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 never done a giveaway before. However, given everything that is going on and how strongly I feel about having first aid tools nearby – specifically to deal with serious or life threatening injuries, I’ve decided to do my first giveaway. Fot this giveaway, I am going to send a Solatac Pocket Trauma Kit to three email subscribers on the last day of September 2020 at my expense. Here is how it will work:
To be considered, enter your email address to subscribe to this blog. This can be done on any blog post by entering your email address in the “Subscribe to blog via email” widget on the right side (you may have to scroll up if you are on a desktop, or down if you are on a mobile device) and clicking the “subscribe” button.
Or entering it below:
On September 30, 2020 at 5PM CST, three (3) random email subscribers will be selected as the winners of the giveaway. Each winner will be contacted via the email used to subscribe to this blog with a request for shipping information in order to receive one (1) Solatac PTK. Winners will have until October 5, 2020 at 5PM CST to respond to the email and claim their prize.
Email subscribers must reside in the continental United States of America to be eligible to win. If Solatac can’t directly ship a PTK to you for whatever reason, then another winner will be randomly selected.
Good luck to all of you. Have at it.
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
Who knows, I may decide to do another giveaway in the future.