Vehicle Everyday Carry

The average American spends up to 12 years in their car, and that means that you are probably going to be spending oh… around a sixth of your life in your automobile in various stages of transportation, idling, and using colorful language to describe your frustrations to your fellow drivers.

While I can’t help with making the daily grind pleasant, in this article we’re going to explore some things you can do to make sure that the events that happen in and around our cars are less stressful – and that’s a good thing, because less stress = longer lives = more time spent in cars.

With that in mind, let’s think back to Understanding Emergencies and Everyday Carry. We can apply these same templates to our vehicles, to make the most unpleasant moments on the road a little more manageable.


The vehicle has unique problems that are particularly challenging. That’s okay, though, because these challenges still fall into our previously established categories of emergency “types.” In doing this, we can maintain some consistency, while only modifying our metric of how protracted the event is.  So, in evaluating how we’ll address our needs, we’ll first define our most likely emergencies by their types.

Type 1: High Intensity - Short Duration

There’s probably no better example of this kind of emergency than a car wreck. These happen in the blink of an eye and produce an overwhelming amount of pandemonium – and then they’re over. Car accidents take on a variety of levels of severity, but we can easily say that if you’re in a car accident, the accident doesn’t “last” for hours (even if the impacts do).

However, even though the quintessential Type 1 Emergency is the auto-accident, there are others:

- Carjacking
- Car fires
- Submergence
- Environmental emergencies (earthquakes, floods etc.)

All deserve to be considered when we pack our cars with gear and our heads with the skills to mitigate these emergencies.  Keep in mind that these lists are going to be extremely short, as our everyday carry (EDC) structure will take care of quite a few of these problems.


- Medical kit (discussed later)
- Water (potable)
- Flares
- Defensive tools
- Fire extinguisher (such an overlooked necessity)


- First Aid
- Defensive driving
- Good situational awareness
- Vehicle defensive skills

There are a few occurrences that will show you the ‘weak points’ in your defensive driving curriculum. Your ability to manipulate things like your seatbelt or clutch are likely to suffer, so it’s important to make sure you have a mental outline of what you’re going to do, and practice it.

For example, I don’t wear my seatbelt if I’m going under 20 miles per hour. If something happens, I want to be able to exit quickly and not fuss with it. While I don’t advocate this, it’s a part of my baseline from when I worked patrol. Establish one for yourself as well, based on your vehicle and your comfort level with the above situations. No matter what happens, there are a few basic things you’re going to want to do:

  1. Stop the vehicle from moving (if you can)
  2. Safely put the vehicle in neutral, and utilize the parking break. Note: This allows you to keep the vehicle running, in case you need to move again quickly, and minimizes the chances that the vehicle won’t start again if you’ve been in a collision.
  3. Safely exit the vehicle
  4. Move to a safer location (off the road, etc.)

So, for me, my order of operations is as follows:

  1. Move out of the area of whatever put you in danger (i.e., get the heck out of Dodge)
  2. Put the vehicle in Neutral and engage the parking brake
  3. a) Release your seatbelt slowly, cautiously, and without an excess of movement (this is a relatively small activity that can turn into a fine-motor-skill nightmare if you don’t practice it – especially if you’re hanging upside down, or some road-raged freak is trying to punch you through the window – both of which have happened to me)
    b) Remove your seatbelt deliberately and without any ‘sudden’ movements. This generally will cause the belt to “lock” and resist your movements. Don’t get trapped by being in a hurry!
  4. Do a mental sweep of the vehicle and the surroundings. Grab any equipment that you must have.
  5. Exit the vehicle after a second quick spot-check in the mirrors.
  6. Move away from any hazards, and place yourself behind something solid (jersey barriers, telephone poles, etc.)

This way, regardless of the emergency, I can get in and out quickly, am aware of the potential hazards before I get out, and I have anything I’m going to need to treat injuries or move on foot (second-line equipment) – which opens us up to address our second type of problem:

Type 2: Moderate Intensity - Moderate Duration

Before we start, it’s important to keep in mind that “intensity” is relative. There’s really not much about a flat tire that’s intense, and it’s usually resolved in a matter of hours. This seems really “ho-hum” because it’s common in our lives. You get used to being shot at or bombed, too, if it happens enough. So when we look at these problems, the key point is that these situations (like our “original” Type 2 Emergencies) expose us and increase our likelihood of finding ourselves in a situational Type 1 Emergency (such as being struck by another motorist while changing a tire. Ouch.)

So, what are our Type 2 Vehicle Emergencies?

Things like:

Flat tires, overheating engines/coolant issues, fender-benders, dead battery, empty fuel tanks, and the like. These are mundane and inconvenient, and that combination makes them uninteresting. It’s also where the majority of our planning and equipment takes place. In everyday life, the Type 2 Emergency challenges our resourcefulness and our ability to adapt and provide for ourselves. In and around our vehicles, it simply asks of us, “What have you done to prevent or mitigate this?”

So, what should we carry for these emergencies?

  • Water
  • Coolant
  • Motor oil (2 qts)
  • Jumper cables
  • Food (I throw a couple MRE’s in the back)
  • Emergency blanket (Mylar, poncho liner, sleeping bag – whatever you like)
  • Flashlight (headlamp type – it’s ridiculously inconvenient to try to hold a light and work)
  • Spark plug (appropriate to your vehicle)
  • Vehicle tool Set
         - Screwdriver  
         - Ratchet set with appropriate attachments for your plugs
         - Crescent wrench
         - Multimeter
  • Fuses
  • Tire iron and jack
  • Gas can

This is going to depend on your level of skill and comfort with working around common automotive problems, but being able to take care of some of these ‘easy fix’ issues will go a long way in getting you out of the Type 2 hold-up and on your way to bigger and better things.


Be able to change your tire, test your battery, and if necessary, knock corrosion off it. Be ready to tighten wires. Know how to check your spark plugs and change them if necessary. Be able to check your oil, and know how to check your engine for blown seals.  Your goal with this type of emergency is “Get myself home” – if you are stuck, you’re not going to dry out, starve, or freeze.

By the nature of the “Understanding Emergencies” structure, there is no framework for a “vehicle-specific” Type 3 Emergency. At that point, it’s simply a Type 3 Emergency. But, there are things you can do to prepare during the intermittent 12-year stretch of life that you’re going to be spending on the road, just in case you’re away from home and something significant happens.

Type 3: Low Intensity - Long Duration

The third line equipment is generally your backpack and contains the type of equipment you’ll probably not use unless you’re displaced; a benefit of this line of equipment is that it’s easy to pack and keep in your car, and it’s portable in case you have to move away from your vehicle.

However, keeping a kit in your car also allows you to quickly move in case of an emergency such as a flood, fire, riots, or earthquakes – all of which could potentially be Type 3 Emergencies. However, there’s always the risk of car prowlers and theft. For this reason, I isolate my vehicle third-line kit into two categories:

  1. My backpack
  2. A bin

The backpack contains equipment to cook, collect, and purify water, build shelter, and stay warm. These are core proficiencies that will keep you alive; the notion is that with these supplies, I can scavenge for food and collect what I need from the environment. With that in mind, the bin is a mobile supply point. This is where I keep two categories of supplies:

  1. Consumables (water, food, and fuel)
  2. Environmental supplies (such as clothing, blankets, etc.)

Between these two additional resources, you can use your vehicle third-line kit to tailor your mobile third-line to your specific needs, if you find yourself in an emergency.

Vehicle Third-Line Contents:

  • Food – (MRE x3)
  • Water – 1 gallon; 1 quart canteen w/cup
  • Cyalume chem lights x2
  • Medical kit
  • 25 yards of paracord
  • Long underwear (2x shirt, 2x pants)
  • Socks x3 pairs
  • Sleeping bag
  • Poncho liner

Part II: Everyday Carry and Your Vehicle

The first consideration for EDC and your vehicle is a proverbial double-edged sword. Our vehicles can carry more than we can, but we can maneuver in places our vehicles cannot. For this reason, when I think about my vehicle equipment, I break it into a couple categories:

  1. Vehicle-specific equipment: This is the stuff that is carried to keep the vehicle moving for as long as possible over as much terrain as possible. This includes your spare parts, tools, some coolant, water, and the like.
  2. Augmented equipment: The equipment we can use immediately that will be no great loss if we have to leave it behind.

The vehicle is a solid place to keep your third-line equipment. This is the “get home” equipment that you could live off for several days without any scavenging or energy-intensive labor.  Of all your equipment, the third-line setup is the easiest to exaggerat, and make unappealing to carry. It’s also the most dependent on your level of skill and savvy with packing energy-dense foods, lightweight equipment, and water.

For this reason, please (x3) get some training. I don’t care if it’s from a Boy Scout – learn how to start a fire, collect and purify your water, and build a decent shelter. If you can do that, everything you carry will just help to assist.

Also, adjust according to your location. If you’re in Alaska, you should probably not try to survive with just a Mylar bag and extra set of socks. We can go over individual kits for your vehicle here, or if you want to tailor a specific set of equipment to your circumstances, here.

Part III: Sustenance

Keeping yourself fed, especially by the time you realize there’s an emergency, is going to start becoming more and more tricky as the demand for food articles increases. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, for example, looting cleared the shelves of anything potable and palatable in short order. If you didn’t steal, you were left with what you stocked on your own.

While it’s nice to have some things stuffed in the pantry, having some in your car is a good bet as well. There are a lot of different lines of logic on this, but my thought here is that you need food articles that conform to some very specific standards:

  1. Calorie dense
  2. Lightweight
  3. Long shelf life

For this reason, I like canned tuna, Clif bars, Military MRE’s/Mountain House meals, and trail mixes. Water is a bit trickier, as not all plastics are food-grade, and in thermal extremes, you begin to get leaching where the container actually starts depositing chemicals into your Dihydrogen Monoxide.

This applies to both aluminum and plastic containers, and this is speculative on my part, but I don’t trust BPA-free containers either. For this reason, I restock my water out of my home each day, and carry my water containers to and from.

In addition to this practice, I keep a Katadyne filter in my vehicle kit. This way, if there is an emergency, I can ditch the contents of my typical carry bag (books, etc.) and grab the necessities. With that said, I still keep all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd necessity items in my bags at all times – so I have a bare minimum of equipment even if I’m walking around campus, grabbing lunch, or hiking.

Layering your equipment in this way will supply you with a fast, reproducible, and modular way to organize and use your kit.


It is highly recommended that after reading this article you evaluate your current vehicle preparedness supplies and everyday carry items based on your skills and possible needs.  And regularly check on the condition and quality of your preps stored in your car, as they are subjected to considerably harsher conditions in Summer and Winter while enclosed in your vehicle compared to sitting on a shelf in your garage or home. 

Learn new skills that will help you evaluate and mitigate situations and emergencies related to vehicles and prep the items needed to match your skills and possible emergencies.  All the gear in the world stuffed in a trunk will not help you if you don't know how to use it. 

Share your experiences and recommendations (what's in your trunk?) for VEDC, and be safe on the roads.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Aaron, I've been wanting to put together a practical, well thought out carry bag for my car, so was pleased to see you had provided such a useful summary here.  With time being tight, I appreciate being able to leverage what you know and have learned about these kinds of preps.  Thanks!

I definitely found value in this post as well. I'll have to come back to it again some more to ponder. I already know that I need to get a proper kit set up for my wife's car. She has no jumper cables, for instance.
I should mention also the importance of making sure you have a spare tire in working order, properly inflated. Some of the new small cars out there no longer come with even a small spare anymore. Just a can of tire goo - which is useless if you have a side-wall puncture or anything larger than a hole caused by a nail.

I recently found out that my wife's car was missing its spare tire. Neither of us recall when it went missing - hopefully not during a service run at the local mechanic's. Not very nice at all.


Hey Aaron,
Useful post. I'm pretty much home-based and have the house bugout bag stocking responsibilities, but hubby has work that can take him as much as one week away if he had to walk back home. He has a "get home bag" and we routinely stock it. When we go on vacation out-of-state that bag goes with us.

I thank you for bringing up a car supply bin. As we live near the boondocks and routinely traverse empty areas without even cell service, being ready for vehicle breakdowns is very important to us. We use a milk crate-type bin in the family car, the "Super-Subie." Along with the fire extingusiher and jumper cables we always have a fan belt and the five car fluids you need to check before trips: brake, transmission, power steering, oil, and radiator fluid. I usually keep windshield washer fluid and road flares in there, too.

I don't now how many road flares my family has set in front of stranded motorists' cars over the years.

Batteries are full of sulfuic acid. One thing I want to remind everyone of is the necessity to wear safety glasses when jumping a dead battery. A pair of safety glasses–in original packaging or some sort of scratch-proof case (I use a Ziploc bag)–should be in your car bin.

Poet, you are so right about checking the spare. Like all tires, spares lose a little air each time the temperatre fluctuates. That adds up over time and you can find a perfectly good spare gone flat from the process.
With an older tire as a spare the rubber can deteriorate, too. We ran into that with our old Ford Explorer: we were two hours drive from home at a relatives and woke up to go home on a Sunday to find a flat and a deteriorated, uninflatable spare. Ouch. What we do nowadays is include the spare in tire rotations, to avoid it being out of sight, out of mind.


I really appreciate this topic Aaron.  Thank you for the time spent in putting this piece together for us.
I know you haven't gone into medical kit contents yet but here are a couple of ideas in getting a jump start (pardon the pun) on the medical side of things.

I've found some very useful suggestions from this gal on youtube.  My brouser won't allow me to link the site so you'll just have to do your own youtube search.

patriot nurse (youtube)

Her earlier video's are her best IMO.  She started out wearing sunglasses to protect her identity as she touches on some difficult to talk about subjects.

I'm not impressed with her posts over the last year as she has become giggley next to her newest guy friend.

One thing I try to keep in mind when prepping my vehicles is distance and if I or a family member is on any daily dose, must have, type of medication.  Two or three times daily antibiotics for example.  If we travel more miles than our weakest member could walk then we pack accordingly.  If you will travel three walking days out then add those three days worth of the must have daily meds to your purse or bag. Simple tactical thinking could save your life.

One of Patriot Nurse's more interesting medical kit supply items is cringe worthy yet genius at the same time, fair warning…womens menstrual pads.  Not for obvious reasons but for stopping extreme (arterial for example) bleeding.  She features this item in her gunshot wound video.  Keep in mind that veins and arteries are very near to our surface and a car wreck for example, can easily tear or cut a vein or artery.  A femoral artery for example must be packed.  Knowing this can save your life or you could save another's life.

Menstrual pads are portable, multi function, mirco packed, ready use.  Who knew?  I know I didn't.  Anyway, my two cents.



Quick question.  What is your experience with MRE's and temperature extremes? Expiration dates also.

I have the MRE's with hydrogen packs that are set to expire some time in 2013.  We've only packed them for day of use needs and never left them in the car for long term storage.


First off, thank you all for the kind words - feedback on these topics is immensely helpful for me and the sight, so please feel free to stamp a thumbs up or down on anything that you find useful or otherwise.

MRE's, in my experience, are fine at just about any temperature. There might be dates and temperature ranges associated with them, but I've eaten those things out of conex's in deserts and in the cold, so I'm not too worried about that. I keep them out of direct sunlight, but otherwise, I think they'll be fine.

Another thing I want to mention is this running rumor among survival type folks who say that women's menstral products are good for emergency medicine:
They're not. 
First and foremost, some tampons are treated with anticoagulates which facilitate blood flow under very specific circumstances. Using these in an open wound carries a significant risk because of this. Therefore, pressing them into service is a risky proposition (in an emergency) and stockpiling them for something other than their intended purpose is a really confusing proposition when you could just buy bandages/dressings.

A second, significant, point of interest is that gunshot wounds in specific usually have an entry and exit, and other wound types (lacerations, burns, avulsion, deformaties) are going to require some sort of pressure dressing - which a tampon can not do. 
For this reason, I strongly encourage people to carry regular pressure dressings or gauze, and not try and improvise when a better solution is present. If you absolutely had to pack a wound with a tampon, that would be different, but we're all still in the "preparation" phase of emergency management, so there is no reason to settle for a sub-par solution just yet.
Patriot Nurse is certainly more qualified than I am to speak on matters of medical management, but I think her assertion here (and a wide variety of preppers across the web) is facile and really puts an idea meant for improvisation, ahead of a tool that we all have access to (bandage/dressings).

As a small aside, my "everday" carry medical equipment is as follows:

  1. Tourniquet
  2. CELOX Gauze
  3. Triangle Bandage with safety pins
  4. Pack of 4x4 gauze strips. 
    A person could easily carry these items, along with a couple others (NPA, shears) in a cargo pocket, and with a vacuum packer, they'd be pretty low profile. In fact, I need to do that. I'll update when I do. =)


Hey Aaron,

It's an easy mistake for a guy to make so I understand.  I did not say tampon, I said menstrual PAD.  There's a big difference.  I would be surprised if they contained anticoagulant.  In fact I would be extremely surprised if tampons were treated with anticoagulant.  Where did you get your information on this? Anticoagulant would be counter productive in feminine products in general, IMO, so I'm confused.  

Many women have these pads in their cars and on them and it is very useful to know that they would be helpful in bandaging a wound as an alternative to sterile gauze or even instead of as blood will easily flow through gauze causing other issues with contamination.

I do trust Patriot Nurse and I believe the use of menstrual PADS as a ready safe and efficient wound dressing is certainly worth exploring further.

As a phlebotomist working in blood donation I can tell you that any bleeding beyond a small amount and we were reaching for a chuck (plastic on one side and absorbant material on the other) not unlike a menstrual pad. Make that anything beyond a small needle sized arterial puncture and gauze is not going to help you, in fact it is going to be a waste of time just even opening the package unless your gauze is at least 8" or more.  

I've never heard of using a tampon but I guess that's an interesting idea.

I certainly could be wrong on this idea of menstrual pads as possible first aid wound dressing so please do let me know what you find.  I've looked into it somewhat and I haven't found anything contradictory that would change my mind but I'll look further.

Thanks again Aaron

Ok so a quick check showed no evidence beyond people's opinions that tampons contain anticoagulant.  In fact much the opposite is most likely true as anticoagulants (every single one that I could find) can be absorbed through the skin which would put the user at potential risk.  Interesting to note that since anticoagulants defer you for blood donation that would mean that if you are menstrating and you use tampons you would be deferred from donating blood which I know for a fact is not the case for tampon use.
Until further evidence I can only conclude that tampons do not contain anticoagulant, nor should pads.

If it's false, it still doesn't make them a more compelling choice than a regular bandage.
The way I'd heard this was that this is why many tampons state that they shouldn't be used by someone on anticoagulates, because there were treatments in the products that prohibited clotting -not necessarily anticoagulates- but it also looks like this practice ended in the late 80's.
The source I heard that from was at least as reliable as PatriotNurse, but I suppose you're right - I see nothing that substantiates the claim, and the FDA has made a statement within the last 6 months or so saying it's a non-issue these days.

Either way - If you carry those already, wouldn't it be more intelligent to save them for their intended purpose?
Trying to find a polite way to put this, but it'd be a lot easier to use everything in it's 'intended' manner, rather than trying to improvise when you do not need to. After all, it'd be easier to keep feminine products on hand rather than try to improvise using a bandage and dressing. If you're forced to press something into service, that's one thing, but if you're stocking a first aid kit, I'd use supplies intended for dressing wounds first.



Yes Aaron, I am recommending menstrual pads as part of first aid kit inventory choices.
Why are we still talking about tampons?  ( save that later for laughs BTW)

Again not linking anything however you can check out Wound Care- A collaborative practice manual for health professionals  By: Carrie Sussman

Page 480


Use of menstrual pads for wound dressing selection may be helpful for wounds with heavy exudate.  These pads have the added benefit of clothing protection because of the plastic lining.  End


Trying to find a polite way to put this,but don't dismiss an idea just because you are ignorant about it.  Some of the best solutions are found in unconventional materials.  This seems like a silly thing to debate but after some research I'm finding that in fact menstrual pads may be a superior choice to conventional gauze.  Why choose one or the other in your kit when you can have both.  Just don't dismiss the idea.

With all respect



I'm not talking about using conventional gauze as a primary - all I'm saying is an actual bandage, made for treating actual trauma is superior to a pad. 
Gauze has the added benefits of being able to pack a wound. You cannot do this with a pad. Especially one with plastic backing. That creates the further disadvantage of a moisture barrier, which in field triage is going to exacerbate putrification. 
Please don't assume that I'm ignorant to this approach, as I have given it thought, and based on my experience with trauma, it is not a better method than a device made to:
a. Stop blood flow
b. Put pressure on a wound

An occlusive dressing can be improvised with a credit card and tape, but you're going to find in quick order that it's much, much easier to have a Bolin or HALO chest seal. Is this saying that people who advocate having a credit card and tape are wrong, or that they shouldn't bother carrying these items?

No. It's not.
It's simply that those items are useful primarily for different sorts of issues, and their primary strength is not trauma care.
That same thing can be said for pads. Their intended purpose is for feminine hygiene. Also, please pay special attention to my previous post, as the only mention of tampons was a concession that your information was more accurate than mine.

Pads are not going to work for wound packing. They're not going to provide a better pressure dressing. They're, if anything, a decent option for a superficial injury, in which you're controlling capilary bleeding, or perhaps, with pressure venious bleeding.
As an aside, PatriotNurse has probably not used this method as a treatment, and I don't think it's worth taking to the bank. The school she's affiliated with is a tactical training school that's good for mid level firearms fundementals, and has some "decent" ideas on tactical training. Their medical cirriculum is not made for long term emergency management, as it's basically a version of U.S. Army CLS (combat lifesaver) beginning level class - which is not made to consider "best practices", only field expedient ones. 
She may or may not have some special knowledge, but I'm seriously doubting that she's used this technique and is an authority from that perspective. Further, I'm not sure what type of nurse she is, or her specialty, but if she's not a trauma nurse, I'm fairly certain she's out of her element. By the time she sees a patient, the EMT's have already done this work. Not to diminish her accomplishments, I know she's worked very hard to get where she is.
I have not used this approach (pad for wound dressing), but I have bandaged wounds before (in expedient situations), and again, pressure dressings are small in size and work extremely well for more profound injuries. They're easy to carry and apply. If it's obvious the profusion won't be stopped by a bandage, wound packing with gauze is easily augmented, and it should still be dressed and bandaged.

This is not to say your approach is not a potential fix to a potential problem - it is - but it's not a "first" resort. If you're creating a kit, or establishing your everyday carry - what looks like a "good idea" on the internet might look like a seriously deficient solution when you're actually handling a casualty, and this is all about preparing yourself so you don't find your solutions deficient.
So, by all means! Advocate carrying pads. Truly. But advocate them for their intended purpose, with a footnote as to their field expedient use as a potential dressing.

Also, Carrie Sussman is a physical therapist.
I'm not sure how extensive her trauma care background is.


Wow, that's quit a response Aaron.  Okay, down boy.  It is just an idea.  One that I thought was worth exploring.  I never said menstrual pads were the end all, be all, first aid choice.  I just said they may in fact be superior to conventional gauze (for some circumstances as stated earlier).  I also said why choose one or the other when you can choose both gauze and pads.  
It looks like you disagree strongly and this is getting into the almost bizarre topic catagory so I'll leave it at that and I'll look forward to your continued first aid kit suggestions.  So very sorry for the interruption in programming.

Carrie Sussman is also DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) and owns Wound Care Management Services in Torrance, CA.  She might know just a little bit about wound care. Kinda maybe.

Patriot Nurse is an ER Trauma Nurse.

You were right, you "dont know" but you didn't seem to mind throwing doubt into your perspective posts.

Why are you so closed to the idea which in fact is turning out to be kind of a good idea and a fairly inexpensive one at that?

Note:  I am not advocating this material as a substitute for sterile gauze.  Sterile gauze is only affective when used in combination with sterile gloves and an aseptic technique.  This suggestion of menstrual pads as an ADDITION to gauze is for immediate field dressing only.  Just a worthy (IMO) albeit unconventional idea.

Virtual discussions are lovely because we don't have to meet one another, ever.

I'm not sure why you'd say "down boy" or that I'm not open to this idea. 
The response was to directly address the reasons behind my opinion, validating the information you presented that was correct and to give some logical feedback on a few subjects.
I explicitly stated that this is a potential solution, it's just not a good one. It's a vogue one. People who are advocating this have problably not used this techinque - if PatriotNurse is a trauma nurse, and Carrie Sussman is a Doctor of Physical Therepy (Trauma) and they are recommending this, they're seriously overlooking some pretty serious elements of controlling blood loss, and giving bad advice.
In fact, when I looked around for a bit more on their credentials, I found a few things you might have a look at - a line by line deconstruction of some pretty awful and fallacious advice given by PatriotNurse:

Rachel Greene (Aka Patriot Nurse) is not a trauma nurse, she works in a birthing ward.
Here is the information link her to both Tactical Response (Camden Tennessee) and her webiste:

It would seem she's giving out bad information about vaccinations. It can happen.
Also, Ms. Sussman:
I see nothing about trauma anywhere on there. Might be bad, or inconclusive information she's throwing out there. 
Anyway, you said:
"Sterile gauze is only affective when used in combination with sterile gloves and an aseptic technique."

Not at all true. 
Sterile gauze would be best used under those conditions, but there are methods of mitigating infection that are easier to control than rapid loss of blood. Essentially, you're taking a situation in which there is no "win" and you're gambling on how much you're going to lose.

Besides, it's pretty easy to keep some sterile gauze in your kit in your car.
Final thoughts: You're more than welcome to take advice from whoever you want - but you need to show that it's better through practical appliaction. There is very little substance to what you're advocating right now, and I'm not hostile towards you, or your opinion - but the idea of improvising instead of using the right tool for the job is dangerous and not consistent with actual preparation.
I knew Paul Gomez Personally (RIP) - the frame of reference in which "pads" are suggested is absolutely in a situation where medical care has to be improvised. His cirriculum is based on the U.S. Army's Combat Lifesaver. Tension Pneumothorax, Bleeding Control and Airway management are the three critical elements, and we're taught to improvise - when it's necessary.
Note PatriotNurse's comment:
"We had a cursury knowledge base given to us about traumatic injuries. I had to seek out training."
-Patriot Nurse
I know where she got it, and I know Paul wouldn't have told her that a pad was a "go-to".
She's running with a notion that makes it seem like she's McGyver - seen this pretty often over the years.
I remember sealing wounds with superglue. Everyone started carrying superglue. 
CPR chest compressions ratio is 30/2. Now there's talk of changing it to 100/2.
Things change, and as evidenced by my lack of knowledge above, it's hard to keep up with it. 
You showed me where you were correct and I was incorrect. That's how this goes.


I've met several people from here, and hope to continue doing so. 
Also, I've been polite and respectful throughout this discourse, and speak in the same way I were speaking in person - so I don't mean any insult.



I've put two sealed "Israeli Battle Dressings" in each of our two backpacks, and have a couple more in reserve as spares (I bought several, then got another few for free). Each backpack also has a QuikClot (25g) gauze in foil. I purchased these I purchased to supplement this first aid kit (which includes a Save-a-Tooth).

I also packed a couple of menstrual pads, just in case my wife needs it, or we somehow use up the actual dressings.

Sorry, not an EMT or other professional, or I'd get access to better stuff. What do you think of the "Israeli Battle Dressing" and is the QuikClot enough or should I try to get my hands on "mo'-bettah-faster"?


Here is some info from the recent "Buddy Survival" class I took.  It was pretty much a beginner class taught by a retired para-medic with 24 years of experience, including a lot of gunshot trauma.They said it was very important to quickly close up holes in the chest wall before air could get in and to do it with a seal that would allow air to get out.  They said to place the seal at the highest wound which is where the air would head to and to seal other chest wounds with a solid seal.
The seal they recommended was the Asherman Chest Seal.  They said that the Bolin Seal was also OK.  I read on some post that the Asherman seal is easier to unclog if it should clog up.
They discussed using a needle to let the air out of the chest as is included in the Tactical Response Ventilated Operator Kit, but said that it is much too dangerous for the unskilled to try due to what you can hit with the needle if you do not know where to insert it.
They showed us how to insert the nasopharyngeal airway tube (28 mm recommended) to aid in breathing in an unconcious or semi-unconcious patient.  This is the easiest for the novice to use.  The other kind that goes into the throat was seen as too difficult to use at our level of training.
We tried several torniquets.  I liked this little one for EDC since it is small and relatively easy to use.
The one we felt was best was this one, but it would have to be in a larger kit.
They showed us the Israeli Battle Dressing that can be a pressure dressing and has a nice large pad.  I found it too large for my EDC kit.  It is fine for a larger kit.
They recommened Quickclot Combat Gauze and said that it was the current gold standard in hemostatic agent.  I had been packing the Celox gauze that Aaron mentioned but I got some of this after the course.
On a related note, I found these nice little pads that you can use in the rain.  When I told my friend who is on the search and rescue dog task force about them he said "yeah we use these all the time, they are great".
Disclaimer - I am not trying to hawk these products.  I just put the links so you can see them.
Disclaimer - I am not claiming to know what I am doing or giving out medical advice.  I am just sharing some of what was said at my recent course.  You should obtain some training from a medical professional so you will know what to do and when and when not to do it.

Big thumbs up. They're good for dealing with some pretty advanced injuries. they're also very easy to use, just make sure you don't out too much stress on the locking arm. I have one of these I can keep in a cargo pocket, but some days I don't carry it, so I can't consider it "EDC" kit. I will say they're a bit overkill for •most• situations… A good thing to keep in your second line kit. I definitely like having both these and celox/quilclot. Just make sure you're trained up on the quilclot. It can be pretty hazardous if used improperly.

Cheers, Aaron