From Tactical Tampons to Top-Notch Tools: Unveiling the Essentials of a Stop the Bleed Kit

Attention concealed carriers and defenders of safety! When it comes to being prepared for any situation, we firearms enthusiasts and outdoorsmen have an uncanny ability to adapt and improvise. And while the mythical “tactical tampon” may raise a few eyebrows and inspire some laughs, we're here to discuss bleeding control kits and how you can Stop the Bleed with the utmost seriousness.

mountain man medical applying a TQ

Reliable Gear is a MUST—

In the world of concealed carry, it's not just about having a reliable firearm at your side; it's about being ready to respond effectively to any unforeseen emergency, including life-threatening bleeding. That's why we're diving into the essentials of bleeding control kits for concealed carriers, ensuring that only quality materials and tools make it into our life-saving arsenal.

While I like to poke fun at the old “tactical tampon” recommendation, I’m sure many of us have heard that one far too many times. I want to emphasize the importance of relying on proven, high-quality equipment. After all, when faced with a bleeding emergency, you want to be equipped with the most effective tools available. So, fear not, we will ground our discussion in the realm of practicality, safety, and reliability.

In this article, we'll explore the must-have items that deserve a spot in your bleeding control kit. From tourniquets that can staunch the flow of blood swiftly to hemostatic agents designed to promote clotting, we'll leave no stone unturned in our quest for the best tools to protect ourselves and those around us.

So, get ready to equip yourselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to be the ultimate first responders. Let's dive into the world of bleeding control kits, leaving no room for compromises for our safety and the safety of others. It's not just about being prepared; it's about being prepared with quality tools that can make a life-saving difference. Stay tuned for an enlightening journey into the world of bleeding control kits. Together, let's ensure our readiness and embrace the responsibility that comes with carrying concealed.

What is The Purpose of a Bleeding Control Kit?

Understanding the purpose of a bleeding control kit is crucial for anyone in the firearms community, as it equips you to respond effectively to life-threatening bleeding emergencies.

The purpose of a bleeding control kit is simple yet critical: it enables you to take immediate action in stopping severe bleeding and potentially saving lives. When accidents occur or emergencies arise, injuries that result in heavy bleeding can happen to anyone, including yourself, your loved ones, or even innocent bystanders. In these situations, having a bleeding control kit readily available allows you to be a first responder and provide immediate help until professional medical help arrives.

Quick application of this SWAT T was critical.

With a bleeding control kit on hand, you can intervene swiftly to control bleeding and buy precious time for medical professionals to take over. This preparedness mindset aligns perfectly with the values we hold as concealed carriers — protecting lives, promoting safety, and being responsible members of our communities.

What Are the Essential Items to Have in Your Bleeding Control Kit?


A tourniquet is a vital tool used to control severe bleeding in emergency situations. It is a device specifically designed to stop the flow of blood from an injured limb.

Typically made of a durable and flexible material, such as nylon or elastic, a tourniquet is applied tightly around the affected limb, above the site of the bleeding. Its primary purpose is to compress the blood vessels, including arteries, halting the blood flow to the injured area. By doing so, a tourniquet effectively prevents the loss of large amounts of blood and helps to stabilize the injured person's condition.

Tourniquets are distinguishable by their user-friendly design, often incorporating a buckle or windlass system to facilitate easy application and adjustment. This enables individuals with minimal medical training to quickly and effectively apply the tourniquet in a high-stress situation.

It's important to note that while a tourniquet stops bleeding, you should only deploy it after direct pressure and other methods have failed to control severe bleeding. Improper or unnecessary use of a tourniquet might cause harm, such as nerve or tissue damage. Therefore, proper training and understanding of when and how to apply a tourniquet is crucial.

Quality is Important!

Choosing a quality tourniquet approved by the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines is of utmost importance for effectively managing severe bleeding. Here are a few key reasons:

Reliability and Effectiveness: TCCC-approved tourniquets have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure their reliability and effectiveness in stopping arterial bleeding. Approved TQs must provide the pressure necessary to occlude blood flow, even in challenging situations.

Trusted Standards: A panel of experts in military medicine and trauma care developed and endorsed TCCC guidelines. These guidelines are based on extensive research, real-world experiences, and lessons learned from combat situations. Choosing a tourniquet that adheres to TCCC guidelines means relying on the collective knowledge and expertise of these medical professionals.

Safety and Patient Care: TCCC-approved tourniquets strike a balance between effectively stopping bleeding and minimizing potential risks, such as nerve damage or tissue injury. TCCC-approved tourniquets undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet specific safety standards.

Training Compatibility: Training programs by medical professionals who follow TCCC protocols use TCCC approved tourniquets. Opting for a tourniquet approved by TCCC ensures compatibility with established training curricula and protocols, facilitating consistent and standardized education on tourniquet application and use.

Field-Tested and Combat-Proven: TCCC-approved tourniquets have proved reliable in high-stress environments, including combat situations. Their effectiveness in saving lives is evidence in real-world scenarios, providing confidence that they can perform reliably when needed most.

How Many Tourniquets Should I have?

The number of tourniquets you should carry depends on various factors, including your specific needs, intended use, and the context in which you expect using them. Ultimately, it is important to balance being prepared and carrying a practical load. I recommend you carrying at least one tourniquet, and having additional tourniquets can provide added preparedness and flexibility. Regularly assess your needs, stay informed about best practices, and ensure that you receive proper training on tourniquet application and usage to maximize your ability to respond effectively to bleeding emergencies.

—Hemostatic Agents—

Hemostatic agents play a crucial role in promoting blood clotting and aiding in the control of severe bleeding. These agents speed up the body's natural clotting process, helping to form a clot at the site of the injury more rapidly.

There are different types of hemostatic agents available, including gauze impregnated with clotting agents. They typically make these gauze dressings of a fabric material that is saturated or coated with substances that promote clotting, such as kaolin, chitosan, or zeolite. When applied directly to the bleeding wound, the hemostatic gauze interacts with the blood, activating clotting factors, and facilitating the formation of a stable blood clot.

One advantage of hemostatic gauze is its ease of use and applicability to a wide range of injuries. We pack it into deep or narrow wounds to reach the source of bleeding and is effective in situations where direct pressure alone does not control bleeding, but before a tourniquet is necessary.

When considering specific hemostatic products, it is essential to choose products proven effective and approved for use by medical professionals. Some popular and widely recommended hemostatic products include:

  1. QuikClot Combat Gauze: They impregnated this gauze dressing with kaolin, a natural mineral that promotes clotting. The military and emergency medical services used this product, and it's approved by TCCC guidelines.
  2. Celox Gauze: Celox uses chitosan, a biopolymer derived from shellfish, to enhance clotting. It forms a gel-like substance when in contact with blood, effectively sealing the wound and promoting clot formation.
  3. HemCon Hemostatic Dressings: HemCon offers a range of dressings impregnated with chitosan. They designed these dressings to control bleeding quickly, and provide an effective barrier to infection.

It is important to note that, while hemostatic agents are effective in controlling severe bleeding, use them as directed and within the limits specified by the product's instructions. It is also crucial to seek proper training on their application and understand when and how to use them effectively. This free course is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how to use these simple tools.

When building your bleeding control kit, consider including a hemostatic agent like a clotting-impregnated gauze as a complement to other bleeding control tools. Choose reputable products that have undergone testing and approved by medical professionals, ensuring you have a reliable and effective solution for promoting clotting and managing severe bleeding in emergency situations.

—Pressure Dressings—

Pressure dressings are another essential component in controlling bleeding and promoting clotting in cases of moderate-to-severe wounds. They provide direct pressure to the injured area, helping to stem blood flow and facilitate the formation of a clot.

The purpose of a pressure dressing is two-fold.

First, it applies continuous pressure to the wound, compressing blood vessels and reducing the blood flow. This pressure helps to close off damaged blood vessels and encourages the formation of a stable clot.

Second, a pressure dressing acts as a protective barrier, preventing further contamination and reducing the risk of infection.

A typical pressure dressing comprises three key components:

  1. Sterile Pad: Position the sterile pad, also known as an absorbent or non-adherent pad, directly over the wound. This serves to absorb blood and provide a clean surface for clot formation. The pad should be sterile to minimize the risk of introducing infection.
  2. Elastic Bandage: An elastic bandage is used to secure the sterile pad in place and provide pressure. The elasticity allows the bandage to stretch and conform to the body, ensuring a snug and even pressure distribution. The bandage should be wide enough to cover the wound adequately and provide sufficient compression.
  3. Closure Mechanism: The closure mechanism is typically clips, hooks, or even Velcro, and secures the elastic bandage in place after you wrap it around the wound. These closures ensure that the pressure dressing maintains the desired pressure.

When selecting suitable pressure dressings for a trauma kit, consider:

  1. Size and Absorbency: Choose pressure dressings that are appropriately sized to cover the wound effectively. The sterile pad should be absorbent enough to handle the expected amount of bleeding. Having a range of sizes available in your trauma kit ensures you can address wounds of various sizes.
  2. Quality and Sterility: Opt for pressure dressings from reputable manufacturers known for producing high-quality medical supplies. Get one that is individually packaged and sterile to prevent contamination and reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Ease of Use: Look for pressure dressings that are user-friendly and easy to apply. Consider those with simple instructions or visual aids to guide you in proper application, especially in high-stress situations.
  4. Compatibility: Ensure that the pressure dressings you choose are compatible with the rest of your trauma kit, including tourniquets, hemostatic agents, and other bleeding control tools. Compatibility ensures seamless integration and effective use of all components.

Some recommended pressure dressing options include the Israeli Bandage, Emergency Trauma Dressing (ETD), or similar products. Medical professionals, emergency responders, and the military use this gear because of their effectiveness in controlling bleeding and ease of use.

Check and replace expired or compromised pressure dressings in your trauma kit regularly to ensure they remain reliable and ready for use when needed.

—Gloves and Trauma Shears—

Personal protection is of utmost importance when providing aid in bleeding control situations. Gloves play a vital role in ensuring both the rescuer's and the injured person's safety. Here's why including a pair of high-quality gloves in your bleeding control kit is crucial:

  1. Infection Prevention: Gloves act as a barrier between the rescuer's hands and the injured person's blood or bodily fluids. They help minimize the risk of infection transmission from the injured person to the rescuer and vice versa. Wearing gloves reduces the chances of exposure to blood-borne pathogens and other potentially harmful contaminants.
  2. Cross-Contamination Prevention: Gloves prevent cross-contamination between multiple casualties or wounds. When assisting multiple injured individuals, changing gloves between each interaction helps maintain proper hygiene and prevents the transfer of bacteria or pathogens from one person to another.
  3. Personal Safety: Gloves also protect the rescuer's hands from direct contact with bodily fluids, chemicals, or other hazardous substances that may be present at the scene. They act as a barrier against potential skin irritants or harmful substances, reducing the risk of exposure and subsequent skin reactions or infections.

For accessing and removing clothing to expose the injured area for proper assessment and treatment, trauma shears are an invaluable tool. Here's why you should include trauma shears in your bleeding control kit:

  1. Quick and Safe Clothing Removal: They designed Trauma shears with a blunt tip and serrated blades to safely and rapidly cut through clothing, including thick fabric, without posing a significant risk of injury to the patient. As opposed to using your pocket knife. By efficiently removing clothing, you gain immediate access to the site of bleeding and can effectively assess and treat the wound.
  2. Versatile and Precise: Trauma shears are versatile tools that can cut through a variety of materials, including leather, denim, or synthetic fabrics. Their sharp blades and ergonomic design allow for precise and controlled cutting, even in challenging situations.
  3. Time-Saving: In emergency situations, time is of the essence. Trauma shears enable you to expose the wound quickly without wasting precious moments fumbling with buttons or struggling to remove clothing by alternative means. The efficiency of trauma shears can significantly expedite the initial assessment and treatment process.

Considering the importance of personal protection and the need for efficient clothing removal, I highly recommend you include a pair of high-quality gloves and trauma shears in your bleeding control kit. Choose gloves made of durable and puncture-resistant material, such as nitrile or latex-free options if you or others have latex allergies. Look for trauma shears with stainless steel blades and ergonomic handles for optimal performance and longevity.

By prioritizing personal protection and equipping yourself with tools like gloves and trauma shears, you not only ensure your own safety, but also enhance your ability to provide effective care in bleeding control situations.

Know Your Gear, and How to Use It—

Familiarity with the contents of a bleeding control kit and knowing how to use them is critical in emergency situations where every second counts. Here are key reasons this knowledge is important:

  1. Effective Response: Understanding the contents of your bleeding control kit allows you to identify and access the tools and supplies quickly when faced with a bleeding emergency. Familiarity with each item's purpose and how to use them ensures a swift and effective response, maximizing the chances of saving lives and minimizing blood loss.
  2. Confidence and Preparedness: Knowledge and familiarity breed confidence. By familiarizing yourself with the contents of your bleeding control kit, you gain confidence in your ability to respond to emergencies. You become better prepared to handle high-stress situations, making crucial decisions and applying appropriate interventions promptly and effectively.
  3. Proper Tool Selection: Different injuries may require specific tools or techniques for bleeding control. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of each item in your kit enables you to select and use the tools for the situation. This ensures that you provide the best care possible and optimize the outcome for the injured person.
  4. Safety Considerations: Each tool or supply in a bleeding control kit has specific instructions for safe and effective use. Being familiar with these instructions helps prevent potential harm to yourself, the injured person, or others present. Understanding proper techniques for application, potential complications to watch for, and how to mitigate risks ensures the highest level of safety during the bleeding control process.

Given the importance of knowledge and training in bleeding control, I highly recommended you take advantage of the free and low-cost training provided by Mountain Man Medical. Their trauma medicine training will equip you with the skills necessary to respond to bleeding emergencies effectively.

Taking part in this training provides valuable insights into bleeding control techniques, proper tool usage, enhances your decision-making abilities, and boosts your confidence in providing life-saving care.

Investing time in training and staying updated on bleeding control techniques and procedures can make a significant difference when faced with a critical situation. Empower yourself with knowledge, practice your skills, and consider taking advantage of resources like the training provided by Mountain Man Medical to become a more confident and effective responder in bleeding emergencies.

Organizing and Maintaining Your Trauma Gear—

Organizing and maintaining a trauma kit is important for quick and efficient access to critical supplies during bleeding emergencies. Here are some tips to help you organize and store items in your trauma kit, especially if you manage multiple kits:

  1. Categorize and Group Items: Organize your supplies into categories based on their function or use. For example, group all tourniquets together, hemostatic agents together, bandages together, and so on. This categorization allows for easy identification and retrieval of specific items when needed.
  2. Use Clear Pouches or Compartments: Transparent pouches or compartments help you visually identify the contents without having to open each individual package. This saves time and ensures you can quickly locate the required supplies.
  3. Label or Color-Code: Consider labeling or color-coding sections of your trauma kit to further aid in quick identification. This can be useful when you need to delegate tasks to others or in high-stress situations where time is crucial.
  4. Arrange Supplies in Order of Priority: Place the most critical supplies that are likely to be needed first at the top or in easily accessible compartments. This ensures that you can quickly reach essential items, such as tourniquets or hemostatic agents, without having to search through the entire kit.
  5. Check Expiration Dates: Each item should have clearly marked expiration dates marked on the package. Inspect your trauma kit regularly to ensure that none of the supplies have expired. Remove any expired items and replace them promptly to maintain the efficacy of your kit.
  6. Restock and Replenish: Regularly restock and replenish your trauma kit to ensure that you always have an adequate supply of essential items. Keep a checklist of the items in your kit and periodically review it to identify any missing or depleted supplies.
  7. Periodic Reviews and Practice Sessions: Conduct periodic reviews of your trauma kit to familiarize yourself with its contents and ensure readiness. Practice using the various tools and supplies, refreshing your knowledge and skills. This will help you become more confident and proficient in managing bleeding emergencies.

Remember, maintaining an organized and up-to-date trauma kit is a continuous process. Regularly assess your kit's contents, check expiration dates, and replenish supplies as needed. By periodically reviewing and practicing with your kit, you ensure you are prepared and familiar with its contents, allowing for a swift and effective response during bleeding emergencies.

Mitch's Final Conclusions—

In the face of potential bleeding emergencies, it is crucial to be prepared and equipped with a bleeding control kit. You can take action today by building your own kit or purchasing a pre-built kit from Mountain Man Medical offers a wide range of components and pre-built kits designed with their in-depth knowledge of trauma medicine. Here's why taking this step is so important:

  1. Immediate Response: Building or purchasing a bleeding control kit ensures that you have the right tools and supplies readily available to respond immediately to bleeding emergencies. Time is of the essence in such situations, and having a well-stocked kit within reach can make a critical difference in saving lives.
  2. Empowering Yourself: By assembling your own kit or choosing a pre-built kit, you empower yourself to take an active role in your own safety and the well-being of others. Being prepared and equipped with the right tools gives you the confidence and ability to provide effective aid in emergency situations.
  3. Tailored to Your Needs: Building your own kit allows you to customize it based on your specific needs and situation. You can select the components that align with your level of training, the environment you frequent, or the potential risks you might encounter. This customization ensures that your kit is perfect for your unique circumstances.
  4. Expert Guidance: Mountain Man Medical's pre-built kits assembled using their expert knowledge of trauma medicine. Their experience and understanding of bleeding control enable them to assemble comprehensive kits that cover all essential components, ensuring you have everything you need for effective response.
  5. Peace of Mind: Having a bleeding control kit at your disposal brings peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared to face emergencies. Whether it's in your home, workplace, or during outdoor activities, having the tools and supplies readily available helps ease anxiety and provides a sense of security. Building or purchasing a bleeding control kit is a proactive step toward preparedness. By taking action and getting a kit from, you are equipping yourself with the means to respond effectively to bleeding emergencies. Be the person who is ready to step forward and make a difference when seconds matter the most. Don't wait until it's too late. Visit today to explore the components and pre-built kits. Invest in your preparedness, empower yourself, and be ready to provide life-saving aid in bleeding emergencies. Your actions today can make a significant impact tomorrow.

mountain man medical

*Author's Note: this article was generated with the assistance of ChatGPT.

About Mitch Goerdt

Mitch Goerdt is the Director of Marketing and Events at Born and raised amongst the Northeastern woods and waters of Minnesota, Mitch's childhood was filled with adventure, sports, and a deep appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle. His early career saw him don the hat of a mechanic and welder in the taconite mines. However, the call of distant horizons was too strong to resist. Mitch embarked on a journey across the country, soaking in diverse cultures and landscapes. This quest for knowledge also led him back to school, where he secured a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing Communications. Today, at, Mitch spends his days crafting content and using his imagination and skills to leave an impression on his audience. Outside the professional realm, he is a lifelong learner who finds solace in outdoor adventures and satisfies his love of athletics and competition in the world of competitive slowpitch softball.

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