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Does Doc have an "everyday carry"?

Updated: May 17

Yes, y'all. As a matter of fact, I do.

Most people think of an "every day carry" as pistols, knives, gold coins and fancy watches. They probably got that from one of the millions of youtube videos and podcasts out there on how any regular Joe can become the killer man if he just buys all the overpriced stuff the author tells you. In total coincidence, most of the things they list seem to be made by a company they have personal ties with. I'm not saying they're wrong or they're bad products, but I am saying you're probably paying way too much and you definitely won't become the deadly assassin you think you will.

On the subject, though, I noticed every instructional video about EDC revolves around trying to be "deadly". I thought to myself, hmmm...I bet I can offer a much different perspective on the topic. If Doc was going to recommend an EDC, what would it be?

Everyone remember, my specialty in the military wasn't taking lives, it was saving them. I'm not the secret agent killer man, I'm Captain Save the Day. That being said, my every day carry doesn't focus on guns, duty belts, gold coins and expensive watches. It focuses on the tools I would need to save lives in any situation. Whether I'm headed to work, on vacation or taking my daughter and her friends out for a fun day, I've always kept the tools I would need to rob the grave close by.

So, without further ado, here are the items I keep with me everywhere I go.

This is my aid bag. There are many like it, but, this one is mine! Seriously, though, this is what's in the ride every moment of every day. This is my Blackhawk M9 bag that I got while on deployment in Iraq. The reason it looks so nice is because I tossed it in a tuff box and saved it for myself. I continued to use my Blackhawk Stomp II bag for the rest of that deployment that you see pictured on the bottom. Notice the difference. (Yes, that's exactly what you think it is.)

Underneath the rear driver's side seat of my truck is where I keep my bag. Everything I'm about to show you is what I carry with me every day in my truck. Keep in mind, my set up today isn't for combat, it's for being the regular guy parent who commutes to work and lives in suburban America. Still, while the setup may not be as intense, the techniques and supplies are the exact same one's I would use, (and have used), to save humans in war.

In my M9 bag, I keep the equipment focus on bleeding and hemorrhage control. I stick with what I've always known to be the most versatile and effective which are high quality tourniquets, six-inch-wide ace wrap and large rolls of sterile kerlix. I forgo the quick clot and combat gauze. This isn't because it's not effective, it's just expensive and I know from real world experience that I can be just as effective with my ace wrap and kerlix.

I also keep a good pair of trauma shears, a few advanced airway items, ventilated chest seals, sam splints, an abdominal dressing, casualty blanket and a few tools for sutures. These are all the items I'm warm and fuzzy with to handle whatever may come in the soft and easy American life I live now. Because I often have kids in the truck with me I also keep a pediatric traction splint attached to the outside bottom of my bag.

Now, let's talk about what I would recommend for all of you out there who might not be a battle experienced medic, but still want to save the day should the situation arise. Please take my advice to heart, I know what I'm talking about and I'm not trying to sell you anything.

Most, if not all, of these items are very cheap and affordable. I've done some recon for you on where to find them and I've attached the links below. You DO NOT need to buy a 250-500$ medical kit! You can be just as effective with the items I'm listing below and at a much more affordable price.

Budget friendly essentials to be effective:

1 High quality tourniquet

1 6 inch roll of ace wrap

3 large/XL rolls of kerlix

1 Oral pharyngal/Nasal pharyngal airway

1 roll of 1.5 inch tape

1 ventilated chest seal

1 pair trauma shears

1 black sharpie

1 Medical Pouch

The Tourniquet:

This is the foundation of trauma medicine. The most preventable cause of death on the battlefield is exsanguination. That's a fancy word for bleeding to death. Needless to say, that stayed with me for life and a good high-quality tourniquet is the foundation of my EDC. It doesn't have to be a high-priced item with matching kydex carrier. Here's a link for the same one I used in combat and carry with me everywhere I go that's reasonably priced.

6 Inch Ace Wrap:

This is very specific. You need AT LEAST a six-inch-wide ace wrap for your EDC if you plan on being the guy, ( or gall), that saves the day.

3 Large/Extra Large rolls of Kerlix:

Repeat after me: " I will not buy compressed gauze! I WILL NOT buy compressed gauze!" Kerlix is essential to packing wounds and you can easily pack three large rolls into a single gunshot wound. That might seem hard to believe, but remember, I've done this before. If you plan on controlling bleeding, this is paramount.

MED PRIDE Sterile Krinkle Gauze [12 Rolls]- 4.5'' x 4.1 Yards Rolls - Cotton Wound Dressing Sterile Wraps – 6-Ply Highly Absorbent First Aid Gauzes - Medical Individually Wrapped Mesh Bandage Gauzes

Oral/Nasal Pharangyl Airway:

This item is for keeping an open airway for your patient. Be courteous and use the lube if you use the nasal airway.

1.5 inch Tape:

This is going to be useful in more than one application. The foremost will be securing your interventions. I started doing this in Afghanistan after a very ugly incident on my Iraq deployment that happened to another medic. Without getting into too much detail, I now secure all my tourniquets with 1.5-inch tape after I've applied them. Never mind why, just listen to what I'm telling you. Seriously...I've been there, and you probably haven't. After you apply a tourniquet, secure it with 1.5-inch tape all around. No link needed. Get this at Walmart or any drug store.

Ventilated Chest Seal:

This item is essential to helping prevent the development and slow the progression of a pneumothorax for an open chest wound. They are very affordable and, once again, here is a link below.

Trauma Shears:

This item is very important for exposing your patient by removing clothing. Don't have a medical bag in your ride without it. A key to good emergency medicine is fully assessing your patient and that includes fully exposing their wounds. It would be tragic if you missed that little exit wound. No, would be tragic.

Black Sharpie:

You'll need this to write your vitals on your patient and times on your tourniquet. Just get one at Walmart with the 1.5 inch tape.

Medical Pouch:

This doesn't need to be a fancy item. Here's a link for one on amazon that should perfectly hold all the tools you need and still be easily storable in your vehicle.

Now, some of you are loosing your minds with "Doc! You forgot needles for decompression! You forgot to mention an Israeli dressing and the this, the that!" No, actually I didn't. This list is specifically a bare minimum that any untrained individual can easily be trained to use and stop a traumatic hemorrhage, maintain a very basic airway and slow the development of a life threatening tension pneumothorax while calling 9-1-1 and waiting for the paramedics to show up. Please god, don't watch a youtube video and think it's a good idea to attempt invasive procedures you're not qualified to be performing like chest decompressions or surgical airways. Stick to the list, wait for my instructional video on these items and always remember to call 911 as soon as possible. You have the world luxury of living in America and an ambulance with professionals is part of that luxury. Remember to use it.

You can get as "sexy" as you want with your set up, however, this is the bare minimum and budget friendly list that anyone can use, learn to apply, train with and still be very effective. The best part is that all of these items are in multiples or bulk. That means you can easily make more than one kit and have one as a spare, put one in your teenagers car or just have extra supplies to refill your pouch if you have to use them. My subtotal in my amazon cart was $130.00. This means you can make at least two of these off the items I listed with each coming in under $70 and still have extra to train with or refill your kit as needed. If you decide to get the training on how to use these items there is no reason why you couldn't be the next real-life hero when somebody needs one in a trauma situation.

I'm really not that special, y'all. So, if I can make it happen with just what's on this list there's no reason why you can't too. I'll be posting a video soon on how I use all these items and give you examples of how I've used them before. I'll even give you some examples as to why I chose them so make sure you come back to get some great advice or play keyboard warrior and heckle me.

Oh, and y'all remember; the number for 911 is 9...1...1.

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