Got Training, Got Tourniquet, Now Where To Put It? Four Ideas For TQ Carry

A SWAT T fits nicely into a cargo pocket. The fastest, easiest way to carry a TQ

Today’s concealed carriers are, at least by my observations, an increasingly sophisticated lot, expanding their skills repertoire beyond shooting to include disciplines like facility security, team tactics, and emergency medical intervention.

Pursuant to that, many who carry guns, including myself, now carry tourniquets (TQs) too. With proper training on the tourniquet of your choice, your life-saving capacities double when equipped with the power to stop rapid blood loss. But, as with holster selection, the next question becomes, where do I carry this darned thing?

Here are four methods I use for toting what I now regard as an essential piece of equipment, from most to least accessible—

  1. The simple cargo pocket

Just changing from regular jeans to carpenter’s or cargo pants/shorts gives you room to carry a small tourniquet. I often carry the stretch, wrap, and tuck tourniquet (SWAT-T) this way. It can function as both a compression bandage and as a tourniquet, fits easily into a cargo pocket with room to spare, and is within fingertip reach. This is the fastest, yet most minimalist, method of TQ carry I’ve found.

  1. Flatpack Tourniquet Carrier

The Flatpack is an ingenious little flexible plastic device that can mount on a belt or on the MOLLE of your favorite pack or range bag. I’ve carried a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) and Special Operations Forces Tourniquet (SOF-T) in this device. Using it is simple—just lay the TQ on the Flatpack, and pull the two attached loops of shock cord over it, securing them in the teeth on the plastic board. I like to face the unfixed attachment points upward as I wear it, which I feel makes accessing the TQ easier when it’s on the small of my back.

The Flatpack’s biothane-like straps can be unscrewed to hold the TQ on the outside of your pack where it’s handy but not on your person. Mounting it that way does take some time, but carry is then as easy as picking up your pack. I like to thread my belt through the loops instead.

Front side of the Flatpack, Sans TQ

$24.99 is steep for this brilliant, but feather-weight accessory.  I think it’s a great concept that would be seen a lot more if the price were significantly lower.

  1. Ankle kit

At last, this underdog of an accessory is gaining some traction in the market.  My personal choice of an ankle individual first aid kit (IFAK) is the SFD Responder 2.0, sold in the US by SaferFasterDefense. A great advantage of this device is the ability to carry a true “blowout kit” almost effortlessly. It may not look like it, but it’s so comfortable I often forget it’s there.  

In another article on this product, a reader asked how I carry a chest seal in this kit without folding it. The answer: improvisation. A few rolled bumper stickers can make do. Better yet, a length of duct tape wrapped around a Sharpie make a dual-purpose tool.

The SFD Responder is really comfortable.

This particular brand sells for $68.95 and has a painfully slow six-week delivery. SFD makes a great product, but they need to improve their production and shipping processes to compete with other companies making similar IFAKs.

  1. Vehicle headrest

This is a less accessible method, but nevertheless a useful one that I not only employ, but have used. Inside a roomy fanny pack, which hangs on the back of the driver’s side headrest of my vehicle, is a complete blowout and first aid kit. The TQ is front and center; easiest to reach.

On two occasions, my business partner and I have encountered highway accidents where EMS had not yet arrived. Grabbing this kit off the headrest was easy thanks to the squeeze-buckle on the fanny pack—or just keep the strap long enough to swing it over and off the headrest. If you need to go hands-free during a rescue, the pack can buckle around the waist so it doesn’t get lost.

This fanny pack and TQ have been to more than one rodeo, and are still working

On another ultimately fortunate afternoon, I fell doing a household repair and caused a severe arm laceration that proved not to be arterial, but with severe and rapid blood loss. Since I wasn’t doing range stuff, the TQ wasn’t on my person as is my MO at the range. I managed to run to the car and self-apply a CAT. Since then I’ve had even more peace of mind that training works, so long as you’re equipped to use it.

The vehicle headrest is a good alternative to off-body TQ carry. The cost is whatever you want to spend on a fanny pack!

Accessing your TQ

If you’ve moved sufficiently forward in your concealed carry training, you’ve probably encountered lessons or perhaps took your own initiative to figure out how to unholster and handle your firearm with the non-dominant hand. This skill also applies to TQ carry. Ideally, you’ll figure out a way to access your on-body TQ with either hand, in the event one should be unusable.

Stopping rapid blood loss is a skill everyone who’s serious about protecting themselves and their family can and should learn, whether or not they carry a gun. It’s more likely to be needed than CPR, simple to learn, and inexpensive to equip oneself. If you’re not trained yet, I encourage you to change that, and to practice with your chosen equipment.

About Eve Flanigan

Eve Flanigan is a defensive shooting and lifestyle student, practitioner, and instructor based in the American Southwest. She is a lifelong recreational rifle shooter who began carrying concealed in 2004, which evolved into an interest in defensive handgun training and competing. Flanigan holds NRA Instructor certifications in pistol, rifle, and personal protection in the home. She is licensed to instruct New Mexico’s intensive Concealed Carry course, and regularly designs, conducts, and co-teaches classes on concealed carry, introduction to pistol, defensive pistol, basic rifle, last-ditch medical, and use of force for civilian students. Flanigan enjoys competing in run-and-gun biathlons that include carbine and pistol.


  1. TCE-Michigan on October 11, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Slightly Cheaper than the SPF Responder ankle carrier :

    and allows you to carry these 2 :
    – slide into the horizontal pocket that runs the width of the rig.

    I love this ankle kit, wear it daily. Robust and able to easily and comfortably carry not only the 2 Chest Seals but :
    A SWAT-T & 1″ x 5ft Celox Rapid Z fold gauze in one pouch
    Piranha Shears in a small center pouch
    A Mini Compression Bandage (H&H) with a set of gloves in a second large pouch.
    All secured by hook and loop straps.

    Highly recommended, I bought 2 more for back up but am still using my 1st and it is holding up beautifully !

  2. Eve Flanigan on October 14, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    TCE-MI, thanks for the recommendation. Glad to hear you’re walking around ready!

  3. Ruth on August 27, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Good to see a woman writing about this, especially since I have a female-specific question:

    For the warmest months I usually can’t bear to wear more than a lightweight dress, and therefore do not have a pocket strong enough to carry something like a TQ; also an ankle kit is a great idea but again is not suitable for my summer wear. Surely you find yourself in this situation at least sometimes – can you advise, please? Is the only answer to carry a larger bag? Thanks!

    • Eve Flanigan on August 28, 2022 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Ruth, thanks for your comments. You might be surprised how little pocket is needed to carry a SWAT Torniquet. It’s what I carry in a cargo pocket (or two) at work. And it can double as a pressure bandage. There’s a lot of discussion on the Phlster Concealment Workshop, a curated group that you might want to join, though most discussion there is re: CAT or SOF torniquets. Of course the RAT is easy to carry even in a bra but can cause problems and pain of its own because the pressure area is so small.

      In my casual moments, I keep a CAT inside my front door, at bedside, and in the fanny pack IFAK that lives on the back of my vehicle’s headrest. It’s the latter that I ran to and used on myself when I got injured outside one day.

      If you come up with something new and awesome, please post it here! Best to you.

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