Importance of an IFAK – There is a lot of cool guy gear that everyone wants to talk about but seldom is first aid thrust onto the list as something cool. However,from my experience, I am much more likely to use my first aid kit than I have used my firearm in the decade I have been carrying. The one here on JM4 Tactical’s shop is the standard and a great one to look at to carry on your person or in your bag.
Here are some of the benefits of what it has.
Tourniquets for many years were shunned as unnecessary and causing injuries. However, with the war on terror and the need to stop the bleeding, these are necessary for carrying. While in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, some of my NCOs carried more than one. While the military designs the kit to be used on yourself, I always take one extra just in case. I would caution that you get some training on where to place them to stop the bleeding of a significant injury before in the heat of the moment.
Quick clot is an amazing invention that does exactly that. It helps to clot the blood and stop the bleeding. This product is for a severe injury but not one that has hit a significant artery, where the tourniquet comes in. I have used this on a nasty cut on my leg. I couldn’t get to stop bleeding when I was out hunting (a sharp piece of wire I didn’t see cut right through my pants).
Chest seal: if you or someone you are rendering aid to needs this, it is a severe bad way, with a bad puncture to the chest. If not used, that injury can lead to a collapsed lung. While I have used it in training, I have not in person. However, I carry one just in case.
Gloves, bandages, Gauze, Marker, and Shears: These are more of the items that I have used more readily. Gloves are a good idea, but in the heat of the moment, I frequently have forgotten to put them on… don’t be like me. Bandages and gauze are self-explanatory, and with three kiddos, I have used these more than any other items. The marker is good to triage or annotate which time you put the tourniquet on, and the shears are good if you have a compound fracture and need to remove clothing but can’t.
Other good items to stock:
Aspirin: If someone you are around has a heart attack, chewing an aspirin could save their life.
Nasal Pharyngeal: Awesome rubber tube you can insert through the nose if there is a blockage in the throat. I have had it done to me in training, and while it is not pleasant, it takes up minimal space and is suitable for restoring the airway. Also, lubricant is vital, so either packet of lube or spit works…. gross maybe, but it works.
Tweezers: Splinters happen, and a good pair of tweezers is likely more often used than most
Moleskin: If you have ever had a blister on your feet, you know they are miserable to walk on. Moleskin is fantastic for that area, and I have also used it on a burn blister on my hand if it’s too expensive. Duct tape works great in a pinch.
Author: Ian Bolser