Monday, May 14, 2012

Boiling water/Food Prep in Altoids Tin...Practical?

I see a lot of discussion and thoughts behind using the Altoids Tin as a Personal Survival Kit container. I'll be honest, I'm not fan.. Over the next few weeks I will discuss the many reasons why I am against it. I know many of you guys out there probably use the tin for your Personal Survival kit. I'm not asking you to change that, I just ask that you open your mind to different options.

Boiling water and Food preparation are always one of the key points to using this type of container. So I tested these theories. On average an Altoids Tin holds 2 oz's of water. That is not a lot of water, and this would pose significant problems if you had no other water storage container. So you would have to boil numerous tin sized amounts for any sort of hydration. Also the effort of retrieving and boiling the water would outweigh any significant gains-especially depending on the environment.

I used my MSR Pocket Rocket to boil the water in the Altoids Tin and it took around 3-4 minutes. You also may or may not (depending upon your environment) lose some of this precious water to evaporation - having to boil water longer depending on your altitude to purify it. For example, it is recommended that you boil water for an extra minute for every 1,000 ft over 10,000 ft above sea level (just hope your not in the mountains when your relying on this). So basically it comes down to you using more water (sweat) to purify such a small amount of water per boiling process.

As you can see this is not a very efficient way of fighting the battle of dehydration. You would be better served at packing water purification tablets in your kit, than relying on this method. In my worst case scenario; I would drink questionable water and gamble with sickness than die of dehydration. The saying goes "I would rather be found sick than dead from dehydration". That's just my opinion.

Food preparation is a whole other animal. I've read comments about cooking in an Altoids Tin. This would be inefficient - the animal/fish would have to be extremely small. I've also seen about the tin being a way to make soup out of your game. Making 2 oz of soup doesn't seem satisfying. Any game or fish you could cook over fire (i.e. spit roasting, smoking, etc). Need I say more.

If you feel that the Altoids Tin can serve you in water purification and food preparation, by all means keep using it. But in our opinion these methods just don't hold water. No pun intended.

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