Med for EDC?
One of the biggest hurdles folks encounter when wanting to add medical components to their everyday carry or EDC, is how they will be carried.
I often talk about how carrying a tourniquet is paramount if you want to increase your chances of controlling major extremity bleeding. It is also a good idea to supplement your tourniquet to expand your capabilities.
As with a tourniquet, one of the major hangups people have is the difficulty or inconvenience of carrying medical supplies. With the tourniquet, you can use the PHLster Flatpack as we discussed in how to carry a tourniquet for EDC. But, what about any additional medical supplies you are carrying?
This can be a huge roadblock to a lot of folks and for good reason. Traditionally, there have not been a lot of options when it comes to daily carry related to expanded med gear. However, over the past few years, things have begun to change.
Let’s take a look at four of the options on the market, which advertise themselves as being pocket-friendly. I know what you’re going to say…”there’s more than just four out on the market.” Yes, I know that’s true. However, these are the only ones I own and have experience with. Therefore, they are the ones I can speak about at this time. What are those options? I’m glad you asked.
I’ve got 4 different options in 2 different categories (pouch and non-pouch). Basically, 2 kits that come in pouches and 2 kits that are simply plastic wrapped or vacuum-sealed.
The “non-pouch” options are the Dark Angel Medical Pocket D.A.R.K. Mini and the Tactical Medical Solutions PMK Pocket Medical Kit. The pouch options include the EDC Pocket Trauma Kit by Live the Creed and the Pocket Emergency Wallet (PEW) by PHLSTER.
Live the Creed (LTC) EDC Pocket Trauma Kit – $74.99
According to LTC, the EDC Pocket Trauma Kit is designed with easy to use components capable of treating or preventing someone from bleeding out. They designed the kit to be a comfortable, convenient option that folks will actually carry.
I would describe the EDC Pocket Trauma Kit as having a clamshell-style of opening, which allows access to the contents. The contents are held in place on each half why a wide strip of elastic. The components fit securely and I have not had any issues with losing anything.
The pouch then folds in half and a looped tab secures the kit together via hook and loop. Once the kit is opened, the loop can be used to hold or hang the kit in a vertical position to allow access to the contents. The kit’s size allows you to store it in a pocket, MOLLE Mount it, or clip it onto a bag/belt!
The EDC Pocket Trauma Kit is offered in 4 different colors and can be purchased with or without the medical components. The pouch by itself costs $35 and goes up to $74.99 when you add in the medical components. This kit is user-configurable, allowing you to change things up depending on your needs and environment
Here are the specs and contents as provided by LTC:
- SWAT-T Tourniquet
- Celox Rapid Ribbon
- Tan XL Nitrile Gloves
- Micro First Aid Kit:
- Wound Closure Strips
- Iodine Wipe
- Alcohol Wipe
- Bacitracin Ointment
- Size: 5.5″x3.5″x1.25″
- Weight: 8 oz.
PHLster Pocket Emergency Wallet (PEW) – $64.99
The PHLster PEW (Pocket Emergency Wallet) is an elastic sleeve sewn into a three-compartment configuration. There are two main pockets for medical items and one for gloves. The sleeve protects your supplies from exposure and damage while keeping them compact for pocket carry.
When designing the PEW for EDC applications, PHLster started from scratch and began by interviewing a number of professionals such as tactical medical instructors, medics, and first-responders. What they ended up with was a barebones EDC solution in regards to how to deal with major hemorrhage in urban or suburban environments.
As with the LTC option above, the PEW is user-configurable, allowing you to change things up depending on your needs and environment
Here are specs and contents as provided by PHLster:
- 1x H&H Flat Compressed Gauze
- 1x H&H Mini Compression Bandage
- 1 pair Nitrile gloves
- 1x 3×8 WoundClot Gauze (or change to Celox; or QuickClot)
- Size: 4″x5″x1.25″
- Weight: 5.6 oz.
Dark Angel Medical Pocket D.A.R.K. Mini Trauma Kit – $49.99
Full disclosure…I’ve had my Pocket D.A.R.K. Mini for a long time. So long, the packaging doesn’t even look the same. However, the contents have not changed so all is well. I did not get a pouch with mine and come to think of it, pouches may not have even been available back then. With that being said, you can add either a black or a Multicam pouch to your purchase for an additional $15.
Dark Angel basically took their “minimalist” IFAK and Trauma Kit and went even smaller. Their claim is that it is roughly a little larger than a pack of cigarettes. Dark Angel states the SWAT-T can be applied as a tourniquet, pressure wrap, expedient sling or rib binding.
The Z-folded QuikClot Dressing comes in a small package and will help control bleeding. It’s a good option for narrow wound channels. Dark Angel includes the duct tape for multiple uses, including using it with the vacuum bag to improvise and expedient occlusive dressing. If you upgrade to the Plus you get 2 vented HYFIN Chest Seal
The D.A.R.K. Mini is definitely pocket-sized and lightweight. It probably takes up the least space of all the options listed. As with all vacuum sealed kits, these have to be torn open to access the contents.
Dark Angle also offers their Kit for Life guarantee, which states at “If you use one of our kits to save a life, let us know! Send us some sort of official documentation to the fact and we will gladly replace whatever components you have used! We’ll even cover the shipping!”
Here are specs and contents as provided by Dark Angel Medical:
- 1x SWAT-T
- 1x QuikClot Bleeding Control Dressing (z-fold hemostatic gauze) 3″x4′
- 1 pair Nitrile gloves
- 2″ length of Duct Tape
- Size: 4″x2.5″x1″
- Weight: 4.8 oz.
Tactical Medical Solutions Pocket Medical Kit (PMK-LE) – $92.90
The Pocket Medical Kit, PMK, is another option packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. TacMed markets this kit to law enforcement or concerned citizens who want the proper equipment to immediately treat life-threatening traumatic injuries. This kit does come with a rescue orange SOF Tourniquet, which is a nice addition.
The compressed gauze and Esmark Bandage offer wound packing and pressure dressing capabilities. These are in addition to the Beacon Chest Seal, which can be used for penetrating trauma.
TacMed states the Pocket Medical Kit is designed to fit in the pockets of a duty shirt, trauma plate pouch of a concealed soft armor carrier, or in the back pocket of pants or jeans. As mentioned above, these have to be torn open to access the contents.
Here are specs and contents as provided by Tactical Medical Solutions:
- 1x SOF Tourniquet Gen 4 (Rescue Orange)
- 1x Esmark Bandage
- 1x Combat Gauze
- 1x Beacon Chest Seal
- 1 pair black gloves
- Size: 5″x6″x1″
- Weight: 9.5 oz.
For the most part, these kits offer a minimalistic design allowing them to fit into most clothing, such as jacket pockets, jean pockets, cargo pockets, and short pockets, and eliminates a lot of the reasons people use to avoid carrying medical supplies on the body.
A couple of these kits utilize a SWAT-T as the primary tourniquet. Personally, I prefer to carry a TQ that is CoTCCC recommended, which adds another “thing” you have to carry. The PMK offers a SOF Tourniquet in the package, but the others do not utilize a TQ off of the above-referenced list. Therefore, I find myself carrying a TQ on the PHLster Flatpack on most occasions.
Are they perfectly comfortable? No. However, neither is carrying a firearm or any other necessary tool. Anything we add to our body or clothing is going to add a certain degree of discomfort. The idea is to maintain as much comfort as possible while being adequately prepared.
Keep in mind, these kits are all designed to be used as a bridge between the incident and emergency medical services. Any of these would be a good addition to a tourniquet and would expand a person’s medical EDC capabilities.