Showing posts with label IFAK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IFAK. Show all posts

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An Accident and a First Aid Kit Lesson

Not too long ago I had an accident. Was coming into the garage carrying something heavy and needed to move the garbage can back to clear room. With one hand I grabbed for it . The can's top was open and I caught my hand on a piece of plexiglass that was sticking out at an odd angle. Skewered my thumb pretty good in the process. By the time I pulled my hand back blood was pouring out pretty good. Applied pressure with my other hand. Got into the kitchen then grabbed the first piece of material I could see which was a washcloth. Stuck that over the cut and kept applying pressure to stop the bleeding.

By this point the cursing and commotion had brought Wifey into the kitchen to find out what was going on. Seeing me holding my thumb and (small amounts) of blood all over the answer was obvious. She asked what I needed her to get. I knew this was definitely not a band aid cut but also wasn't bad enough that it would not heal on it's own so I said gauze pads and tape.

Wifey went to the linen closet where the medical stuff ended up in the recent move in/ unpacking efforts. The stuff was in a cardboard box in no particular order. Eventually Wifey found some big wound dressings and vet wrap which was good enough. We got my cut wrapped up which took care of the pressing issue.

This accident made it pretty clear to me that we needed to move and organize the first aid stuff. I figured the kitchen was the logical place to keep first aid stuff. It is the place we are most likely to have cuts due to food prep and cooking. Also like most American homes the kitchen is the central, if not focal point of the house. Most specifically it is where the doors to the garage and back yard are.

Today I talked with Wifey to find a space in the kitchen (decisively her territory) where some first aid stuff could go. Thankfully our kitchen has a fair amount of cabinet space. She found a space for me to put some stuff. In that space I put the following stuff:
1 box bandaids (various sizes)
1 box 2x2 gauze
1 box 4x4 gauze
1 box 5x9 gauze pads (never know)
1 roll athletic tape
1 roll paper tape
Iso Alcohol
vet wrap

My purpose here was not to make an all encompassing first aid kit but set out the stuff to deal with realistic issues we are likely to face in our home, typically cuts and scrapes. The only thing I plan to add is an IFAK, or really a beefed up version of one along the lines of a CLS bag. 

In putting this stuff together it became apparent to me we do not have a good household first aid kit. We have a decent kit in my vehicle and a good one in the family hauler but it's pretty aparant we need a dedicated home kit. A kit like this or this would be good. We have the components but a nice put together setup would be handy in case I/ we need to grab something to run out to the yard, help a neighbor or whatever.

So we are better prepared for dealing with basic scrapes and cuts now. Also I put the rest of our stuff into a clear tub (vs a box) then after looking through it went to fill some small holes. So in terms of medical stuff it was a pretty productive day.

How is your first aid stuff organized?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Schism of the Everyday Carry and the Get Home Bag

So like I said recently a new backpack last weekend at a garage sale. Wasn't actively in the market for one but at $20 it was an easy decision.

What I have been wanting to do is split my everyday carry and get home bags. That way I can keep some bare essentials in my everyday bag to let it have plenty of space for everyday stuff and stay light. There is also the benefit that my get home bag can be beefed up a little bit.

So what made the cut for my everyday carry bag? Well since you asked I will show you.
Metal water bottle. I would like to upgrade to a 1 quart wide mouth one at some point. The granola bars are for snacking or enough food to be reasonably comfortable for a day or so. The IFAK is in case I get caught in some sort of attack. The rest is pretty much a personal survival kit. The contents are my Rat 3, compass, lighter, fire starter. I chose a fixed blade because it gives me a few capabilities the EDC folder doesn't.

I am comfortable with this relatively light setup because a more robust setup is nearby. If I took public transit or rode in a car pool this setup would be a little bit light. So while it suits my needs it might not fit yours. 

Once I get it all sorted out the new and improved Get Home Bag will be discussed. What's in your EDC bag?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kiddo #2 Update, IFAK's, Chechen's and Big Fun

I am happy to say Kiddo #2 got out of the hospital today. Still on antibiotics but them being able to go back home with family will be nice. Still got some stuff going on but the situation is getting better.

Turns out the bombers from Boston are Chechen nationals. Chechnya is a pretty interesting country which offers some very valuable lessons. Got a post in the cue about it.

That whole bombing mess was a good reminder to have serious first aid gear with you as much as possible. Personally there is an IFAK in my everyday bag. Something to think about anyway.

Anyway I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. Probably going to turn in early to try and kick this bug.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Product Review: Tourni-Kwik AKA TK4

These Tourniquets have been discussed around the blogosphere. To be honest I ordered a few as a lark when getting stuff to make a few more IFAK's awhile back. The idea of an affordable compact TQ appealed to me and at a bit over 5 bucks a piece why not.

The Tourni-Kwik TQ is basically a 40" bungee cord made of 2" (or maybe 1 3/4 in any case the same size as the rigger belt on m waist) elastic. The hooks are big S type hooks like well a bungee cord. They are securely attached with 3 metal clamp things. The product's fit and finish is roughly aligned with the price point but they seem to be solidly serviceable and within their fairly disposable nature plenty rugged.

The way the Tourni-Kwik is employed happens to be pretty simple. Slap it on, loop the hook around the elastic, crank it the other way, wrap it tightly then slip the loose end under the top layer of it. 

The Good:
Very affordable at $5.55 from Chinook Medical and comparable prices elsewhere. The benefit of the low price point to me is that you can have them all over the place, give them to like minded friends as a stocking stuffer, spot 3 to a broke buddy without a thought or whatever.

They are also smaller than other TQ's. About the size of a can of a squared off can of chew. Since they are mostly elastic without a long windlass they are more pliable and able to fit where you want them to go then other models.

The Bad:
While technically able to be employed one handed it requires IMO a couple of relatively fine motor skills (hooking the S hook to the elastic so it stays on and wrapping the end hook under the elastic to hold it in place) that can be difficult to really execute under stress. Of course training is the answer but I still have my doubts.

The Ugly:
The main criticism I have heard is that the Tourni-Kwik lacks a windlass device to really tighten it up. This is accurate. That being said 40" of strong elastic wrapped tightly will really constrict. Still it is like something held by a bungee cord vs a cranked down ratchet strap.

Do they work? I think a Tourni-Kwik would work a whole lot better than a host of improvisational methods. Note how I framed that answer. It is worth noting that none of these methods are absolutely 100% and getting seriously injured is by definition quite dangerous.

Yeah yeah yeah "What is your life worth?" I would counter that some people simply cannot afford to spend $33 on a CAT which means $60-70 on an IFAK. Getting a Tourni-Kwik instead of a CAT or whatever takes the cost down to more like $25 which is much easier on the budget. listing all the possible places you might like to have a TQ and multiplying that by $30 would get out of control really fast. For the price of a CAT a family of three could each have two TK models or a family of 6 could each have one. That family would be a whole lot better off than if mom or dad had a single more expensive tourniquet. 

While comparison is natural weighing this product against a $27ish SOF T or a $33ish Combat Applications Tourniquet is sort of lop sided and arguably missing the point. Expecting a $150 Charles Daily to do what a Benelli M1 can or a Hyundai Accent to do what a Lexus can is asking for disappointment.  I do not expect the TK models to perform exactly like a CAT because they cost 1/6th as much.

Our primary tourniquets are CAT models and that is not going to change. I have trained with them and like the way they work. However as noted before once you start thinking of all the places it might be nice to have a TQ the cost gets crazy in a hurry. I am quite comfortable with these as a backup or the 3rd TQ in a kit.

If you are in the market for a TQ but seriously short on cash, or are looking to put a dozen extras away then it is worth looking at the Tourni-Kwik.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Randomness

Today was a pretty good day. Our weather finally snapped out of early spring nastiness if just for the day. We went out to a you pick field which was pretty fun. Kiddo had a good time. He didn't quite get putting them into the bucket but ate it all instead. The fruit we picked was pretty cheap which was cool. Far cheaper (healthier and fresher) than we could get in a store. This was definitely a reminder that we want to be close to our food. Producing some of our food would be ideal but with my job that can be problematic. Certainly we can buy from farmers markets (did it in the South) and if possible look into coop and group buy type stuff.

Went through and layed out my purchasing priorities for the next few months using my Intentional Purchasing Plan. Using this as a forcing function to put more money into medical stuff, alternative energy and food will probably make things much better balanced. Incidentally I planned to buy a bunch of medical stuff to put together a few IFAK's tonight but the Chinook Medical website, or at least my connection to it, is on the fritz. Sure it will be up tomorrow or the next day.

I stumbled onto the Hillpeoplegear site. Their recon kit bags are probably the best way to carry concealed on your body with a ruck on your back that I have seen. The stuff isn't cheap but I have heard good things about it. Don't need anything they make but some of their stuff would be aweful nice and make the outdoors more comfortable. In a couple years when, having squared up more basic stuff, I can afford some luxuries they will get some money from me.

A big highlight in our recent lives is getting hulu plus running through the Wii. We get a lot of TV for $7 a month which is pretty cool. We are enjoying watching Lost. As we have been over here for almost 3 years we are pretty behind the TV power curve. Some new entertainment opportunities are surely enjoyed in our house.

We had a pretty good Saturday here. Tomorrow will be a pretty quiet day as we take care of a lot of household stuff like grocery shopping and laundry on Sunday's. Anyway I hope you all are having a good weekend.
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