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Campfire Chat

May 28, 2019

(I took the day off yesterday, like most people in my demographic, to remember friends no longer with us. My intent was to spend today making that up, and getting this week’s articles taken care of, and the subscription drill out. As it turned out however, I woke up this morning to a phone call about a family medical emergency that we needed to deal with immediately.

We’re still dealing with that, but I scraped out an hour to get this posted for y’all.

Subscribers, I will get the drill out this week still, so it will not be late. I will try and get a Library article and a “feature” article out this week also, but….hopefully, next week will allow for a return to your regularly scheduled programming.

If you have an email in my inbox, rest assured, I will get to it as soon as possible. In the meantime, you could bitch at me, or you could rest easy knowing that I’m doing what I preach, and putting the needs of my people first. –John)


Hmmm… Sounds like great advice! One should also carry on their person an AED, because your chance of having a heart attack is SIGNIFICANTLY greater than getting shot! Oh, and you should lug around a gallon of cranberry juice in case you get a kidney stone! Hell, if you’re not driving around in a goddamn AMBULANCE, you’re a FUCKING IDIOT!
Seriously, how many civilian (non-LEO) self-defense gunfight (not active shooter incident) survivors have bled to death in the last 10 years because they weren’t carrying tourniquets? We’re already expected to carry our handgun, a back-up gun, spare magazines for both, a tactical folding knife, a flashlight (with spare battery) & a non-lethal option. Now a trauma kit, too? Add wallet, keys, phone & I don’t have enough pockets for all this shit!
And besides, since we’re going to get shot ANYWAY, why bother carrying the gun in the first place?”

Alright, let’s break this down, for the kids in the slow reading group….

1) YOU may be at significantly greater risk of a heart attack than of getting shot, but I’m not a fat fuck, and get a physical regularly. My physician assures me that I have the cardiovascular health of a man twenty years younger. So, don’t project your own inadequacies on others (for the record, I don’t have any idea if the whiner above is actually a fat fuck…). I’ve also never had a kidney stone, so, now in my mid-forties, it’s probably not a major concern, considering the differences in my diet now, and when I was in my 20s and 30s.

2) I don’t actually know the number, but I know a metric fuckton of people have bled the fuck out from GSW and MVA and other mechanisms of injury, because nobody around happened to have a fucking tourniquet. Someone commented here on the blog a couple weeks ago, about a seminar they were in, following the Las Vegas mass shooting a couple years ago, where it was stated that some 80% of improvised tourniquets failed to function effectively.

3) I don’t expect you to carry a fucking thing. I don’t carry a Back-Up Gun. That’s what my knife, physical fitness, and the ability to fight unarmed are for. As far as your wardrobe shortcomings, I discussed that, in some detail, in The Guerrilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Carry Pistol. At the end of the day, you have to carry what works for you….as I’ve mentioned numerous times, in numerous articles. If carrying a pocket medical kit doesn’t fit you, your abilities, and your mission parameters, then don’t fucking carry one.

4) Hey, pussy? I got shot, and still managed to shoot the cocksucker that shot me. A LOT of people have been shot, stabbed, etc, and still managed to prosecute the fight they were in, and win. Getting shot doesn’t mean you died, and it doesn’t mean you lost. On the other hand, with your attitude, yeah…you’re probably going to die from a psychological stop, via “Oh shit, I’ve been shot! I’m going to die!” In fact, I would offer, instead of spending money on a pocket medical kit, and the training to use it, you should use the money for testosterone injections.


Can you recommend a reliable or preferred vendor for occlusive dressings, hemostatic agents, and compressed flat pack gauze?

1) North American Rescue

2) Chinook Medical

3) The Activity Group

4) Dark Angel Medical

Those are the only four I feel comfortable recommending, off the top of my head. I’ve got experience with the first three, and have never heard anything but positive about Dark Angel.

The guys at The Activity Group are friends, and almost the entire staff has a SOF background with combat experience.


The Activity Group is , apparently no longer carrying the TX2.

I saw that, after I posted the article. The RMT is the same tourniquet.


Curious if the chest seals you carry are vented or non-vented? Since you aren’t as concerned about tension pneumothorax do you carry non-vented?

I actually have both. The Committee-approved protocols are vented is preferred, but nonvented will work. In either case, you still need to monitor for respiratory distress. I don’t get too wrapped around the axle about which one a person carries. Like I said, you’re going to have to monitor for pneumo- anyway, and even if I’m running an unvented, there are treatment options available, whether through burping the chest seal, a chest dart, or a digital thoracostomy (and, I probably just misspelled that, FYI. I get it wrong about half the time.)


2) TQs: You have four extremities. If you don’t have 4 TQs nearby, you’re probably effing up.
Esp. as protocol is to place a second TQ above the first one, if you aren’t stopping bleeding with the first one. So you might, ergo, figure out you should have maybe up to eight handy.
Unless you’d rather run out of blood because you ran out of TQs.
Suture self.

3) NP Airways, i.e. Nose Hose:
Yes, you can do chin tilt-jaw thrust to get an airway in a pinch.
And now, you’re the airway device.
Full-time, both hands, can’t do anything else, until help arrives.
Can’t apply a TQ. Can’t assess bleeding. Can’t do anything else.
Because you’re busy holding that airway open.
Okay if you have more medical help; not so great if you’re a solo act, esp. with more than one patient, or they have more than one problem.
You could tear open the $0.05 packet of surgi-lube, slather the nasal trumpet in it, slide it up a snotstril, and then go on about what you were doing. The noisy audible solo your patient is now playing will assure you the airway is patent while you attend to other things.
They’re small. They’re cheap. Have an NP airway, and use if necessary.


To be clear, I don’t disagree with this at all, but practicably, we ARE limited in what we can carry EDC. I CAN carry a TQ or two. I can’t effectively carry four. My aid bag has anywhere from 16-20, depending on how many I’ve donated to folks recently.


Same on the nose hose. It really just depends on what you’re doing, and under what circumstances. I’m a big believer in erring on the side of establishing an airway via NPA, ESPECIALLY if there is a chance the patient MIGHT lose consciousness, and I’ve got multiple casualties, or I’ve got other shit I need to do, like transporting the casualty, or killing bad guys. As a general, every day carry thing? I’ll carry A nose hose, but if it turns out to be a multiple casualty scenario, until I can get my aid bag from the truck, or the dudes with the ambulance show up, we’re going to be making do.




What do you think of how the USMC uses slings for support/stabilty when shooting?  Is that technique worth a shit? 

Slinging up definitely works. If you’ve got time, and know how to do it, it will tighten your groups. I don’t believe it is particularly necessary, nor important. I can reliably shoot a 2MOA group, from any firing position, with my current primary rifle. Standing will take me longer than I’d like to get that tight, but prone, kneeling, squatting, and seated, I can pull it off at a pretty solid rate-of-fire, around one shot ever 2-3 seconds. Could I eke out another 1MOA with a sling? Probably, but practically, I’m not going to need that extra minute, and I’m willing to give it up in order to get the first round downrange a couple of seconds sooner.

As far as use in a static position, such as a sentry post or LP/OP? When someone suggests that to me, I generally assume they’ve not actually got a lot of experience shooting with a sling, or in an LP/OP. I’ve not met very many people who are going to sit in an a slung up position, for any real length of time. And, if I’m in the LP/OP, and suddenly need to start shooting because “gooks in the wire” or whatever, I’m probably not going to be taking the time to get it done.

Besides pure marksmanship practice (I do have a 1917 sling on my M1A, and I’ll play with it occasionally), the one place where the sling really shines, in my experience, is, if you have a dude who’s really having trouble getting tight groups. Typically, if I can discount any other cause, I assume it’s because he’s not getting a good, tight, solid, stable firing position. Teaching him to sling up, thus giving him the opportunity to see what a TIGHT position actually feels like and looks like (through the sights) can help, a lot.


Hey pal, so I saw your call for questions on your last email and I have had one for awhile now. Since it’s summer, the wife has a tendency to want to do some travel/vacation type road trips. During these excursions I have a tendency to pack a little heavy (rifle, plate carrier, food, water etc.). This takes me back to your NC class where you had a few long guns, sustainment loadouts and carriers. My question concerns a worst case scenario where you could have been in the position to hoof two or three hundred miles on foot with your family in tow. How have you “war gamed” a long trek home? Would you go full kit “hard target” or throw a T-shirt over the carrier and try to blend in with the potential mass of other migrants? The best I could come up with was to lift a Wal-Mart shopping cart for my kids and to do my best to blend in for the first few days while traveling interstate roadways, though with three kids under ten and a pregnant wife, I figured ten miles per day was a reasonable estimate. As things deteriorate over the passage of time, I could see how full kit would be of benefit but the core of my question would mainly concern those first few days where most people are coping with the situation.

To start, I carry a LOT more shit, when I’m on a training trip, than I do when I’m on a family trip, just because of teaching aids, etc.

Generally speaking, I keep a long gun in the truck, with a plate carrier set up. The truck gun sits tucked next to my seat, where it is secured, through the magwell and ejection port, any time I leave the vehicle, with a stainless cable luggage lock and combination lock. The PC setup rides in the enclosed back, or on the floorboard in front of the baby’s car seat.

Additionally, we keep four or five wool blankets in the truck, a rucksack of “Get Home Gear” for the wife and I each, a baby bag for the baby that will support him for 4-5 days anyway, and each of the older kids has a bag. I keep two cases of bottled water in the truck. My oldest kid carries her “survival ruck” everywhere she goes anyway (and, you should see people’s faces, when she shows up for something like a kids’ birthday party, dressed like a princess, while carrying a woodland camo assault pack loaded with survival gear, with a knife and hatchet hanging off the outside…)

Simplest answer is, it’s just gonna depend on my read of the situation. A minor, localized emergency, probably isnt going to drive me to don PC, gun up, and start patrolling home on foot. I’d either stay with the truck and family until help arrived, or we’d look for local shelter until the situation stabilized.

On the other hand, in the case of a situation where—for an extreme example—most cars stopped working at the same time, and cellphone service disappeared, etc…or anything that looked like a major, nationwide or worldwide scenario, I’d be a lot more likely to say “Fuck it, we’re walking,” and start moving towards home by the fastest route possible. In that sort of scenario, I’d be okay with gunning up and throwing a PC on. In/near towns, I’d probably throw a shirt over it, but it would really depend on my read on the situation, based on what I see other folks doing/reacting.


Would you suggest those like my self (who live in non-permissive environments where firearms aren’t readily available even for those willing/able to go to black market sources) carry tourniquets, chest seals, and pressure dressings? Knives and knife crime is becoming more and more common in my AO/AOI.

I am already carrying pressure dressings, gauze, and gloves, but your article makes me think I need to rethink my shit.

I carry the same basic essentials, medically, anywhere I go, even if I cannot, for some reason, carry a gun. In my jurisdiction, intent defines a knife as a weapon v. a tool, so I’ve seen young guys walk into a bank with a Kabar hanging from their belt, and I’ve seen smaller belt knives in otherwise “restricted” areas like local government offices. A stab wound to the upper torso is STILL a penetrating trauma, so I’m going to use a chest seal as my default. Having buried a Benchmade folder three inches into my own thigh once, and then walking a couple miles to get transport to a hospital, I will say, I felt a lot better about having a battlefield dressing to secure the wound before I had to start walking (and for the record, honestly, the tightness of the dressing caused more of a limp than the stab wound to the front of my thigh. I’d even say, if I were to somehow repeat the stupidity of that moment, I’d probably not even go to the hospital to get stitched up. I’d just bandage that shit up, maybe treat it with some sugar-dine or something similarly antibacterial, and let it heal itself).

If the stab wound had been a few inches higher, it would have required a tourniquet instead of just pressure and a dressing. That was a self-inflicted, accidental wound, with a small folding knife, that immediately elicited a response of “Fuck, let’s not do that again!” What if it had been someone with ill intent, and possible, a bigger blade?

So, short answer? Yes, I recommend it.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Hey mosby!

    Here is something an antifa wrote:
    Some of it is laughable, some ain’t half bad, enjoy!

  2. James Califwin permalink

    Plate carriers save lives. You are Correct about carrying TQs, chest seals &Israeli pressure dressings. 2-4good. Add one 14G pneumothorax needle. Eye protection is a must(clear & tinted , terrain & season specific). Vines & Branches in thick foliage cut face,eyes& hands.Uneven rocky Moutain trails & extreme elevation change lead to stumbling & falls. Water (standing or running)containing dead(?)things is a problem?. Always purify. Less daily gun fights in rural areas compared to economic underprivileged Ag or gang areas of Calif. So Kroger, Costco, WalMart is safe for most of you arguing about EDC, BOB, get home etc. Watch news 3x a week. When, diplomats are kicked out, flights canceled, Dow Jones drops 3,000 points get worried. I appreciate all the input and recommendations. SOS SURVIVAL PRODUCTS On Strathern St VAN NUYS , California is a Full service supplier. Make friends with your local pharmacist, veterinarian, and Dentist. As a community pharmacist I always help my neighbors.

  3. kevinH permalink

    I have to say, I really enjoy your writing. The candor you bring to deadly serious situations can be eye opening, to say the lest. Thank you for caring enough to share your expertise and experience.

  4. dmv gringo permalink

    In the time it took to read, skim through, or sensibly dump before finishing the first paragraph. the communists scored another win.

  5. kammy1717 permalink

    I was at work recently had someone stop and ask if we had a tourniquet. I followed, quickly on the way didn’t know if we had a GS or stabbing, or WTF. Guy with o blown fistula, bled like a MF. When I got there they had a belt around his arm and were trying to tie a knot in some rope object. I had no idea where the blood was spitting from. Nothing worked. I pinched his brachial artery until squad got there, I had to tell them to give me a CAT. I will never not have a tourniquet on me again…always figured one day I’d carry one EDC, but just like everyone else why the hell would I do that, not like we are slinging hot rocks. Woulda coulda shoulda rather have a rusty tool than no tool.

  6. Norseman permalink

    Thanks for putting in the time and giving us some of your knowledge. You are appreciated. Someday I’ll be able to make one of your classes . had to drop out of the one you did down here in NC a while back

  7. Ken permalink

    Thanks for your insight.

  8. Tex permalink

    Possibly Cricothyroidotomy?

  9. Mac permalink

    5 percent preventable deaths due to hemorrhage in accidents is the figure off the top of my head. Sure heart attacks can happen, that is why knowing CPR is important in fact your tourniquet and medical kit as well as first aid knowledge is more likely to be used on someone else than yourself someone with an attitude like that to first aid probably shouldn’t carry a gun either.

  10. Ben C permalink

    I carry a tq at work not to stop bleeding, but for an immediate first aid in case of high pressure fluid injection. I work with high pressure hydraulic systems and injected high pressure oil will kill you if it is able to flow through your blood back to your heart and lungs. A tq can isolate that damage to a limb and reduce the situation from dead to suck. You only have a very small window to get it on and tight depending on injury site.

    And suck it will, treatment is to surgically fillet you open and manually clean that stuff out one layer of flesh at a time and cut out the bits that can’t be cleaned. Google pictures of post surgery treatment for some impressive traintrack scars.

    • James permalink

      Ben,re-reading your reply is working around basic construction equipment prone to this type of issue or is this some other commercial situation.I do have my kit with a bunch of cat 7’s among other items but am wondering how one gets hydraulically injected,do always check the hoses ec. on gear I am working around even though I am not the operator,now,seems I have more incentive.

      • Ben C permalink

        I design systems and test units, not much repair in the field. While testing units on the dyno it is common to load the unit to max pressure, then stick hands and arms in around the unit to adjust UP to the desired setting so I am frequently around high pressure oil. Some field service techs end up doing some similar things when units are serviced or replaced. Machine operators are very rarely in the same situation as equipment has guards and shields in place to keep fingers out of the places I am putting my fingers in. Also, machines only hit the pressures we set things to on an extremely intermittent basis, anything running above 7000 PSI continuously tends to live a short life. Systems are designed to see that peak pressure for not more than a few seconds per cycle at most, and on the dyno we’ll hold it there for 5 minutes+ to make sure things are working right before calling it good.

        Best way to avoid oil injection injury is DO NOT EVER search for fluid leaks with your hand, don’t do it with the machine running, and make sure all pressure is released after the machine is off before going into any space around pressurized lines. DO NOT EVER run your hand along fluid tubes, hoses, or fittings with the machine running or with pressure remaining in the system. If you take things off for repairs or testing, lower and block all arms and booms, block the machine so it cannot move, and make sure all residual pressure is released before taking anything loose. If you think a fitting is loose, try it with the machine off and a wrench not your hand.

        Not a high risk for the vast majority of folks, hydraulic techs, and boiler techs (high pressure steam is worse) are 2 areas where this comes into play.

    • James permalink

      Thanks for the info. Ben,I since not a operator(yet)just kind of visually inspect things while having me start of the day coffee,the do not touch pressurized though not running new to me and thus I learned a valuable lesson without perhaps paying a very high price!30+ years construction has me eyes on everything,am only at times a temp sup but feel responsible for those around me and my own ass.

  11. Wes McDonald permalink

    After reading your recent post regarding EDC first aid items, I ordered another TQ (SOFTT), another set of chest seals (HALO – 1 vented, 1 non-vented), and an ITS Slimline pouch as a package. This fits fairly well in a magazine pocket of Carlos Ray pants that I wear daily. Previously, I had carried a CATT, compressed gauze, and a pressure bandage, all in separate pockets. Oh, and I also carry gloves. Regarding the guy whining about EDC first aid items, fuck that guy. I agree with Mac. That pussy has no business carrying a weapon. Thanks, Mosby.

  12. James permalink

    Thanks for the post but more importantly hope all is well with the family and medical emergency is just folks being prudent,family,whether by blood or friendship is the most important thing in life to me,and my family includes the four footed members.

  13. Tamara Keel permalink

    The way any suggestion of first aid stuff triggers people will never cease to kick over my giggle box. It’s a very similar reaction to any talk about fitness.

    As the saying from back home goes, “The hit dog yelps.”

    • Ok, since we have competent people on here, are CAT TQ on eBay legit or BS. I do not have an issue buying older legit TQ, I do not want to buy fake crap, any thoughts?

      • Tamara Keel permalink

        I’d be leery of purchasing TQs from anyplace other than a handful of known online retailers. Amazon and eBay are overrun with people selling airsoft-grade knockoffs.

  14. nick flandrey permalink

    “One should also carry on their person an AED, because your chance of having a heart attack is SIGNIFICANTLY greater than getting shot”

    –don’t know who the smartass is, but I have an AED in my bathroom, and I just bought another for the truck. As soon as the new pads get here, it’ll find its new home under the middle seat.

    I know one other person at our local swimming hole who has an AED at home and already has one in his truck 24/7. We DON’T have one at the community pool, so I’m seriously thinking of donating my new (truck) AED to our pool.

    They are expensive new, but are available on ebay reconditioned. They also come up in local surplus and bankruptcy auctions, and rarely need more than a new battery, or an electrode set. Both of mine together cost less than a new 1911, or a pair of cheaper pistols.

    I’m 53 and not in bad shape. My buddy with the AEDs is 55 and 40 pounds heavier with a history of heart issues. We both have older family members, and friends that might be in our homes or other places we are.

    As smartass points out, after a certain point, we (and our friends) are more likely to have a heart attack than a gunshot wound. Even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes.

    Think about adding an AED to your preps if you have family history, or are ‘of a certain age’. The life you save might be your own.


  15. Vagus permalink

    Regarding the tourniquets, even though I usually don’t carry them on my person, I bought a set after the gym teacher at my school told me about the time a student put his hand through some plate glass and nearly bled to death. There was also a friend of mine that stabbed herself with a branch while through-hiking… long story short, I don’t plan for combat situations like you all do, but emergency medical supplies are still handy things to keep around.

    Actually, now that my parents are older I have considered getting a surplus AED, especially for when my dad and I are out in the boonies. For those that don’t know, you generally have an hour to get someone to advanced medical care, and with our lot that’s not always a possibility.

  16. permalink

    HA, I love reading your campfire chat.


    Jene Lager

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