Altoids Survival Tin | Firestarter

Camping Hacks

This camping hack doubles up as a wonderful survival tool! Turn an old altoids box into a long-lasting and reusable emergency firestarter in just a few easy steps. All you need is some cardboard, paraffin wax and an empty altoids tin.


Prepare your firestarter

Gather everything you need to assemble the firestarter. Next cut the cardboard into thin strips. The width should be just wide enough to fit into the bottom of the altoids tin. Bend and fold these strips until the entire bottom of the altoids container has been filled, you want enough cardboard strips to pack the tin snugly but with room for wax to fill the voids.


Assemble the emergency firestarter

Melt the paraffin wax on a stove using a double boiler (or improvised double boiler, as shown here). Be careful not get wax everywhere, it’s very easy to make a giant mess. Next carefully spoon the melted wax into the container, making sure to evenly coat the cardboard and fill the voids. You want the wax to fill the tin about half to two-thirds. Set aside to allow wax to cool.


Test your new altoids survival tin

Once the wax has dried, you have completed your emergency altoid firestarter. Burn time will vary depending on construction and amount of wax used. You should be able to get 5-10 minutes without difficulty. This firestarter is reusable, simply close the lid to extinguish the flames. It will easily catch fire again. If you plan on using the tin more than once, make sure to keep it level for a few minutes after each use or you will spill wax.  Also, a helpful tip we’ve found is to tape a few strike anywhere matches to the inside of the lid.