A good friend of mine recently separated from the military to pursue new adventures. I wanted to put something together for him, but the cookie-cutter military shadow-box has always seemed sorta lame to me… A bit like getting someone a gift card to Walmart, in a way. There’s gotta be a better way to celebrate a man’s military experience. Well, a while back a couple of us stumbled upon this gem: The Gentleman’s Survival Kit. Pretty solid work there, pscmpf! Ever since, I had been building one in my head. Now I had the perfect excuse to execute!
I present: The Tactical Gentleman’s Survival Kit.
Cheesy name, but fitting, don’t ya think?
Cool! How’d you make that?
I found the vintage briefcase on eBay. It’s in nearly perfect shape, and even has the keys. I cut a piece of beech wood board to size, and, after collecting all the items I wanted to display, I arranged and traced them on the board. Then, I used a Dremel with a Multi-Purpose Cutting Kit to cut out the shapes. After sanding and finishing with Danish Oil, I installed the leather straps with line snaps from Tandy Leather. Underneath the board is a piece of dense foam from an old Pelican Case. I cut out the shapes and depths required, then covered it with a piece of black cloth (to make it look extra classy). Finally, I attached the flag and accoutrements to the briefcase’s divider, and secured it to the inside of the lid.
So what about the components?
I’d say that the pièce de résistance is the ESEE Survival knife. This particular model is limited edition and was customized for the Airman, but you can get a hold of a standard model here: ESEE Model 5 Survival Fixed Blade Knife. It’s a well designed and tough survival knife that even has a depression in the handle to be used as a socket for a bow and drill. The waterproof match case is a standard mil-issue and includes waterproof matches, a button compass, and a flint striker. Inside the shorty mason jar is some cut pieces of pitch wood (fat wood) for tinder. A tasty selection from Romeo y Julieta is sealed inside the aluminum tubo, and there is a healthy portion of Bulleit bourbon for when morale is low. Oh, and CMMG’s Tactical Bacon— just because it’s freakin’ awesome.
Thanks for checking out my Tactical Gentleman’s Survival Kit! I’m really happy with how it turned out, and will probably keep my eye on eBay for a couple more vintage briefcases– now I want one for myself =). I’d love to hear what you think! Comment below with questions about how to make one of these, or with a link to something similar that you have made.
**Disclosure: I added a few Amazon Associate links to this post. If you click through them, and end up buying something, then I will get a small commission. There is no price difference for you, and it helps me cover costs of web-hosting and such. =)