Many readers already know this, but I’m not a trained medical professional. At the same time, I am a regular person who received basic first aid training many moons ago and care about making sure that I have adequate first aid supplies on hand should a need for them arise. There are two types of kits that I keep nearby: 1) basic first aid kits (also known as boo boo kits) and 2) trauma kits. I use plural terms here because I use a layer approach to first aid (as well as other emergency preparedness scenarios). Basic first aid kits are often filled with band aids and other items to deal with everyday boo boos. This is not the type of kit I am going to cover here, I’m going to deal with the trauma kits which are designed to deal with serious or life threatening injuries.
Recently, I asked the owner of Solatac to rate (or roast) my individual first aid kit (IFAK). The feedback that I got was way more positive than I expected, but it really got me thinking about what I carry on my person every day. Up until recently, that consisted of a North American Rescue flat emergency trauma dressing and a combat application tourniquet. The idea was that these two items would be sufficient to deal with immediate trauma and allow me to work my way to the IFAK in a nearby location. While this could work for the unlikely self defense situation, it ignored other more likely blunt trauma scenarios.
This is where the Solatac Pocket Trauma Kit (PTK) came into the picture. The PTK has a lot more first aid and trauma capabilities than the two items I was carrying as part of my everyday carry gear. Additionally, it’s available at a fraction of the price of fancy contents of the IFAK that wasn’t on my person. All of this made picking up several PTKs a no brainer. One PTK replaced the two items in my EDC and has become a standard included kit in all of my load outs – including my deer hunting load out. Another PTK is now a standard item in my wife’s everyday carry (in her purse). We have also thrown a PTK in the glove compartment of all of our vehicles.
So what’s in the Solatac PTK?
- 1 SWAT-T TQ / Pressure Dressing
- 1 Vaseline Gauze (Occlusive Dressing)
- 1 5×7 ABD Trauma Pad
- 1 packet CELOX Hemostat Agent
- 2 Rolls KERLEX Gauze
- 1 PHOKUS FROG Medical Tape
- 2′ GORILLA Tape
- 1 Pair Nitrile Exam Gloves
The entire kit comes vacuum sealed and will fit inside of a cargo pant pocket.
Right about now a skeptical reader should be questioning whether or not my layman opinion matters. Truth be told, I was questioning myself. Even though my very basic first aid trained mind was screaming this was legit, I reached out to a couple of medical experts I trust and asked them what their thoughts about this kit were in the hands of a typical non-medical professional with minimal first aid training like myself. Their words speak for themselves.
The first person I reached out to was my mother-in-law who is a retired registered nurse. Her words were simple. “Looks really good. [This is] excellent for any type of [typical] injury. Awesome to have a few on hand!” She also pointed out that these kits should last a really long time since the expiration date on the items should be a long ways away.
The next person I reached out to is an old high school friend who is currently a trauma and critical care PA. Her words were even simpler: “[The kit] is legit.” She pointed out the kit’s contents are sufficient for a layman to deal with anything sliced, cut off, or shot into a person. From her experience as PA, she thinks the selection and inclusion of the CELOX hemostatic agent to be the right call as it’s not one that clumps – clumps make it more difficult for medical professionals to clean out the agent from the wound when it’s their turn to treat it. She thinks the kit could be improved by including a back up pair of nitrile exam gloves since they have a tendency to tear from time to time.
The last person I reached out to is another close friend who is currently a trauma RN and a former Army combat medic. He pretty much echoed what the other folks said and described this kit as a decent pocket trauma kit for the average person to deal with penetrating trauma. He recommends supplementing the kit with extra gauze pads, more KERLEX, Coban, or Ace Wraps if possible; at least as much as a person can reasonably carry on their person.
I believe that anyone who is engaged in any shooting sports or is a practitioner of self defense needs to seriously consider keeping first aid equipment on their person or nearby and should also work on developing their first aid skills. The Solatac PTK isn’t the end all be all of trauma response readiness, but it’s an excellent small kit that is easy to keep on your person or in extremely close vicinity. It’s robust and provides a solid foundation on which to build personal first aid capabilities on.
Solatac offers many other first aid products designed specifically for the average person to use intuitively and offered an extremely reasonable price. Additionally, a lot of their products are offered in pouches and bags that make storage and transportation of the supplies easy to keep them accessible. Their kits include a basic bleed kit, personal trauma kits, and multi-casualty kits.
I’ve held a few giveaways now where three (3) different individuals each received a single (1) Solatac PTK.
The way it works is simple. Winners will be contacted by email via the email address provided for the winning entry. Eligibility is reserved to individuals currently residing in the United States of America with an address that Solatac can ship to.
Here are the details of the most recent giveaway. Good luck to all of you. Have at it.UncleZo Solatac Giveaway
On a side note, regardless of whether you win or not, you should follow the following Twitter accounts because it’s the right thing to do:
- Follow me at: @UncleZoGunTales
- Follow Solatac at: @solatac
- And follow the owner of Solatac, who also happens to be an all around good dude at: @DempMcgee
I will most likely give more of these away in the future, but then again I may not. We shall see.