If you carry a gun every day, carrying a trauma kit alongside it isn’t paranoia, it’s just being prepared.
Sometimes, life ends up with someone bleeding. It doesn’t have to be from a gunshot, but if you’re carrying every day, that might be some date in your future. Then, there are all the times you’re using power equipment, or just big, sharp cutting tools. It’d suck to have to explain to the Big Guy at the pearly gates, “I was only 50 yards from my house, but I couldn’t make it in time. Guess I should’ve had some trauma gear.”
Adventure Medical Kits offers compact trauma kits that you can keep in a pocket, a bag or close at hand. The one I have close by is one of theirs with QuikClot as part of the package. In addition to the four different gauze dressing sizes, gloves tape and trauma pad, it has a packet of QuikClot—a hemostatic dressing that accelerates clotting. When you’re bleeding, the idea is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible.
Yes, QuikClot risks making the wound an ugly mess, but the moment you need it you don’t have an ER doc on hand. Whatever bulky mess the QuikClot may (or may not) make, combined with the dressings you have packed into place is a problem the ER doc you’ll be seeing is equipped to deal with.
The kit I keep at hand is just a bit too big to keep in a pocket in warm weather, so I have the big (relatively, it’s not much bigger than a paperback book) kit close at hand and an even more compact one on my person.
Prepared, Not Paranoid
Yes, all this gear can add up. You’ve got your pistol and a reload, cell phone, tactical folder, flashlight, whatever backups you might be packing and all the other accouterments of daily life in the 21st century. Adding a trauma kit might seem like too much. But if you’re going to be serious about being prepared, just having the location of the nearest Level 1 Trauma Center on your cell phone isn’t enough.
You also have to keep in mind that the trauma kit isn’t like your pistol. You’ll be using your pistol only for defense of yourself, your family or those under your protection. (It seems the world at large doesn’t like ad-hoc heroes.)
But your trauma kit works for anyone who you wish to share it with—somebody at work, somebody at a public event who is at risk and the EMT truck is minutes out. A family gathering, even if most (or all) of the family doesn’t know you carry would be a time and place, should an accident occur, where a trauma kit could be handy.
Insurance comes in many forms. You have selected one of them—a daily carry pistol, as being appropriate and desirable. As the old saying goes, “In for a penny, in for a pound.” Find a pocket. Find a kit that fits it. Pack it. Learn how to use it. Be prepared.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the 2022 CCW special issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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