If you spend any time around things that go bang or twang with any regularity, then the answer is yes, you do need a trauma kit.

The kit you carry does not need to be comprehensive, but it should cover the basics of stopping serious bleeding should there be an accident. I would go so far as to say that if you spend any amount of time in the outdoors, especially during hunting season, that you should be prepared to treat a gunshot wound or the wound from an arrow. Sometimes, hunters mistake human beings for animals and you can curse the hunter all you want after you get the wound stabilized enough to prevent exsanguination. That’s bleeding to death for the layman.

Since I am a firearms and survival instructor, I carry a pretty comprehensive selection of first aid supplies in my vehicle. These range from Oxygen, to an obstetric delivery kit, and everything in between including a laerdal cervical collar. Most people don’t need all of these items. They do need to have supplies to treat the common types of injuries they may encounter on a daily basis in their outdoor activities.

For gunshot wounds or penetrating wounds from an arrow, the biggest risk is that you will hit a major blood vessel or internal organ and be unable to stop internal bleeding. For this purpose, I always carry a trauma kit whenever I, or someone with me, might suffer from a life threatening wound. The basic kit I carry contains a Z-Fold package of QuikClot gauze, an Asherman Chest Seal, A NARP Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), an Israeli Combat Bandage, and a package of H&H Primed gauze. Toss in some duct tape and you are ready to stabilize the majority of serious trauma wounds.

For the range, I carry all of the above, but more of them, and add in a SAM Splint, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal airway, EMS scissors, and a quick tourniquet, all in a Blackhawk Blowout Bag.

These items do not guarantee that you will be able to stabilize the victim of a gunshot or arrow wound, but they do increase the probability, especially if you are a long way from EMS or a hospital.

Another option that is far less expensive and space consuming is the Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Pack with QuikClot available for $19.99 at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse. Click here to buy it now. The kit includes QuikClot trauma pads, sterile gauze, wraps and duct tape to secure dressings or improvise a seal for a sucking chest wound, non-latex gloves and bio-hazard disposal bag, and an instructional sheet with information on how to quickly diagnose and treat wounds. It takes up very little space, and comes in a resealable, puncture resistant, waterproof plastic pouch.

QuikClot is a hemostatic agent developed for the U.S. Military. It quickly stops bleeding. The newer gauze impregnated QuikClot can even stop bleeding from a pressurized blood vessel. It contains an inert mineral substance that quickly stops even profuse blood loss. I don’t know the intricacies of how it works, but have seen first hand and talked to many law enforcement officers and soldiers who can testify to its effectiveness. The older granulated QuikClot caused severe burns when used, but the newer gauze impregnated with QuikClot does not burn.

More important than the items you carry, is knowing how to use them. Check with your local hospital to see if they offer American Red Cross First Aid certification classes. Don’t forget your CPR/AED classes as well. Hopefully you will never need to have these items or this training, but better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.  Stay safe.