Growing up, I had a friend whose perspective on the difference between being prepared and tempting fate was different from the rest of us.
He refused to carry rain gear when camping because he said carrying rain gear wasn't being prepared, it was provoking the elements. But he wasn't constantly wet if-or when -it rained, because he who that an industrial-sized plastic garbage bag made a terrific rain jacket, or emergency bucket, or ground cloth, or whatever.
To him, that
was being prepared.
Carrying a rain jacket was admitting that you had no idea about the basics of being prepared. He never carried a bunch of gear with limited applications. He carried some rope, a small tarp, and some assorted "stuff" found on all of our farms. He was never unequipped to deal with anything.
While we were campers - he was an outdoorsman. Learning from him was learning about coping. It was never the "read and follow assembly procedures carefully" type of outdoors adventure.
And when I found myself humping a pack along a trail, I found it much easer on me to to carry a couple of aging Kodak film canisters (one containing petroleum jelly and the other filled with a mix of dryer lint and steel wool, both in a sandwich bag along with a 9-volt battery and a pack of waterproof matches) than the "official" Bear Grylls' survival knife and flint and steel fire starter.
I could start a fire with Grylls' gear, but I know I've started plenty of fires
with the content of my canisters.
The idea of "making do" is one reason I'd never given serious thought to the idea of some of the more drastic "ditch medicine" items in my outdoor first aid kit. Recently, I decided since much of time these days is concentrated around things that cut, puncture and penetrate, maybe I needed to reconsider what was in that personal first aid kit.
Actually, it wasn't really so far off as to things I might possibly need. I've always carried a tourniquet, gauze and bandages for those really nasty accidents that might involve an axe or chain saw, but I'd overlooked the fact that when much of your time involves firearms and ranges, there's not a lot of thought given to the types of accidents that can happen there.
BloodStop iX is really very simple to use. Simply place the gauze on a wound (above) and it will quickly absorb the moisture and turn into a gel that seals the wound (below). For minor injuries, it can then be washed off. In case of serious injuries, it should be cleared away with copious amounts of saline when getting proper medical treatment. OWDN photos.
They range from the abrasions and cuts that can happen while anything from target frames of wood or metal (or both) to the worst possible scenario- a gunshot wound.
So, I began investigating first-aid items for traumatic injuries like gunshots. Having spoken with emergency room doctors and nurses who have seen the effectiveness of the quick clotting agents but had dealt with cleansing wounds afterwards, I'd stopped carrying just a clotting agent, but knew there had to be something suitable for dealing more minor shooting-related injuries.
When I read about a product called BloodStop from LifeScience PLUS, I was intrigued. Their products were supposed to be able to adhere bleeding wounds - without an adhesive- be water-soluble, and quickly minimize blood loss. So I got a sample of BloodSTOP iX. It's billed as an "advanced hemostat matrix" to "help control bleeding-fast".
Without thinking much about it, I dropped it into my range bag, not expecting to have the opportunity to do some impromptu testing less than 24 hours later.
But I did.
Without unnecessary details, a fragment of a jacketed round wound up where it wasn't intended - in my arm. It wasn't serious, but it was bleeding and served as a sobering reminder that even in the most controlled situations, accidents happen.
After cleaning the hole and making certain there weren't fragments in it -I remembered the BloodSTOP iX. Rather than continuing to daub away at a persistent leak under a small bandage, I gave it a try.
Here's my very short review: it worked - as promised.
The "hemostatic matrix" quickly transformed from a 2x2 inch piece of sterile cellulose gauze into a gel. That quickly stopped the bleeding and allowed me finish my project.
Later, I washed off the gel, applied an antibiotic and a permanent bandage, and went on with my work, convinced that trauma care has advanced a lot - and that I would check out more of those advancements. Hopefully without first-person involvement.
My injury was a minor one, but it's easy to see how this product could quickly stop serious blood loss- and possibly save a life. It's earned a spot in my kit and seems worth considering for yours, too.
Editor's Note: Learn more about BloodSTOP at www.LifeSciencePlus.com