Posted on Leave a comment

Top 5 Items: Hunter IFAK

Last week we talked about the 3 types of injuries you might face while hunting.

Being far away from medical help is the biggest reason why an emergency in a remote location is especially dangerous. Even a small injury can hold you back enough to turn a normal day into a life-threatening situation.

I’ve spent a lot of time living in arduous conditions and over time I’ve come to value some philosophies when it comes to gear.

Philosophy # 1

Lighter is better.

Anyone experienced in rough living has probably heard the term (or something similar), “Ounces = Pounds. Pounds = Pain.”

Hiking 5 miles into dark timber to shoot an elk then hiking out 250 lbs. of meat over several trips back and forth, and you start looking for ways to reduce your load.

Experienced back packers are always looking to cut their base weight at every available opportunity, throwing away any unnecessary food packaging or cutting toothbrushes in half so they don’t have to carry the extra weight of a full handle.

One popular way to cut weight and reduce misery on the trail is to carry items that can be used for multiple purposes.

  1. Tourniquet

Proper bleeding control is still the most important consideration in any traumatic event. Especially in a remote location where it could take hours to extricate after an emergency. Many people prefer the Combat Application Tourniquet because it’s widely trusted by professionals and is simple to apply one handed.

My preferred TQ for austere environments, however, is the SWAT-T because of its ability to treat injuries other than those on extremities. It’s also light weight and packs well, making it ideal for the back country.

Not only will it work as effective tourniquet, but it’s also a multi-use item that can be converted into a pressure dressing, a chest seal, sling, splinting, hunting rabbits, or whatever else you can think of. This helps to drastically reduce the weight of your trauma kit so you can go farther and longer.

2. QuikClot Gauze

Used along with the SWAT-T as your pressure dressing, a roll of QuikClot gauze can be packed into the wound to control severe bleeding. This is especially important for junction wounds like in your neck, groin, or armpit, where a TQ won’t work.

3. Tape

A multi-use item that can be used for everything you can imagine. I’m sure I don’t need to say, most people can see the value of tape when you need it, but in a wilderness survival situation, it might literally save your life.

This is a handy item for taping down chest seals, securing splints, makeshift bandages and any of the thousands of things you will need tape for.

4. Survival Blanket

Prevention of hypothermia is always a constant concern when dealing with trauma casualties no matter what climate or local you’re hunting in. It’s important to have a way to keep the victim warm while help trudges their way up the mountain.

Survival blankets are inexpensive, lightweight, small enough to pack anywhere, and could literally mean the difference between life and death in the wild.

5. First Aid

Not every injury you get while hunting is going to be a showstopper. Most injuries are going to come from minor scrapes, nicks, cuts, and bruises.

The most used item in any medical kit is the bandaids, and minor wound care products. Keeping a stock in your personal kit and at your base camp will help keep your quality of life up and your happiness at a maximum.

Other items, like ibuprofen, and acetaminophen for stiff muscles, and sports wraps for sore joints help after long days and nights hauling the kill back to camp.

If you want to know how to use these items, check out Emergency Trauma Response. 100% online, free and will help you get started with understanding the basics.

Emergency Trauma Response Training Course

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Make a Improvised Tourniquet That Will Actually Work

In Part 1 of this little series about Improvised TQs, I talked about why they often don’t work well to control bleeding.

If you haven’t read that article, I suggest going and checking it out before reading this one, so you know the limitations of improvised tourniquets.

But even though they aren’t very trustworthy, knowing how to make your own TQ is a great skill to have and something you should always have floating around in the back of your mind.

Continue reading How to Make a Improvised Tourniquet That Will Actually Work
Posted on 2 Comments

Why Improvised Tourniquets Don’t Work (But Why You Should Still Learn How)

Never improvise unless you have to…

A good medic takes pride in being able to make do with less. Emergency medicine almost never happens in a place when you have every resource at your disposal.

Unless you’re shot in a hospital, odds are good you’ll be severely limited in the type of gear you need to save a life.

Bleeding control is of course the most time sensitive issue for any trauma. Bleeding must be stopped at the earliest opportunity or the casualty may not recover from serious wounds.

Fortunately, bad extremity bleeds are relatively simple to control with the right tools. Tourniquets (TQ) enjoy a good track record for saving lives because they are quick and easy to apply and anyone can learn how to do it effectively in a short time.

But if you don’t have the right tools for the job, survival rates start to drop significantly. Since tourniquets appear to be very simple devices, sometimes it’s assumed you can just quickly make one on the spot and save the day.

But since this is Real Life, things don’t always work like it seems they should.

Your first choice should NOT be to make an improvised Tourniquet.

Here’s why:

Continue reading Why Improvised Tourniquets Don’t Work (But Why You Should Still Learn How)