cover the tins with fabric or label them with tape.
1. First aid kit
One of the more popular things to make with unused Altoids tins is a first aid kit. These can be kept in an RV bathroom cabinet for quick access or in a pocket, backpack, or vehicle glove compartment.
Each kit will be different, but the most common things to keep are bandages, antibacterial wipes, first aid ointment, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medication. Also be sure to keep a needle for splinters, a razor blade, and a small pair of scissors.
2. Electronics/Wiring kit
Small electronic items such as earbuds, flash drives, charging cords, and adapter cords tend to wander away or hide in larger storage compartments. Keep these items separate and contained in a regular-sized Altoids tin.
Roll up each wire and use a small zip tie to keep them curled up. This type of kit is also a good place to store fuses used in both RVs and tow vehicles.
3. Fire starting kit
The fire starting kit might be one of the most useful kits for outdoor recreation. This kit can include a small BIC lighter, waterproof matches, or a magnesium striker. Also, include some dryer lint (makes a good starter) or Vaseline and wax-soaked cotton balls. Tinder-Quik also makes some tiny, waterproof tinder that burns for over two minutes.
4. Key kit
Some RV keychains can get a little heavy. With keys for both RV and vehicle doors, lock boxes, gas caps, storage closets, etc., having too many keys can make camping more complicated than it really should be. Use an Altoids tin to hold duplicate keys or keys that are rarely used. Be sure to mark which key goes where.
5. Picnic table kit
If you are familiar with RVing and camping, nearly every campsite has a picnic table where the majority of outdoor cooking, eating, and hangouts are located. Having a picnic table kit in an Altoid tin can be useful for various reasons.
The kit can hold small BIC lighters for lighting the outdoor stove or the campfire, single packs of salt or pepper for last-minute food seasoning, or extra mantles for outdoor propane lamps. In addition, not every picnic table is in the best or cleanest shape. This little kit is also a nice place to keep individual antibacterial wipes to wipe down surfaces or dirty hands.
6. Laundromat kit
Having access to a campground or RV resort laundromat is an easy way to keep clothes clean while traveling. Having a small laundry kit is also handy.
Altoids tins make an excellent holder for all those quarters you’ll need to use. Keep this kit in an RV laundry basket along with other supplies such as soap and dryer sheets.