Adding a Tourniquet to the FAK

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After taking what was probably far too long to make the purchase, I decided recently to add a tourniquet to the first aid kit (FAK). While today’s environment of active shooters and terrorist attacks is a huge part of this decision, there is a more personal reason, too.

A few years ago on a summer rafting trip, our inflatable kayak developed a leak at a very inopportune time. We were passing through some rapids and as Murphy would have it, our little vessel decided that it would be a great time to overturn and dump us into the river. After some tense moments (and pure luck), we came out the other side bruised and a little bloodied, but thankful to be on land.


Notice I didn’t say on “dry” land, LOL. If you’ve spent any time near the water, you know that rocks like to get nice and slippery. The same goes for any tree limbs or branches. There is usually a nice combination of moss, algae, bird droppings, and just about anything else you can think of. Unfortunately, I slipped on one of these rocks, and on my way down, nearly impaled my arm on a very sharp branch. Whoops.

Shortly thereafter, we were headed to the emergency room for a tetanus shot and likely some stitches. Luckily, no stitches were needed, but the branch had missed my brachial artery by only a millimeter or two. What was supposed to be a leisurely river trip could have easily ended in far worse.

So, hindsight being 20/20, a tourniquet is probably* a good addition to your EDC!

(*As with anything medical-related, obtain training and knowledge beforehand. Also, be sure to buy from an authorized dealer. Sad to say, but apparently there are fakes floating around out there. That would be an awful way to find out you got a cheap knock-off!)


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