So my wife is pregnant with our first child. We don't know the gender yet, but regardless of the gender, I want to prepare a kit that is to be kept within an Altoids tin, along the lines of what is discussed in the AoM posts found below:

22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin

How to Create Your Own Rites of Passage

I intend to give this kit to our child when he/she turns 12 years old, as part of a sort of rite of passage, but I want to be thinking of these things now so that I can put more thought into it and have it ready for that day.

I know that I want to include things like a pocket knife and a Rite In The Rain notebook, but what other kit items would you men include that represent specific life lessons? What would you include and why?

Obviously, since we don't know the gender of our baby yet, things should be applicable to either boys or girls, but I see no harm in giving the items a lean towards males. This is a manliness website after all. Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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You might consider preparing two tins -- one for a boy and one for a girl.

For the boy's tin, I would assemble key EDC items.  Pocketknife is spot on.  And the notebook.  Maybe add a small Fischer space pen, a keychain, and a quality handkerchief.  Doubt you can fit a wallet.  A pocket flashlight might also work.

For the girl, I have no idea.  Earrings? 

I'd give a girl the same things as I would a boy, in this case. My niece loves camping, fishing, etc. 

pocketknife, mini-fishing kit (line, sinkers, hooks and soemthing to wrap the line around). mini-flashlight, firestarter striker bar, spacepen, micro notebook... etc. All options. 

Would it be cheating to wait until you know the sex? Don't get anything that will be ridiculously obsolete twelve years from now like the paracord fad or ever-evolving technology. Try to go for timeless things.

Here's some good things to add, some of which you already mentioned:

Zippo lighter (possibly engraved with a quotation or Bible verse)

Pocket knife

A cross necklace perhaps, if you are religious (just make sure it's not girly)

Waterproof notepad

A house key, if you don't give one sooner and don't plan on moving

A note to your future child

I always carry a Zippo lighter. I don't smoke but fire is one of those primal things a man should carry.

Totally agree.

By the way, if you decide on a religious necklace, I suggest James Avery.  I have several pieces from them.

I personally love the idea of a zippo lighter. I own two myself. I'm not a smoker, but I'm big on preparedness and being able to light a fire is an important skill. I don't think my wife would approve of a lighter however.

We are a religious family. We were both raised and are active in the Mormon faith. The issue with religious necklaces is that Mormons don't really wear crosses. We're not opposed to them. It's just not something we do. Most religious jewelry we wear is given around ages eight or eighteen anyway. Maybe there is something there that might work though.

I think a note is a great idea! I hadn't really thought to do something like that. I always intended to have a sit down with the child to explain what each item represented, but a note from me to them, possibly written the day they were born, would be an amazing addition!

Ok, so this is just my own take. First off, I'd nix the pocket knife idea. Many reasons for this, most importantly because knife safety and use should really be a separate lesson and discussion. Also, if you want this to be a daily carry item, you cant have them taking a knife to school. (I carried a knife in school all my life, but times are different now.)

I've seen DIY videos on mounting USB  drives/chargers into a tin in a similar manner, might be useful in a variety of situations. Also, if there is a file on the thumb drive with names, addresses, phone numbers, allergies, medical conditions, etc... that could be invaluable to first-responders who might need such information. 

Otherwise, filling it with First-aid items, aspirin, band aids, allergy medicine, etc... I'm a huge proponent of para-cord, but you can make those into bracelets and such for easier carry.

While I think this is intended to be more of a coming-of-age gift rather than an EDC kit, I do think that a thumb drive filled with important stuff would be cool.  With the storage you can easily get these days you could fill it with world classics, religious texts, and probably even the archives of AoM!

It definitely is more of a coming of age gift, but partly EDC. I'm an Eagle Scout, and have no plans not to involve my children in Scouting. In my faith boys join the Boy Scouts between eleven and twelve years old, but our youth, boys or girls, are not considered children but young men or young women at age twelve. The boys also join the priesthood at this age, which is my biggest reason why I've chosen to do this at twelve instead of eleven.

I do intend to include a pocket knife of some sort, though it will be clear that a knife is not to be EDC until they have graduated high school and are legal adults.

I'd love to find a way to include hard copies of religious texts, perhaps just a list of some of my favorite scriptures, but my faith has many more books than just the Bible, and fitting it all into a file on a thumb drive is not exactly a convenient method to carry them, especially with the many great apps out there that do a much better job.

I could include some files of our family history though, so they could see where they come from.

Makes me wonder if there is a way to run the LDS Gospel Library app off a thumb drive.  The church does have "servicemen's" editions of the scriptures that are quite small, but not Altoid's tin small.

Maybe add a CTR ring.  By 12 most of us have lost any we got during Primary, but they are still nice.

Maybe a (school-legal) keychain multi-tool.  I have a Nite-Eyes Doohickey on my keychain.

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