Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Trauma Kit




"Stop holes, plug holes, make holes. Make sure you carry some damn medical supplies on yourself..."


"... All men are made of water, do you know this? If you pierce them, the water leaks, and they die."
- Syrio Forel

"May this be of no use"
- Aradesh giving The Vault Dweller an IFAK (Fallout 1)

"You can never have too many tourniquets"
- Rene Dolar, US Army Ranger


Medical gear was one of the top things on our list when we began this journey. I'm preparing for the unlikely event that we may need urgent medical care. It can happen anytime before or during SHTF. Not only should your home have them, they're a must-have for your emergency bags.

We shall focus on 4 Kinds of Trauma Kits. All of these were designed to address massive bleeding and airway management.

I. Condor Rip-Away EMT Pouch

I first saw it on a video by Ultimate Survival Tips back in 2016. That video was about his 25 pound combat survival loadout. Another awesome guy who used this is Skinny Medic. He's a longtime favorite YouTuber of mine.

Tell you honestly its huge. Look how my hand barely grasps the whole thing.

The others are smol by comparison. 

This is big on value for your hard-earned money. I won't put it on my chest rig because of the sheer size. And you know how bags get. The bigger they are, the more you will be tempted to fill it up.

The good thing however is that you can tear if off any bag that uses MOLLE panels for quick access. This big fat pouch serves as our trauma and all-around medical supply bag for the family bug out bag. That's basically our large backpack that has a week's worth of supplies plus this medical gear.

Contents:
4x 6-inch Israeli Bandages
2x nasopharyngeal airway
2x Quick Clot
2x CAT Tourniquets
4x HYFIN Chest Seals
2x Celox Hemostat Gauze
lots of sterile gauze
trauma shears
small flashlight
Sharpie pen
gloves
+general boo-boo kit like band-aids, ibuprofen, diatabs, moleskin tapes, etc.


II. Condor Rip-Away EMT Lite

This is attached to my personal 3-Day Assault Pack. If I need to go somewhere and do something important and dangerous for a few days, this is the backpack that I take with me.

The Lite has the perfect balance of size and carrying capacity. I highly recommend this kind of pouch as it can fit even on your EDC bag. There is no reason why you should not have one of these on you.

Despite the Gucci crowd's disdain for anything Condor, I stand by this product.

In fact, I am giving it my SEAL OF APPROVAL. Consider this a very positive review for this product from yours truly.

This was once on my first battle belt before I replaced it. This is still of my most portable and useful pouches for any tactical situation.

Contents:
1 CAT Tourniquet
1x 4-inch Israeli Bandage
1x Z-Pack Dressing
2x Hyfin Chest Seals (compact)
1x nasopharyngeal airway
1x Celox Hemostat Gauze
gloves


III. Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit NOW! Micro

Living at the center of my battle belt is the highest-speed & lowest-drag item in my collection. I needed to put the smallest possible trauma kit to keep the belt as light as possible. Its only downsize is that its too small to hold a CAT Tourniquet so I have a separate pouch dedicated to that one TQ on my belt. I have two more on my plate carrier and a pair of trauma shears.

Its so small and well-built, I love it.

Contents:

1x 4-inch Israeli Bandage
1x Hyfin Chest Seal (it actually contains a pair for entry and exit)
1x nasopharyngeal airway
1x Celox Hemostat Gauze
gloves



This was my very first pouch. Back when it was new, naysayers criticized it for being too small to contain what people thought was needed for an IFAK.

I didn't see it that way. I liked how it was narrow as opposed to being fat and wide. 3 years ago, it was normal to see some dudes put the big fat Condor EMT Pouch on the sides of their chest rigs. I never liked the idea of having a "built in arm rest".

What people didn't get was this particular pouch was intended for severe trauma. In our case, bullet holes. That's more specific compared with the traditional US Army IFAK. That means you can carry what you need to address massive bleeding and airway management in a relatively small package.

Again this is ideal for battle belts, chest rigs, and backpacks. Its also easy to remove and pass around to those who need it. One is none, and two is one.

With my setup, it can basically carry what the EMT Lite can PLUS an additional Israeli Bandage. Its an underrated product and the build quality is the usual top notch from this brand. The TQ is also INSIDE the pouch, something that the Blue Force Gear offering cannot do. 


V. Summary

Your medkits should serve a specific purpose, and size is one of the biggest factors on how they will be used. Check out this photo for size and content comparison. Over the years I've had enough opportunities to bring them around and we have settled on the most useful contents for each.


Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the IFAK has come a long way. Today's standards are now mission-specific and minimalist. The contents have also evolved to fit smaller and lighter kits. This allows for more flexibility to address a wider variety of needs. There are more tourniquets, hemostatic agents, and bandages than even 3 years ago.

That's good news for family-oriented survivalists like you and me. I've tailored our gear according to each member's level of training and we do practice how to use each item on a regular basis.

Make sure to have duplicates that are within reach like putting them in EDC bags, your car, or at your workplace. An emergency can strike at any time.

I really hope this serves as a reminder to not neglect medical equipment in your preparations.



Stay vigilant!



Saturday, June 15, 2019

That '70s Nurse!

I never really cared much about medical stuff until I became a family man. My mom was a '70s nurse and we had it good. We always had a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. She never panicked if we had to deal with something a little worse than the usual boo-boo. 

We saved on countless trips to the hospital for sure!

From time to time I'd show her this little blog, and she'd be amused. She's also my #1 source of medical expertise. Head Nurse is a formidable qualification anywhere in the world, be it the battlefield or at home. 

Like most 80's kids, owning a BMX and a nearby village park meant that mom dealt with all this normal stuff:

  • road rashes
  • cuts
  • lacerations
  • at least 3 burns from a bonfire
  • firecrackers
  • rusty nails
  • dog bites
  • eye injury
  • slingshot hits
  • bee stings
  • a black eye
  • minor infections


Throw in the mumps, diarrhea, chicken pox, measels, and other fun things that children would catch at least once in their lives back then. 

It was a different time.

Mom's not always the nurturing type and we'd get yelled at from time to time if we had some injury that needed her help. 

Trust me, us kids were asking for it most of the time. We were after all Steve-O's generation of fools acting like Delta Commandos in the back yard. 

Crashing our bikes wasn't unusual, it was fairly commonplace. That meant we had to clean & dress our own scrapes so she won't get mad on a weekly basis. 

All this exposure to her expertise also meant we knew how to take care of ourselves and not get freaked out over "a little blood".

*****

And so here I am, all grown up with my own wife and kid to look after. Back when this blog was new I spent most of my time obsessing over food supplies, weapons, and fighting skills. I got my First Responder certificate and gained more skills over the years. Thankfully, my mom likes the newfangled trauma kits we have today. 

There were no chest seals and CAT tourniquets back then. She does know how to deal with tension pneumothorax from the gunshot wounds, massive bleeding, and stabbings from her days at the ER. "Skills over equipment" as some experts like to say, and they're not interchangeable!

                                                                            *****

I just wanted to share this parenting stuff 'coz my boomer folks are the best. They've got the skills we gen X-ers, millenials, and the Yeet generation need to survive WTSHTF.



Stay vigilant!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Outbreak Alert: Pay Attention



the article can be found here

Live life in Condition Yellow. I've been keeping tabs on the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control for years, mainstream media, and a small network of reputable insiders. By the time they're throwing a fit over it, it will be too late.

Now look at this article:
Try to see what its telling you and not telling you. 

A clearer picture will develop when you get around the headlines

Seek out non-traditional sources but look out for conspiracy junk

Good information is ammunition 

You can never have too much ammo!

*****

Long ago people would keep charms filled with oils like thieves, cloves, or frankincense to ward off disease in the air.

Fake News was also the weapon of charlatans since time immemorial.

And all of this has come back with a vengeance thanks to social media. Its really bad for the brain. Like zombies.

So do you have a plan? What can go wrong in your area and the countermeasures against them? Its 2019. You should have done something concrete by now.

Come on, lets get you back to work.





As Roland the Gunslinger said: "Head clear. Mouth shut. See much. Say little..."


Stay vigilant!




Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Battle Belt


click to enlarge


I prefer to call this piece of kit by its funky nickname: the Boogaloo Belt. Many moons ago I devised a makeshift one composed of stuff that collected over the years. It was relatively low on my "to-do" list but I'm very happy that I finally put this one together. 

What's it for? Its a rig that holds my secondary weapon, extra magazines, and a trauma kit.

*****

THE OLD: 
My previous system used to have a Serpa holster (cringe away), nylon-buckled condor belt, a few soft 5.11 magazine pouches, maxpedition drop pouch, and a Condor rip-away mini trauma kit. Of all the items on that old rig, that last one was actually very good.  All this stuff didn't match but they'd get the job done. I'll say it again: the Condor Rip-Away Mini is solid, you damn elitists.

I could plug holes, make holes, and keep my pants from falling.

THE NEW: 
This is as high-speed & low-drag as you could get. I really wanted to add a knife, tomahawk, and second AR15 magazine pouch to this but I stood my ground. Perhaps I'll add one last pouch behind the holster and move my Leatherman over there from my plate carrier. 

One of my goals was to reduce the weight on my hips, and I've succeeded. 

*****

click to enlarge

Components: 

HSGI Cobra Belt with velcro inner belt
2 HSGI polymer taco pistol magazine pouches
1 HSGI polymer  taco AR15 magazine
Voodoo Tactical tourniquet pouch that holds 1 CAT tourniquet and trauma shears
Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit Now Mini: standard trauma kit inside
Safariland QLS system holding a mid-ride 6004 series holster

That itty-bitty trauma kit packs a ton in a miniscule pouch that you could tug from the left or right side. Its soft and flat enough that I can sit down in a car and not have anything poking my back.



Firearm: Para-Ordnance P16.40
Capacity: 18 rounds
Caliber: .40 S&W

This is my old competition pistol from 1997. To clarify, I used it from 2008 to 2014. It has never let me down. I can run it hard for over 1000 rounds without cleaning. Its utterly reliable, accurate, and has light recoil. We put a Bar-Sto match barrel in there too. 

*****

I've run competition holsters for nearly a decade and really appreciate the sturdiness of this Safariland system. The QLS lets me unhook the holster from the Han Solo style thigh rig. That leg strap also keeps things very stable with all the running I've done.

Having a belt like this allows me bring it anywhere. Try to fit those other heavier ones in a backpack, mine can.

I can't emphasize "lightweight" enough. My main strength as a fighter is speed. I'm fleet of foot compared to a lot of guys and I'm going to make the most out of it.

My tests have proven that it is indeed sturdy and gives me no movement penalties whatsoever. Heck yeah I love this thing, lets rock!


Stay vigilant!