Since getting a Tennessee Handgun permit, I’ve carried a tourniquet (TQ) on my person, every single day. My rational is certainly something that is going to stir disagreement. I have two main reasons.
First, if I get shot or someone else I love gets shot, after the threat is neutralized, I want to render aid without having to rely on an first-responder to be timely enough. Statistically, a bleeding injury can cause death in short order, around 1-5 minutes. First-responders take from 5-15 minutes to arrive on a scene, and they can render any first aid until the scene is secured – but I can. i can offer aid immediately upon the environment becoming good to go.
Second, I don’t want anyone to die – especially by my hand. I carry a gun to protect the people I love and I don’t want to ever have to use it against another human being. But, I will if I have to. If that happens, after everything is secure, I will want to try to save that person’s life if I can, so I will render aid. Yes, I know some of you will say I am better of letting him die, but I can’t not try to save that life.
The challenge has been finding a way to discreetly “every day carry” (EDC) a TQ.
I’ve tried various sized TQs, including smaller ones like the RATS and the TK4, but I personally don’t think offer the kind of mechanical advantage I am looking for without astronomical occlusion pressures. That means I have to carry a CAT or a SOFTT-W .
For a couple years now, I have been carrying the CAT. I chose the CAT because of the ease of use, over the SOFTT-W . The TQ is carried in a S.O.E. Deployable TQ pouch mounted horizontally to my belt using the S.O.E. New TQ Holder. This is a great piece of kit. The pouch completely shrouds and protects the TQ, while offering one-handed quick deployment of the TQ.
During this long period of living with this setup, some drawbacks have surfaced. First, the CAT can only fold down so flat. The “C” clamp for securing the windlass has a fairly deep profile, which determines the minimum thickness of the TQ. Additionally,. the CAT is fairly long at 6.5″ when folded flat. The problem with that length is that the curvature of my waist gives way before the end of the TQ, so in some cases, the TQ will poke out, making a terrible “print” that I have actually been asked about several times.
Because of these issues, I’ve been on the hunt for a better solution – for me – for about six months, including revisiting those smaller TQs. During this search, I accidentally found a video about “flat-folding” a SOFTT-W TQ. This method of folding a SOFTT-W not only makes a package that is shorter than a CAT, but also thinner than a CAT. It ends up a little wider because the windlass sits beside the TQ when folded flat.
So, I bought some SOF-T Ws and began to experiment with deploying it and flat-folding. The TQ is a little harder to get initial tightness around a limb, but with practice I was able to do so. Flat-folding got easier and easier every time I tried it. The result is a very small profile that is short enough to “blend” with the curvature of the hips.
The only problem at that point was that I did not yet have a way to carry it, other than in a pocket. After some looking around I found a pouch that works beautifully. It is the ITS Slimline Pouch. It includes both PALS and adjustable loops for belt mount. It closes compactly and does not print with my knit shirts pull over. The only drawback to the pouch is that some of the TQ is exposed when the pouch is closed. I am hoping that S.O.E. will make a version of their Deployable TQ Pouch for this application.