I am on a tactical carbine league and I see a lot of guys who run their carbine better than I do have one critical flaw in the way they train. They never seem to have a blow out kit or IFAK on their belt. If you don’t know you need one that is cool. You are not going to stay ignorant for long. First off in our learning express train… nomenclature. IFAK means either Improved or Individual First Aid Kit (seems to vary depending on who you ask).
If you are going to the range you could be a victim of a negligent discharge. Meaning some bullets exit the chamber when they weren’t meant to. You never know the experience level of those around you so this could be more likely than you think. Even outside the range… If you conceal carry or are in Law Enforcement you have a reasonable belief that you may be in a situation that requires you to employ your firearm. (If you are Military you are going to get an IFAK and some NCO will make sure you have it)
If you are employing a firearm I would hope that it is in response to a lethal threat to yourself or someone close by… otherwise you are just being a dick. Guess what John Rambo… Unlike the movies good guys get shot too. We don’t have HALO over shields to protect you yet. If someone is a lethal threat you might be injured as a result. It would make sense to have some way to treat your injuries. I mean think about it. When seconds count the cops are minutes away right? Well the police most often arrive before EMS. Oh, and cops generally do not do shit to save your life.
Not only that, but budget cuts hit EMS particularly hard. The likelihood of those responding being able to reach you quickly enough to save your life if you are shot is not encouraging. So this is only a mistake away from happening. So be as prepared to get shot as you are to shoot someone.
Survival IFAK Essentials
IFAK’s take up what two or three molle loops? A Tourniquet holder takes up one. It need to be on your person when ever train or fight. I recommend you place your IFAK on your dominate hand side of your plate carrier, pistol belt, LBE, Vest. I also recommend identifying it. A [+] patch or red tape is a good universal way to identify your IFAK. Because guess what… You might not be the one using your equipment. Why place it on your gear? Well you need to use it in time=life situations so it needs to be as ready to be put to use as that extra mag you have.
Here is what your IFAK should contain as a minimum.
- CAT or SOFF tourniquet. It needs to be deployed with one hand if needed so that discounts the SWAT style tourniquets.
- Emergency Trauma Bandage (many brands out there).
- Chest Seal (HALO, Bolin, or Hyfin are all good but any piece of plastic will do)
- Nasal Phryangeal Airway sized to fit you. (something tells me I might need to right an article on this) (but if you don’t know how to use this… then don’t bother adding it)
- Non Latex Gloves (Nitril >5mils)
- Durapor (or equal) medical tape…
- EMT Shears
If you don’t want to put together your own IFAK, I recommend TacMedSolutions. They offer outstanding quality and their price is equally outstanding. They have a Downed Operator Kit for 40 dollars or their Operator IFAK is 75. Which is pretty damn good. There are a lot of companies out there that try and rape you on the price of IFAK’s. In most cases you are better off sourcing the items you need through Amazon than you would buying some of these kits. TacMedSolutions is the exception. Insert Paramore Meme here.
Now this is not a boo boo kit. This is a save your ass from trauma kit. But you need to know how to use everything in your kit. You need to learn to use it under stress too. So just buying stuff for the sake of having it is not going to cut it.
How to use your IFAK
Now if you are training as a militia or in a survival group you all need to have your own IFAK. You need to use the CAUSALITIES IFAK to treat them. This gets emphasized a lot even to medics because even medics fuck this up. If you get shot that means you have to be taken off the battle field… at some point. If you use your supplies and not the causalities then that mean less supplies will be on the battle field. So you know now why it is important to have an IFAK… So you don’t screw over other people.
BUT DAVE BLACK I just watched a video by Dave Canterbury and he explained why he has the NOFAK!!! He isn’t ignorant… Right? He definitely is not ignorant. He basically explained his reasons why he doesn’t carry an IFAK. Let me make something abundantly clear. 1. You are not Dave Canterbury… He is very knowledgeable in wilderness medicine and he has years of experience in the woods. 2. Your not always going to be in Dave Canterbury’s operational environment… meaning this advice is not suited for tactical situations but rather they are gear towards self reliance situations. Also Dave Canterbury doesn’t operate in SHTF situations. He is not likely to be days or weeks away from a hospital. Meaning when he stuffs a cotton bandanna that has all kinds of sweat and lord knows what else into a wound to pack it… He isn’t worried that in 3 days he might go into septic shock as a result. 3. The one issue I would have with Dave Canterbury’s logic is that I would tell him to have a tactical tourniquet. I know he can improvise one… and that is great if he has someone else out there with him. But if he is alone for any reason he can bleed out in 90 seconds to the point where he cannot help himself.
So here is my Mountain Man Dave Canterbury NOFAK for those who follow his gospel. So in addition to the items he goes over here is what you will need post SHTF.
- CAT or SOF Tourniquet.
- Rolled Gauze.
- EMT Shears.
- Safety Pins
With knowledge in improvising medical supplies those 4 items can do the everything and IFAK can do.