View Full Version : Vials, Containers, and the ILK

2007-05-22, 16:06
So you have all of these small items (such as pills) that you deem necessary for a safe and comfortable trip, but how do you organize them?

What have you found to be the best method for carrying your first aid items? Surely you don't carry a full bottle of sun screen...

Or what about spices/condiments that you carry in your mess?

Do you use small plastic vials to carry these sorts of items. How do you organize? Where is the best place (that you have found) to get small containers to get the job done?

Currently I carry a small Altoid tin for my pills, film canisters, spent prescription pill bottles..etc.etc. What about water proof containers?

2007-05-22, 17:39
The lightest truly waterproof container I know of is a breast milk storage bag, I keep my first aid stuff in these, all of the bags stowed in a stuff sack. It is organized and waterproof. Nalgene sells all sizes of pill vials, REI and campmor carry a variety of them. Gossamer gear carries some tiny vials. There are also some "super-ziplocs" called Alosaks, something like the breast milk bag, in a variety of sizes.

2007-05-22, 21:44
Hmmmmmmmm, I am reminded of this thread (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2271&highlight=condom) from a while back. Would this option be taking multi use to far?????

2007-05-22, 22:43
Not really, condoms pretty much suck as survival implements, they don't even do a very good job at their intended purpose.

2007-05-23, 00:04
I agree, sort of like Les Stroud whipping out the corn chips to help along his fire in the desert. (Repeat-in the desert, like he really needed those corn chips to start a fire....) He was even talking about the importance of using his magnesium shavings sparingly! Sparingly? For crying out loud, a person could shave one of those magnesium blocks for a week and not come close to running out of magnesium. On the other hand, I do not trust the flint side of that equasion... Sometimes I think folks like the hype or shocking others with the alternate uses of items we would not normally associate with survival. IE: when was the last time you were lost in the wilderness and found a 9 volt battery and steel wool in your pocket? Huh? Come on.... Sorry for the gripe...

As far as containers go, I use snack size ziplock bags on all that small stuff. Any dry goods... Fluids and cremes pose a problem, they just don't make those little vials small enough IMHO.

2007-05-23, 01:07
I collect containers whenever I find them.
I'm using film canisters, old pill bottles, recycled motel shampoo bottles, spice containers, etc.

I found out a long time ago that a large syringe (with no needle) is an invaluable aid in refilling these.
I buy my syringes at the feed store - they're meant to be used on livestock.

I keep my bar soap in a cloth bag that makes into a small shelf and hooks to a tree (I don't think I've ever posted anything about it on the board - as soon as I make a drawing I'll post it in homemade gear).
I use bar soap for almost all my cleaning - body, clothes, and dishes.

2007-05-23, 19:51
I know Sgathak isnt here anymore to flame me with this.

But I second the motion that condoms aren't up to snuff as a reliable container.

I love using good old gerber 12oz baby bottle bags. They are stronger, last longer, and can take direct contact with boiling water. I would go so far as to call them the next best step towards crazy uber ultralight if you wanted something even lighter than platy bottles.

2007-05-25, 11:04
For individual pills and other small items, I use the small plastic snapcups from REI:


I mark each one for its contents, then carry them all in a ziplock bag for further wterproofing.


2007-05-25, 22:46
Available, but the price is now $3.69 for 50. :albertein


Found the same bags at Walmart, but only $1.29 for 50 bags. They are made by the same manufacturer, but they are a lighter weight plastic.

2007-06-23, 22:46
backpackinglight.com has some really small bottles & vials.
and i recently started using one of the smallest (1/2oz i think) bottles that had hand sanitizer in it to carry bio soap. the lid just flips up so you don't loose it, & it don't leak so you can carry it in your pocket or where ever. ...tim

2007-06-24, 10:03
I try and keep the number of smaller containers to a minimum by putting similar things in the same container, even food sometimes, like raisins and almonds. You can always pick them out if you want one but not the other. I will also nest smaller containers into larger containers for organization even though this is somewhat less efficient volume wise. I like a simple trash-can type pack with only one pocket on top maybe, and one mesh pocket maybe. Also I like the idea of a front pack with two water bottles. This is a good setup for light hiking weights and allows some organization with smaller denser navigation and cooking stuff and water and food in front, and less dense shelter and sleeping and clothes and more food in back. The really small stuff would be in front then. I wouldn't want to have more than 5-7 items in there, so I would have maybe 3-4 items and 2-3 containers, and one of these containers might contain a bunch of smaller items and smaller containers. I like combining first-aid and repairs and sewing into one kit, but usually keep that stuff separate from my firemaking and cooking stuff I use all the time. I like stashing minilighters in more than one place though, and for some reason I carry matches and use those first, with a candle to save on matches.

2008-01-23, 14:39
Maybe this will help somebody. I found it useful.