Ready? Daily Carry Stuff and You.

You can’t be perfectly prepared for every possible contingency, but you can be prepared for some of them, including injuries.

On some blogs you will at times see people post their “daily carry” stuff. Those posts often also involve “readiness” things that make loud noises. Those noise makers aren’t the only dimension of being ready.

There are also some medical items which might make a difference for yourself or for someone else.

NB: Just as it is necessary to have training with things that make loud noises, so too it is necessary to have training with medical supplies. It is one thing to have any of these items, but it is another to use them properly under stress. I would like even more training, and I am going to take steps to get it.

Here are shots of some daily carry things.  I confess that I don’t have this particular pack with me every time I go out.  I determine what I want to carry depending on where I am going, how, and what time of day it is.

What you see Z-Pack, gauze, sutures, prep pads, scalpel, Celox, mouth to mouth mask, scissors, nitrile gloves, tourniquets (set up to go over large shoe or boot), antibiotic ointment packs.  I haven’t figured out how to get the nasopharyngeal tube chest seal in yet, but I don’t know how to use that well … yet… but maybe some nearby would! Some band-aids, not shown, but they are less involved in getting someone stable, or closer it stable.


I would add that you readers supplied most of these things, from my Amazon wish list.

Also, when I travel, most all of this goes in my carry-on back-pack.  Not the scalpel… I haven’t tried that yet.  Only once did I get a raised eye-brow and question from a TSA drone.  I ask him if he had ever watched someone bleed out and that ended that.  Alas, I have.  The times with the most blood were on a train-track and another time on a Roman street, directly in front of the Chiesa Nuova (rocketing motorcycle zooming between buses at stop light, pedestrians crossing… brrrrr).  I gave extreme unction both those times, since part of my “daily carry” also includes an IO stock.  I anointed on streets several times in Rome, over the years.

If you don’t think that these things can happen where you are, friends, then you are not living in reality.  To anoint is my primary role, but if I can stop bleeding too, well… I’d like to do that (including my own).

Suggestions from the well-experienced are welcome.  You can’t learn enough.

Everyone: You might consider gathering some basic items.  Keep them in your car, or bag, certainly in your dwelling.  Make sure you know how to use them.  Refresh perishables from time to time.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. acardnal says:

    It may sound simple but readers can start with the basics: I have carried band-aids in my wallet for years and they have come in handy many, many times with a quick “thank you” reply forthcoming promptly!

    To supplement the CELOX, I’d suggest carrying some “QuikClot” sponges/gauze.

    Is that “Z-Pak” trademarked yet? ;-)

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    I have a suggestion for a good item to carry, Fr. Z. It something called “The Extractor” and it is sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods for about $16.00. What it is is a suction device that gives you four plastic tips, sized for different bites or stings. It is for those who are stung by a bee and might have an allergic reaction, but hey, if it can prevent the pain or itch of a sting for anybody, so much the better!
    It’s weird to see in action, but effective. You pull the syringe and plunge it down on contact with the area around the sting. The pressure is so great, the PSI or what-have-you, that the skin is literally sucked into the tube. Looks weird, but I watched it work. It is literally sucking the venom out of you. (also works on mosquito bites) My niece was stung and within a minute I had the tube on her. (Oddest thing, I rarely carry it but put it in my purse that day.) There was no local reaction from the sting and it didn’t even bother her. It even has a tip for a snake bite, and according to the pamphlet, it is one of the few devices that can treat a snake bite. I’m sure they are assuming you will get help as well.
    It’s a small little pack, about 4 x 5 inches, and seems totally worth it. If someone is allergic, perhaps it could prevent the use of an Epi-pen which counteracts anaphylaxis from a sting in a person with an allergy. Of course that must be considered in light of other factors as they occur in the situation, but it might help and won’t hurt. You should practice it a few times just so you’ll know what it looks like to use it. It’s not injecting anything, just sucking out, and there’s no reason for it to wear out. Very cool gadget.

    [Could be a good addition to my larger 1st aid bags.]

  3. HeatherPA says:

    I keep a pair of sneakers and a comfortable pair of pants and a shirt in my vehicle, along with emergency stuff. Ever since I read “One Second After” I felt like I would be one of those women stuck in my vehicle with high heels and hose on at least two hours away from home, if such a thing ever happened. ? I don’t think I could hike it easy on 3-4″ heels.

  4. Charles E Flynn says:

    Tweezers? Small flashlight?

    [Yep. Good. Added.]

  5. Maltese says:

    I was a career Firefighter/EMT on the Rescue truck (meaning, I was called to every life-threatening emergency), years before I went into law enforcement. Mostly, I prolonged death. In severe trauma, it is very rare to save a life. However, a WoundClot Hemostatic Gauze will stem some hemorrhage bleeding, potentially saving lives. The main thing to remember are your ABCs: airway, breathing, circulation. If oxygenated blood doesn’t get to the brain, within eight minutes you’re dead. So, press that chest, even if you break ribs (I’ve broken many performing CPR.)

  6. Manducat in the hat says:

    There are some really cool RATS Tourniquets and other EDC first aid stuff at I heard about it on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show.

  7. Colm says:

    Speaking of daily carry? Any priests out there with a CCW permit that have any tips about carrying while wearing a cassock?

  8. JustaSinner says:

    My everyday carry bag is a nice shoulder messenger bag I got off ebay for $30. Inside I have my 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm (full frame). I also have two extra 17rd mags [not the 20s?] and it is in a clip holster for safety. (Loose gun rattling about a bag is messy at the least.) I also have two packs of Celox, five extra absorbent feminine hygiene pads (learned that in the Marines. Has a non stick side and very absorbent. Nice for gaping wounds and gashed.) [Good for my larger bags.] My Gerber sling blade (?) that I modded to flick out with a slight thumb move. Sharp enough to cold shave with…. This goes with me everywhere and always. Looks like I am carrying a purse; but in today’s environment, maybe I’m just beginning the transition? (I’m 6’5″, 280)
    I also have a heavy bag that I occasionally carry, but is always in my Mercedes. It is a backpack bag with plate armor (class IV ceramics with side), my SBR AR-15 pistol, total of 4-30 round magpuls, a class III kevlar helmet, quick clip on holster for said 9mm—has two mag pouch, and two of these rechargeable flash/bang thingeys I got from I don’t remember, but they are cool. 120 dB piercing shriek, with a 5000 lumen blinker. Toogle the switch, toss and wait—FLASH BANG!!! [Oooo I’ve gotta get me some o’ them!] Ten mylar heat brankets—these take up about three post cards—they are wicked small. Three of the big Celotex packs (35grams?), a bag of said feminine pads in vacuum pack—really small and hard! Also a large sharpie marker. This is great for triage situations—write right on the forehead. The bang I call the ISIS Violator. On my plate armor is the American flag, upside down, A+, my blood type decal, and a reversed red cross, because, well, it’s a cross.
    End note…my 9mm rounds are IMI—Israeli Military Industries produced in Haifa, Israel. My 5.56 all have a thumb shmere of bacon grease on the tips—[]
    My ammo usage, per week, is in the 100-300 range at the range. Practice, practice, practice. Sometimes without hearing protection—won’t be using muffs in a real life shoot out. I figure that St. Michael would like my set up; compact, powerful, and contained.

  9. Maltese says:

    Nice list, JustaSinner!
    For a concealable AR, I would suggest the Rock River Arms AR-Pistol:
    The long-arms version is standard in the FBI. There are endless AR models out there, but these almost never jam. In a real-world (RW), chaotic situation, functionality and conceal-ability are key. A knife, such as the “CRKT Minimalist” clipped into your pocked with a garter, or suspender clip, will give you a nice weapon, which can’t be seen. Also, in RW situation where shots are fired, I’m going to get my son and daughters behind cover. People think that a wall is cover–usually it’s only concealment. Get behind an engine block–if you’re in traffic–or behind something Impenetrable. The first duty is to your family and yourself. If you’re behind cover, a knife can be used to take down a perpetrator once he gets within reach:

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    The Israeli Battle Dressing, $9 on Amazon, is a handy piece of gear. Buyer reviews show these have also been useful after accidents at home.


  11. Cantor says:

    As a former EMT-A, I find my services needed on flights about twice a year. Never have encountered open wounds, full cardiac arrests or childbirth midflight. [Thank God!] Most common has been respiratory problems, exhaustion, and nausea. So your kit contains most of what’s needed.

    Noise levels on flights makes stethoscopes/sphygmos tough to use. So I’ll recommend a BP/Pulse wristband meter. As a diabetic, I always carry one. Walmart has them for about $30 under the Relion brand name. These wrist readers are pretty accurate, and also have a rather comforting effect on the patient. [Interesting.]

    My blood sugar test kit has also proven helpful. Although I can’t lawfully initiate the finger-stick test myself, if there’s a doctor or active paramedic aboard, or they get radio authorization, we have the gear. It has come in handy in giving the captain an idea of the urgency of a problem. Again, the kit (also at Walmart: Relion brand) is inexpensive and simple to use. [Right.]

    And if you’re not praying while you’re working, you ain’t doing it right!

    [My bag might be getting larger!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  12. stuart reiss says:

    Excellent ! Carry an Epipen. [Right! I was looking into that. In these USA you need a prescription for those, so I will need someone’s help. I’ve been with someone who went into anaphylactic shock (peanuts) and an Epipen was used.] Possibly the most amount of good can be done with this.
    Getting a naso-pharyngeal tube is easy. It has a C curvature lubricate the tip ( if nothing else spit) and slide it in with the curvature facing mouth. But I find these too flimsy and easily clogged with snot and blood clots. And often don’t go down well enough. So I think you should learn how to secure an airway using a Guidell tube (goes in the mouth) and have three sizes. Small medium and large ask any emergency clinic at a Hosp. There’s plenty. A triangular bandage is good to have. Not just to make a shoulder sling. It comes in handy for head wounds too. A couple of steri strips. They are very thin plasters. Like threads. But awfully strong. Used instead of skin sutures often to bring skin tightly closer together. Again learn how to use them. Good to close deep lacerations on skin including accidents with knives.

    [And you, Doctor, get this for… you know why!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. oldconvert says:

    Get a Guedel airway, [Oropharyngeal airway] it takes up very little room and keeps the airway patent while you get on with other life-saving procedures. I remember also seeing a training film in which the firstaiders improvised a chest seal out of a plastic bag and some adhesive strapping (reel of strong strapping is useful in itself). A simple band tourniquet such as is used before taking blood samples. A large square of tough fabric (linen or cotton) has multiple uses – make a sling, secure broken bones to splints, folded into a pad to soak up spilled blood, etc.

  14. Andy Lucy says:

    Just a quick note about using feminine hygiene products for bleeding control…. sometimes they are treated with a chemical to prevent clotting because…. well…. you know. But the issue is that the chemical could cause trouble for your patient by slowing the clotting process. As an EMT, I always have my “crash kit” in my vehicle, but in my EDC backpack, I carry a couple of IFAKs which include a military pressure bandage, a tourniquet, nasopharyngeal airway, sterile 4x4s, 2 Celox packs, shears, and gloves. I also have a CPR mask in there, because while I have no issues with doing CAB/ABC-CPR, I’d just as soon save kisses for family members.

    Train, train, train. Reacting under a stressful situation is WAY different than most people think. The more you train, the more muscle memory you retain when your higher faculties are screaming at you to panic and freeze. The more you train, the less stress you’ll feel when doing CPR upside down in a car in a rising creek in a thunderstorm… been there, done that. ;)

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  15. crownvic says:

    I’m curious what some priests think of ccw holding members of the congregation carrying their “ahem” to mass?

    [This one thinks that if perps suspect that people in that building are not helpless sitting ducks, the perps will go somewhere else.]

  16. Hank Igitur says:

    nasopharyngeal tube chest seal ? If this means a chest tube for a pneumothorax you need to leave that to us doctors Fr Z, don’t even think about it, not for a “layman”. [As I indicated, I don’t know how to use that.]

  17. Amerikaner says:

    Superglue. Can be used for sealing wounds.

  18. JSII NFD says:

    Fr. Z
    I am career Fire/Medic(15 years) for the City of … South and west of Chicago. I would be glad to help where I can. If I could suggest some 4×4’s and kling. Nasopharyngeal airways are great for airway( that might be for a larger pack). You might consider a small pack of KY jelly for the nasals. Pen light. Vaz gauze for sucking chest wounds, they are small and lay flat. [Right… I remember that stuff now. Thanks.] I couldn’t see in the pack an Israeli bandage those are pretty useful. [Good suggestion. I have one in the bag in my car. I’ll put some on my wishlist.] Your small pack looks great as is. For the larger pack have you looked into King LTD airway. It’s considered an airway adjunct. Not an advanced airway. It’s our last resort if we can’t establish an Endotracheal tube. They work awesome. If interested I can send some photos of our set up on our ambulance. I also keep about 3-4 packs of black Tea. You never know when it may be a long night….

    [A start for what you do and for the help.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  19. Mike says:

    Pepper jell?

    [Are you suggesting something made from peppers as an analgesic or the kind that is a spay weapon (not sure how useful that would be for helping someone who is wounded)? ]

  20. bednarjm says:

    Very good advice.

    I keep a first-aid kit in my work backpack. Maybe not to the extent of your kit.
    As I’m a software developer (geek) I also carry multi-tool in case of emergency. As it’s got a bottle opener and corkscrew I’m prepared for any contingency.

    Blessed Monday.

  21. Mike says:

    Definitely the spray weapon.

    I guess I’m going with the first part of your post in regard to daily carry for a variety of contingencies. I carry Sabre pepper jell or sometimes spray (the spray is smaller, and fits nicely in your pants pocket; the jell is a bit more cumbersome, more of a briefcase carry or fanny pack).

    Sabre is standard for NYPD. As an analgesic? Well, I think it will surely get a perp thinking about his own pain, and stop thinking about what he may want to inflict on others! [The active ingredient, in another form, is also a topical anesthetic.]

  22. un-ionized says:

    It’s a counterirritant (like some of us).

  23. APX says:

    FWIW: if someone goes into anaphylactic shock, and there is no Epi-Pen (don’t forget to ask if anyone has an epi-pen, as anyone deathly allergic to something should always be carrying one), chewing coffee beans until EMT’s or until one can get to the hospital can sometimes slow down the person’s airway from swelling shut. I wouldn’t rely on this, but if you’re in a pinch, it can’t hurt.

  24. Mike says:

    Didn’t know that. Fascinating!

  25. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z, if you don’t already have this item, please add WaterJel Burn Dressing 4″ x 4″ Pack of 3 at $15 to your WishList.


  26. cortona says:

    Water, Water, and more Water! Can go only about 3 days without it, unlike food, which you can go longer without. Tuna, peanut butter have long shelf lives as does freeze dried foods. But watch that most of it doesn’t require water. Canned soups has water content. Just keep rotating them. As for freeze dried.. Fruits and some veggies too, which can be eaten right out of the can or mylar bags (your choice). Most importantly, keep your soul in the state of grace. ??

  27. MWindsor says:

    I think most people have already added what I would add to your kit.

    I hike in timber rattler country every now and again, and we have cotton mouths in our immediate area. I can heartily second Kathleen’s recommendation for an Extractor Kit. It comes in a little yellow box that I fit into my bag, with a signal mirror and extra bandaids in the box.

    I also carry ibuprofen and Benadryl at all times, and one of those Israeli bandages. I know this sounds odd, but I only carry one of the Israeli bandages, and two feminine hygiene pads. The pads are more easily compressed than the Israeli bandages, so I can fit more in my bag with less space. And they are designed to be sterile and soak up blood. (And yes, I’ve actually had to use one as a bandage once.)

    Don’t forget moleskin pads. Priceless and weightless.

    I jam all that and more in a Vanquest EDCM-Huge, with Molle Sticks to attach to the outside of my gear. If I’m traveling heavy, I’ll use a red Condor Deployment bag.

    I don’t know about pepper gel as an analgesic, but cayenne pepper is supposedly good hemostat if you don’t have celox or quick clot. I’ve just never been brave enough to test it.

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