A couple of years ago, I shared my parts list and rationale for building a blow-out / individual first aid / individual trauma kit. That kit has largely remained unchanged over the years, but circumstances for me have changed.
First, I have a toddler and the efficacy of windlass-style tourniquets on smaller-diameter limbs is… hotly debated:
Second, I now work full time, and I have discovered both that it is far easier to carry my original kit on my backpack than my belt, and that if I do that, I am really bad about remembering to take it off my pack and put it back on my belt over the weekend or whatnot.
So it seemed time for a new, additional kit.
I went back to the Maxpedition PHP I already had on-hand from the last build, and added the following:
- A SWAT-T tourniquet.
- One of the two individually-sealed QuickClot 3″x24″ gauze strips in this package.
- A CPR face shield.
- Two nitrile gloves.
- And one of my home-made flat-wraps of duct-tape.
The end result is something small enough to almost not be noticeable on your belt, while capable enough to handle some situations.
Is this version as capable as the original kit? Of course not. It has less hemostatic gauze, less duct tape, a tourniquet that can be less reliable on adults, and it lacks the compression bandage I added to the larger kit after it started living full-time on my backpack.
But, as with the first kit, there is a balance to be struck between “it can do everything”, and “I will carry it every day”. A kit that does everything, but gets left in the car or at home because it is just too big and cumbersome, will probably not end up saving any lives. And when it comes to these kinds of kits, the life you save might be your own.
So, if you do not carry a tourniquet, why not? The above kit costs ~$60, and training is readily available. There is no downside to carrying such a kit – this particular one is even metal-detector friendly – and evidence is literally piling up that civilian use of tourniquets can save a lot of lives.
As with before, I AM NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OF ANY SORT, AND NOTHING SAID IN THIS POST OR ON THIS BLOG SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.