Picture of a pocket medic kit.

The Item You Need To Carry Along With Your Gun


The other side of preparedness.

If you’ve found this blog post, you have more than a passing interest in guns, and probably already know what a blowout kit is. Seriously, you won’t find links to this site on a food or car related webpage, so here we are. More specifically, you’re probably here because you are either a concealed carry permit holder, carry a gun professionally, or are seriously considering carrying for your protection. Regardless of why you’re here, I’m going to step you through a level of preparedness you probably haven’t considered.

We like to be prepared. We anticipate things that could possibly happen, and take measures to mitigate their effects. You’ve got smoke detectors in your home, right? Not because you expect a fire to break out, but you want to be warned in case it happens. You also have a fire extinguisher in the house so that, once the smoke detector goes off, you have a method of extinguishing the flames the shrill beeping warned you about. And, while you weren’t able to save the Crab Rangoon you were baking that became a conflagration rather than a tasty repast, at least the house didn’t burn down, right? Open the windows to vent the smoke, call Domino’s, and all is right with life again.

So far, so good.

Likewise, as concealed carriers, law enforcement officers, and anyone else who carries a gun as part of their wardrobe, we’re prepared for the unlikely but possible eventuality of an armed confrontation. We’ve selected an appropriate firearm, gotten the proper license, train regularly with it, have an attorney lined up, and know to keep our situational awareness high when we’re out in public. When we dress, we attach a holster that properly secures our gun to an actual gunbelt, slip on our mag pouch with at least one spare magazine, holster our gun, and slip our blowout kit in our pocket. Right? Wait, I’m getting some blank stares. It’s the blowout kit, isn’t it?

Real life.

See, contrary to what Hollyweird shows us, gunfights are loud, messy, brutal affairs that take place on a two-way range. Unlike our practice range, a gunfight introduces the element of incoming fire, some of which may hit us. This introduces a dynamic we may not have accounted for, but we better be prepared to handle. While our body tends to do a pretty good job of keeping everything where it should be, any breach of the outer layer can lead to dire consequences. A bullet hole can lead to the blood-out-air-in decompression scenario that is, shall we say, less than optimal. And you’ve got to agree, having something right there that can slow or stop this is a beautiful thing. And unless you have more holes in you than Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, you can seriously increase your odds of survival by employing your blowout kit.

What do you need?

The kit you carry doesn’t have to be overly large or complicated. Actually, if it is, you probably won’t carry it because it will be bulky, uncomfortable, ruin the line of your ensemble, etc. (Remember when you thought that full size Desert Eagle would be a great carry weapon? Yeah, like that.) No, you want something simple and small enough to fit in your pocket. Something you’ll have with you right there when you need it. If you drove to work in an ambulance, and all your first aid kit is in it, but it’s in the parking garage two blocks away, well, you may very well find yourself in an advanced state of spectacular deadness before you can reach it.

Now, I know a lot of people who carry a C.A.T. (Combat Application Tourniquet) as part of their EDC gear. These are great devices. Small, portable, and able to be applied with one hand, they should be a part of your kit. And, kudos to them for having at least something. If they take a hit to the extremities they can start the process of fixing themselves. But what about the rest of the body? You know, where all the really important stuff is? The part we train to shoot at?

Picture of combat application torniquet
A C.A.T. Can be applied with one hand. Won’t scratch you if you pet it.

The good stuff.

For any kind of puncture to the body, you’re woefully unprepared if all you have is a tourniquet. You’ll need something to address entry and possibly exit wounds. Fortunately, the good folk at Tactical Medical Solutions have got exactly what you need. These guys know what they’re doing. (The company was founded by a Special Forces medic.) The concept of “when you need it, you need it right now” is fully understood by them, and they have tailored their gear accordingly. They offer a kit that will easily slip into your pocket called the Pocket Medical Kit (see what they did there?) that includes just the right amount of materials for the job.

Picture of a pocket medic kit.
The Pocket Medical Kit. What you need when you need it.

So, what, besides a tourniquet, do you really need? Well, something to stop the flow of blood, whether used in conjunction with the tourniquet on an extremity or stand-alone on the body. The PMK can be had with either compressed gauze or combat gauze. The difference is that with the compressed gauze, there’s a lot of it so if packing a large or deep wound is in the cards, you’ll have what you need. The combat gauze is impregnated with a clotting agent. Do your research to see what you need. (The combat gauze is impregnated with QuickClot®, which was issued to the military, but has since been pulled from service.) Included in the kit is an Esmark elastic bandage to hold the wound packing material in place.

The kit also has a chest seal, because sucking chest wounds, well…suck. Remember, your thoracic cavity functions as a bellows. When your chest muscles pull your ribs to expand your chest air rushes into your lungs through your throat. When they contract it blows it back out. A bellows with a hole in it can’t create the vacuum necessary to draw air in. Slapping a chest seal over a hole in your chest re-establishes that vacuum and can make your life a whole lot more pleasant.

Also included in the kit is a pair of gloves, so should you be using the kit on someone other than yourself you can keep from being contaminated by blood borne pathogens. Also, in a pinch, they can be used as an alternate chest seal, should you have a through-and-through wound to the chest and back.

And all this is in a pocket sized kit that you won’t be able to find an excuse to leave behind.

So, are you prepared or what?


The Tactical Pirate

View posts by The Tactical Pirate
President and lead instructor. Follow me on Twitter, and check out our blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top