The Gentleman’s Survival kit – what is it and do you really need one? Well, the purpose of this kit is blatantly obvious as the name suggests. But then again, what a man needs during a bug out situation or emergency varies depending on both the man and the current circumstances. The survival situation could range from what you would need for a long road trip to a full on Bear Grylls wilderness self-rescue deal.
The fact that you’re here means you’ve already decided to make your own survival kit. The million dollar question is, what are you going to put in it? For this, we take the keywords Gentleman and Survival to craft a kit that captures the best of both worlds. This YouTube video here by Fred Saxton captures what is perhaps the best (compromise) version of man gear.
Not only does it show you exactly how to make one, it also includes all the necessities and vices men would need in a broad range of situations.
Making your own kit
Before we get to the details of what’s going in your kit, you have to make one first. Sure, you can find a lot of regular outdoor survival gear for sale, but no one’s really selling true gentleman survival kits. So if you want one, you’ll have to DIY. Fortunately, it’s a very easy process. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Find a vintage briefcase or a second hand suitcase in good condition
- Screw an old piece of plywood to the bottom to create a sturdy base
- Next, find two 20mm thick, flat boards that will go over the base
- Using a jigsaw, cut out the shapes and curves for whatever you intend to put in the case
- Feel free to test out different layouts and templates for everything (bottles, cigars, hatchet)
- Next, join more boards to make the sides of your now shaped out flat board to make the briefcase more sturdy
- Once that’s done, screw or nail in some straps to hold your man gear in place even when the case is inverted
- Add in the board work to your briefcase and screw in some hinges – don’t forget the closing mechanism on the outside as well
- Your Gentleman’s survival kit is ready to pack
What to put in your gentleman’s survival kit
Knowing all that we do about gentlemen, it’s clear that they wouldn’t like to get dirty or uncomfortable – no matter the situation. As such, everything you put in your kit should be aimed at keeping you safe, comfortable, and dapper. We’ll draw from Freddie’s version which seems to capture about 90% of most men’s needs and vices.
The right side of the suitcase is meant to carry the survival aspect of your kit. This could include things like a hatchet, kindling tin and matches, a Leatherman tool, icepick, gun, bullets, flares, first aid kit, snake oil bottle, a bar of soap, pocket knife, a compass as well as anything you would need in an outdoor situation. Here, the only limit is the availability of space.
The left side of your case on the other hand, is meant to capture the entertainment part of the kit. Here, you can add things like a deck of cards, a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of bourbon or whiskey, cash, a harmonica, devices, some condoms, a Playboy magazine and a tin with contraband (choose your vice).
The Gentleman’s survival kit is more or less a collection of amazing man materials packed creatively into a briefcase. The fact that you can’t buy one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to reap the benefits that come with a bug out bag. Now, will the case help you survive a serious emergency i.e lost in the Amazon?
Not as efficiently for the space it takes up. However, at least you’ll go out in style and fashion like a gentleman should. So whether you want to optimise your kit for a Bear Grylls kind of situation or go the other way and turn it into a party go bag, it’s completely up to you.