Trauma Kits

the trauma kit

By Craig Stolzman

We talk about the survival priorities mindset, tactics, skill at arms, and equipment all the time. Lets apply the guidelines we have for equipment (readily available, reliable, and relatively suited for the task) to trauma kits.

Let’s look at readily available first, I often shoot IDPA and as of the date I write this I have not seen anyone with a trauma kit  besides myself. I am sure there are kits in people’s vehicles but some of the stages are over a hundred yards from the parking area. You having a small kit there might save someone’s life. Now I know you are not going to carry a full kit around in your cargo pockets everyday everywhere you go so having it in your vehicle is definitely better than not having it at all but during higher risk activities have it with you.

Wikipedia defines reliability as (the ability of a person or system to perform and maintain its functions in routine circumstances, as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances). You need to know how to use what is in your kit with confidence. I know the thinking is that the items in your kit are to be used on you so you should include things you might not know how to us because the person working on you will know how to use them. I don’t know about you but I do not have medical professionals following me around, if I don’t know how to use something most likely no one around me will either. Find a way to get the training.  The items in the kit need to be carried or stored in a way that they are protected from anything that could cause them to be unusable such as water, mud, sunlight, rips or cuts and so that you can access them Quickly.

What items should be included in your trauma kit?

The items in your kit should be relatively suited for the task. This is a trauma kit not a first aid kit a trauma kit is mainly set up to stop severe bleeding and or restore breathing a first aid kit is for treating  your everyday booboo’s, they should not be mixed. Things you should consider being in your kit are Military field dressings, hemostatic bandage, tourniquet, nasopharyngeal airway, 14 Gauge Angio-catheter, gloves, tape, occlusive dressing, or gauze. At minimum it should contain a field dressing, gauze, gloves, and a tourniquet.


There is a saying that goes something like this “if you are prepared to take a life you should be prepared to save one”. I believe in this completely. Whether it be a vehicle accident, work related injury, GSW, or a laceration you will be far better equipped to handle the situation if a trauma kit is available, reliable, and suited for the task.

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5 Responses

  1. GOOD STUFF!!! Are there any products that you recommend buying a certain brand or staying away from?

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Craig ,

    Good article ,very relevant . You should submit it to the IDPA magazine ( Tactical Journal )for publication . Hope to see you at the match next month … I’ll have my trauma kit.
    – Scott Peters

  3. Thanks for the positive response Scott. I hope to make it to the next Match as well, I have been busy for the last few. You better have a kit bye the way you are the medical professional that happens to be there.


  4. Craig,

    This is a very interesting article. Where can I go to basic training on how to use the kit?

  5. Great idea on the Tactical Journal. Thanks.