Rethinking My Medical Kits

Over the last week or two I have been reviewing the gear I carry on a daily basis and the gear I have set up should the fecal material hit the rotary device (SHTF). One of the areas I have been trying to improve and streamline was the medical gear I have and carry with me. Prior to this exercise I carried a pretty good sized pouch of medical stuff. Most of it, I now feel, was unnecessary but I also think I was missing some pretty important items.

Old vs. New

To be honest, my med kits were really only set up for minor injuries. That makes sense since they were mostly used for the grandkids. To steal a common term they were simply “booboo kits,” and overloaded ones at that. The new booboo kits is much smaller and more streamlined. It could fit in a pants pocket, especially a cargo pocket. Nevertheless I think I have it equipped with what is needed:

Contents:

    • Hand sanitizer
    • Anti-Nausea/Anti-Diarrheal
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Tweezers
    • Benadryl
    • Allergy Medication
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Band-aids of various sizes
    • Moleskin (for blisters)
    • Sting-Eze

To be honest I also have a few other things in my bag that some folks would include in a booboo kit such as over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Aleve), lip balm and heart burn medication:

That’s it for the booboo kit and should be pretty good to handle whatever little issues come our way.

What I never really had on hand were items to handle more severe injuries especially serious bleeding. I have corrected that and now also carry a trauma/blow out kit in a separate pouch.

Blow Out/Trauma Kit Contents

Contents:

    • Nitrile gloves
    • Compressed Gauze
    • Shears
    • Tournequet
    • Medical tape
    • Quick Clot impregnated gauze
    • Israeli bandage
    • Chest seal

What’s more important is that I know how to use all the items in the kit.

Some would suggest a few other items like decompression needle and nasopharyngeal airway. I would agree but I don’t know how to use those items yet so they will wait until I get some training on them.

Wait! What!? No mask?

No, don’t really need to pack them in the kits since they are generally already on our faces (or close by).

I built out three of these kits so I will have one close no matter the situation.

As our nation sinks further into the abyss we have created for ourselves the need for medical gear like this will increase. I hope to be prepared in case that need hits close to home.

Any suggestions on anything I have overlooked?

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

A New Knife, Same As The Old Knife…

Back in 2017 I posted about my carry knives (Knives Tale). In that post I detailed my affinity for the STL 2.5 from Gerber. I still carry this little knife on a regular basis although the finish is wearing off and the edge has been worn down from use and resharpening it is almost the perfect knife for me under many situations. Although this is Texas and having a knife clipped inside a pocket is generally a non-issue there are times when I prefer to carry very discreetly. The STL 2.5 can ride in the pocket without showing or getting in the way. I actually have two of these little knives as I purchased a spare some time back in case I lose or break it. I like it so much I might even buy a third at some point.

When I wrote that post back in 2017 I had just started carrying a Kershaw OSO Sweet. It is a great little knife but a little too big and bulky for discreet carry. Somewhere along the lines I broke the tip off that little knife and replaced it with another of the same model but with a black coated blade which addressed the staining issues of the initial knife.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching an interview with Michael Janich of Martial Blade Concepts discussing the evolution and advantages of the wharncliffe blade shape.

Even though my approach to the knife as a defensive tool is very different than what he teaches I still respect his opinions. He believes, based on his testing, that it is the best shape for cutting and self-defense. So, I wanted to pick up a knife with a wharncliffe blade and check it out.

Then I realized I used to carry a knife with this blade design, the Kershaw 1660CKT Leek.

It was a good alternative to the STL 2.5 and I really liked it but the blade is fairly thin and I ended up bending the tip while using it for something other than cutting. Instead of using the right tool for the job I changed to a different and sturdier knife. Well now I have come full circle and I am carrying the Kershaw Leek again. We will see how it works out. I have gotten a lot better about using the right tool for the job after all.

I will carry that one for a while and see how it goes.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

Completed another round of praying for my 100 closest neighbors. Began a study of the book of Zechariah. Continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

Verified the zero on my hunting rifle since we head out on a hog hunting trip next weekend.

Bought some ammo; .308 hunting rounds for the trip and 5.56 just because things are a little crazy and who knows when it will become hard to find.

With some Christmas money I bought a mount that fits in the dovetail rear sight mount that allows me to mount a red dot on one of my Glock 19s. Oh, I also bought a Vortex Venom red dot to use. This is far from an optimal configuration. It sits a bit high and it is not as secure as a mount milled into the slide but this allowed me to start testing red dot equipped pistol for very little (no) cash outlay on my part.

Glock 19 with TRUGLO Sight Mount and Vortex Venom

Bought two Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters for my Glock 43. With all that is going on in the world these days I feel less comfortable with a five shot snubbie in my pocket than I used to. The G43 provides a bit more capacity, 6+1 vs. 5, but more importantly I am a good bit faster and more accurate than I am with the snubbie. I can’t carry Inside the waistband until I either lose a good bit more weight or buy a new wardrobe. This works in the meantime and with an untucked shirt or jacket it is very well concealed.

Urban Carry Lock Leather Hybrid OWB Holster
Versacarry – 2018 Commander Holster

I deprimed and prepped some .308 and .38 Special brass.

Supplies/Gear

Not much here. I need to do some restocking of the emergency pantry as we rotated food into our regular pantry but won’t happen until February.

I did stock the freezer a bit. A buddy was cleaning out some venison to make room for the deer he killed this year and I was a lucky recipient of quite a bit of it at no cost.

Security

Nothing here.

Finances

Oh, this one is bad. Between the new vehicles, Christmas and supporting my daughter’s family we have drained the old savings down pretty low. We will start to rebuild that come February.

Fitness/Health

Gave up sodas for January but fell off the wagon and had a few recently. I will start that again after the hunting trip. I have been a little better with exercise and drinking water but have some real improvement to make in this area.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this month. How about you? What did you Prep this month?

Take care and God Bless

Everyday Carry (EDC) Bag Dump – 2019 Update

Back in December of 2016 I did a post on my EDC (Every Day Carry Bag) and the items contained. A recent comment on that post reminded me that the only constant is change and that is as true of my EDC as well as it is of anything. So, I decided this would be a good time to review (for myself as well) what I am carrying on a daily basis and how I am carrying it.

So, here goes…

The biggest change is my bag. I switched to a standard backpack instead of the smaller shoulder bags I have been carrying for years. I picked this one up on sale at Midway USA some time back it is seems to fit my needs pretty well.

New EDC Bag

I like lots of pockets and such for organization and I wanted something light. It fits the bill and cost me less than $20. It has some molle and velcro making it a bit tactical but in this part of Texas it could be argued that having a tactical bag helps you blend in better. Besides, it is pretty practical.

I have started carrying a water bottle with me as part of my efforts to improve my health and I was able to scrounge a molle water bottle holder that fits the standard bottle just fine. I also have another molle water bottle holder (that matches) and holds the 32 ounce bottle I carry on occasion. The webbing in the front hold my pens including a write in the rain pen and I also have a “tactical” pen with a built in glass breaker and the ability to be wielded as a pretty potent impact weapon.

The top outside compartment holds items that I use regularly including breath mints (for my marriage’s survival), lip balm, antacid, over the counter pain medicines, Kleenex and my glasses case.

Quick Access Items

Now that I am back to wearing glasses this is a key part of my carry now days.

The lower outside compartment holds a multi-tool, write in the rain notebook, tourniquet, antiseptic wipes and a small measuring tape.

The measuring tape made its way into my EDC when we were rebuilding after the flood. It was one of the most used items for several months.

The mesh compartment inside the bag carries glucose tablets (I am hypoglycemic), sunscreen (again, it’s Texas), toothpick/floss, cleaning pads that can be used to clean glasses or sanitize, coupons (who doesn’t want to save money) and, most importantly, hot sauce packets. Can you believe even down here there are restaurants that look at you funny when you ask for hot sauce?

There is another, larger compartment in the bag that holds a few more items; an emergency poncho, bandana, a quick snack (remember the hypoglycemia), and a small pouch containing various cables and batteries.

I have a spare battery I can use to charge my phone or other electronic, two spare AAA batteries, cell phone cable, and plugs to allow me to charge from a car outlet or wall outlet.

Sharing space in the same compartment is a first aid kit.

There might also be some extra ammunition somewhere easily accessible.

Yes, I know one is missing a round

I was able to carry all this in the smaller bags I used to carry so why did I shift to a backpack?

Two reasons:

1. I noticed that people don’t pay as much attention to someone carrying a standard (even tacticool) backpack. It is pretty normal these days and has replaced the briefcase or satchel as a (semi)standard mens accessory. Even in church I am not the only guy carrying a backpack. I was (almost always) the only guy carrying a smaller pack/man purse. I prefer to blend in and not attract too much attention to myself.

2. It makes it easier to carry certain items. Specifically, the teacher’s guide for the Sunday School curriculum we are using is notebook paper sized (8.5×11) and did not fit easily into my previous bag. A Bible with print large enough for me to be able to read it also fits handily (although I usually use an electronic version so I can carry multiple translations).

That’s my current EDC. What do you think? Suggestions?

Take care and God Bless.

 

Violence In The US: Short Term EDC Changes

Last week after the news of the mail “bombs” being sent to leftist leaders in this country I posted that I would be changing my daily carry and the Ruger LCR would go into the safe for a while and that I would be reviewing my EDC gear as a whole (link):

With the elections underway I was already focusing on being more alert for potential threats. For the foreseeable future my little Ruger LCR will be relegated to the safe. Replaced by something with a little more capacity and quicker reloads. I also plan to review my EDC gear and see if anything in there needs to be beefed up.

The attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh further strengthened my push to reevaluate my EDC.

Well, the little Ruger is still in my pocket and not in the safe.

I was planning to switch to my Glock 43 as my primary carry gun but for now I am staying with the LCR. Although reloads are definitely faster than with the LCR, the G43 only gives me two extra rounds on tap (6+1 vs. 5). Are those two extra rounds (and faster reloads) worth giving up the slightly better reliability of the revolver? Not at the moment.

I might do so later but for the  moment I have decided to stick with what I have carried for the last year or two. I am familiar with it. I am well practiced with it and all the gear that goes along with it. That may change in the future but for now I will stick with what I know.

RATS Tourniquet

Based onsome additional research I have been doing especially some articles by Greg Ellifritz (this being a good overview: Post Election Riots?) I have changed up some of the other gear I carry. I have had a tourniquet sitting on my desk for a year waiting on the time to take some training before carrying it. It is now in my pack and online training will have to do for the moment. Pepper spray? Yup added on the outside of my bag. Knife? Moved from inside the back to a spot where it is more easily reached and deployed (this is in addition to the one I usually carry in my pocket or on my belt.

Pepper Spray

I will be adding an additional bandana and a bottle of water to my pack as well. Which means I may have to start carrying a small backpack instead of the sling bag I carry now.

I will continue to reevaluate my carry gear until thigs start to subside…if they ever do.

Keep alert, be prepared and take care.

God bless.

Calls To Violence In The US (Are Coming Home To Roost)

Last week I talked about the increasing possibility of violence in the US.

Today, we (apparently) see another example of the state of affairs in this nation. Several members of the leftist leadership have received what appear to be pipe bombs. All the politicians from both sides of the aisle are in a tizzy over this (big surprise) and Trumpette made this statement today:

I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence have no place in the United States of America.”

I have to wonder if both sides would be as worked up if the bombs had been targeted towards non-politicians? No one on the left was worked up when an Antifa mob attacked an elderly driver who just wanted to get where he was going.

With the elections underway I was already focusing on being more alert for potential threats. For the foreseeable future my little Ruger LCR will be relegated to the safe. Replaced by something with a little more capacity and quicker reloads. I also plan to review my EDC gear and see if anything in there needs to be beefed up.

It is a sad and dangerous time for America. Please pray for our nation…

Change Of Plans: No Hammer This Weekend

I purchased the Smith & Wesson Model 69 (The Hammer) the other day to be by sidearm when hunting and engaging in other outdoor activities where I might encounter a serious threat from the wildlife. Unfortunately, life, the universe and poor planning on my part have put me in a position where The Hammer will stay home for my fist hunt of the season.

With my current workload (personal, business and spiritual) I did not have enough time to order the ammo I want to use. Few local gun stores carry .44 Magnum and almost none carry .44 Special. I could get a decent .44 Magnum load but no shot shells locally. So it would have to be an Internet purchase and there is no time left for that. Even worse I haven’t found a good carry holster for this monster locally so that will have to be an internet purchase as well and, again, no time.

Instead of The Hammer, my Smith & Wesson 340 will get the call. I already have shot shells in .38 caliber on hand and .357 Magnum is a bit more common down here so I was able to grab a box of 158 grain soft-points that ought to suffice against all but the biggest and most determined critters. I also carry this revolver regularly and have several holsters that work quite well already.

This weekend’s hunting carry

We are heading out after deer and the area we will be hunting does not have anywhere near the feral hog population that we have down here in Texas. We will not be near any alligator infested waterways either. On the other hand, there is a slightly higher likelihood of encountering black bears in the area and we will be bow hunting so I won’t have a long gun with me. All in all, I have no doubt that the .357 Magnum should be just fine. It is significantly lighter and easier to conceal for travel through populated areas. I was just hoping to be able to bring The Hammer along.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

Made it back to Sunday school this week which was a positive. On the down side I really didn’t spend much time at all in prayer or studying the Bible.

Self Defense/Hunting

A few weeks back I bought a “Tactical Pen” to carry in non-permissive environments. While on my way to board a plane for a business trip last week I discovered that I had left it in my other bag by mistake. So, as I went from meeting to meeting in and around New Orleans (one of my least favorite places to be disarmed) I basically had nothing to defend myself with. To make sure this didn’t happen again I went ahead and purchased another “TactiPen” so I can have one in each bag and won’t end up in quite that situation again.

Tactipen!

ETS has been getting a lot of press lately for their magazines and a buddy told me that they had released a line of magazines for the Glock 42 and 43. They are polymer magazines and offer an extra round of capacity over the standard Glock magazines. They also have a +6 magazine that is most definitely not flush fitting but I had to order one anyway! I decided to go ahead and try one of their AR magazines too since I was already placing an order.

I de-primed and cleaned the brass from my last range session. I like to have the brass prepped and ready to go then I can reload it when I get around to it and the brass is ready to go.

Supplies/Gear

When we started our little garden last year I decided to use stakes for growing tomatoes. They seem to work reasonably well on varieties of tomatoes that don’e grow too tall and produce fairly small fruit like cherry tomatoes. For the larger plants and varieties we are growing this year they don’t seem to work all that well so I broke down and purchased the wire cages for all my tomato plants and even a few of my pepper plants. Wonderful Wife had already done so on her one tomato plant that she has on the back porch and it has worked well for her so, hopefully, this will help the plants in the garden produce better and be a little more hardy as well.

With hurricane season kicking in we rotated food out of the emergency pantry and into the regular pantry and then put a list together to replenish what we need.

We received another shipment of freeze dried foods this month and I have been very pleased so far…I really need to do a post on it….

Finances

No activity this week.

Fitness/Health

Like my walk with God I have done very little this week to improve my physical health. In fact, it has been more the opposite. I haven’t exercised all week and only stretched a couple of times. I have been eating tons of junk food and drinking lots of soda…

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

Knives Tale

First off, I want to make it clear that I am not a “knife guy.”

Yes, I carry a knife almost every day.

Yes, I have a nice collection of knives of various sorts.

Yes, I love checking out cool new knives.

But to me, knives are just tools. Tools that are to be used, regularly, for whatever I need to use them for. Most of the time that involves cutting something whether that is opening boxes and packages, trimming plants, opening the mail, or preparing food. They also get used for any sort of other purpose that may come up; pry bar, hammer, screwdriver, or even for self-defense should the need arise.

I sharpen them as needed but don’t use stones or fancy equipment. Generally I use a Smith’s Two Stage Sharpener like this one:

They are cheap, easy to use, easy to carry, easy to use and result in a serviceable edge.

Knife guys cringe when they read or hear about how I use, abuse and “care” for my knives. Which is how I know that I am not a “knife guy.”

For a big chunk of my adult life a cheap single-bladed Barlow picked up on a whim accompanied me every day, generally in a pocket with keys or in the coin pocket of my jeans. It did everything I needed it to for years and cost less than $10 at a small town WalMart. Eventually, the blade snapped off (completely this time) and I went looking for a replacement. Knives like this are apparently no longer in favor with most folks and the ones I could find were either super cheap knives made in Pakistan that I wouldn’t trust for anything other than being a display or really nice, really high end knives.

After trying quite a few different knives and styles I finally found the STL 2.5 from Gerber.

Gerber STL 2.5

I picked one up from a large sporting goods retailers based on how thin and light it was. I worked in an office that was non-permissive when it came to “weapons” and I wanted something as thin and light as possible to carry in my pocket. That was at least five or six five years ago and I have been carrying it ever since on an almost daily basis.

Despite being a pretty simple, and cheap knife it just works and, more importantly, lasts. Despite being used and abused in a high humidity and somewhat corrosive environment (lots of saltwater on the Texas Gulf Coast) it hasn’t rusted. The black finish is a bit worn in areas mostly from living in a pocket with keys and other random items but the finish is unbelievably tough for the price. I like this little knife so much I bought a spare for when I lose or finally destroy this one.

I have tried several different knives during the time I have carried the STL but none have been able to replace it on a daily basis. The Kershaw 1830 OSO SWEET has come about as close as any.

Kershaw 1830 OSO SWEET

The 1830 is a little too big and bulky to carry in most office settings or when wearing nicer clothes but it has replaced the STL outside of those situations. The blade is about a half inch longer and a good bit thicker. The profile of the blade makes it a lot stronger than the STL but it still holds a nice edge. The only complaint that I have is that the un-coated 8Cr13MoV steel stains easily. I haven’t seen any rust but it has picked up discolorations from several tasks including cutting steak and potatoes for a camp dinner one night.

Based on my experiences with this Kershaw I tried the 3840 Freefall. It was a bit bigger and heavier knife but seemed to be a good choice for a more “survival” oriented knife plus the blade is coated with a “stone washed” finish that I thought might prove more stain resistant.

Kershaw 3840 Freefall

Unfortunately, the finish on the blade does seem to stain pretty easily compared to my cheap little Gerber and, to be honest, the extra weight and bulk has been tough to get used to. It get’s left behind most of the time.

The newest knife in my carry line up is also from Kershaw. On paper, the 1660CKT Leek seemed to be an almost perfect replacement for the STL 2.5. It had everything I was looking for. It is thin and light so it could replace the Gerber in non-permissive environments but with a longer, heavier blade and it is coated (also in black). It has some other features that I really like as well. It is super fast and easy to open (almost scary fast). In fact I can open it as fast as any auto opening knife I have ever tried. It has a lock to keep it from opening in my pocket (has never happened) the the clip is removable and reversible. To be honest it is more than double the cost of the STL as well. However, in just a few months of carrying this little guy I did discover one weakness, the tip of the blade is very thin and is already bent from using (inappropriately) as something other than a cutting tool. It is still usable and, to be honest, the bend is very slight and not terribly noticeable. Nevertheless, it will probably end up in the drawer where I keep my knife collection rather than in my pocket…

That’s my knive’s tale. What’s yours?

God bless