Running CACHE Networks

Caches are prepositioned resources put in place to support a future activity. Classically we "visualize" them as buried treasure but they don't have to be buried, and we will cover that a little later in this article

Shady stuff in the hills

What is a cache? Caches are prepositioned resources put in place to support a future activity. Classically we "visualize" them as buried treasure but they don't have to be buried, and we will cover that a little later in this article. Having been to a Special Forces school for this, I'm happy to say this subject is one of my favorites and an area that I have plenty of real world experience. The challenge of this article will be keeping it unclassified, so if there seems to be a "gap" in the flow of the article, accept my apologies up front I'm trying to make everyone happy... Caches have been used for centuries, there's nothing new about them but in todays fast paced disposable world they are usually overlooked as lacking imagination or to time consuming. Of course the big army (or military) as a whole doesn't really use caches, but a cache system doesn't make sense for our modern army. They come complete with supply trains and never really know where the next operation will take place. They are designed for mobility. You however are not.

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You KNOW where you will be staying, working and traveling. A cache network would fit easily into the busiest modern schedule and as we will discuss lighten your bug out loads considerably. Caches are the difference between a 100lbs Bog out Bag (BoB) and a 20lbs BoB. Use caches to offset your emergency weight and have enough that you can afford to lose a few to the elements. Caching is a process not a singular event. Why use them? DSC_0114Caches will drastically offset the amount of weight and equipment required to get from A to B on any map. If established correctly, you could have a cache set up at all of your major check points and if you don't need to contents of the cache, bypass it and save it for later. If you have ever wondered how commandos get away with traveling so light, its because we aren't just moving to a safe area I'm admitting we are cheating, and picking up food and ammo along the way that someone else buried before hand. Like a magician, the trick isn't magic, its the assistant who skillfully positions the tools needed ahead of time when no one was looking.


[gallery type="rectangular" orderby="rand" ids="2365,2366,2367,2368"] Site selection criteria. Its not good enough to just pick a gnarly oak tree and have at it. In theory you should have dozens of these located all over the place so site selection criteria has to take on a consistent, and more primary role as you develop your network. Consider:

  • 24 hour all weather access
  • Enough cover and concealment to hide loading and unloading of the cache
  • You must have access to the site, and avoid places like banks daycare or municipal buildings that will draw unwanted attention (or security footage) of your activities. There's nothing illegal about caches, but it doesn't look good hiding in the bushes of a children's park.....
  • Will it develop? Will your cache be a burger king next year?
  • Anchor points. If the cache site proper doesn't have good visual markers it may make sense to identify a reference point nearby. For instance, 3 yards due north of the North East road sign at the intersection of Mayberry and main St.
  • Anchor stakes. It may not make sense to map directly to a cache, if that's the case map to a tent stake with a string leading you to the buried goods. Experiment with different methods.
  • Always consider that SOMEONE ELSE will have to service the cache. Don't assume you will be the one who is unloading the goods. What if you're hurt? or busy saving lives? Don't assume the tree you picked is unique enough for a stranger who has never been there to pick out of the crowd.

Types of caches. I like to build caches based on themes so that's what ill discuss in this article. Most of my caches are simple food and water 24 hour kits, small and easy to hide. I have 1 large cache, that remains unmarked and only I know where it is that contains everything I need to start over... I bury this early and let it season in the elements. Consider:

  • Support cache. Food, water, clothing and medical supplies.
  • Action Caches: Ammunition and "other" supplies, just in case I get disarmed.
  • Recovery cache: Important documents, cash, food, water, ammo, perhaps a weapon, family pics you name it. If your house burned down right now, what would you need?

You can build and camouflage caches out of anything, you're limited only by your imagination. Just make sure they are double weathered sealed. Consider using packing grease when storing working "metal" parts for long periods of time and using metal containers for water. Metal containers don't leak into the water like plastic bottles do. How to organize them into usable networks. Its all about the mapping. I break my mapping down into useable blocks that are easy for family members to follow and understand. There are 3, maybe 4 basic sketches you need to learn:

  1. Macro Sketch. Think state with multiple ports of entry like airports or interstate intersections. This way my cousin Earl can drive in and find his way around.
  2. Navigator Sketch. Now that Earl has his bearing from the macro sketch, its time to get him to the area where the cache is. This is the street map level sketch that references the major ports of entry from the previous sketch, BUT gets you to the road intersection where the actual cache is located. Google maps works well here, and several navigator sketches can be support by a single Macro sketch.
  3. Micro Sketch. Now that Earl is at the right intersection, he needs to know exactly where to dig. This sketch should have the precise pace count and reference points required to walk right up to the cache and it should also include any pertinent details the user needs to know: Police station near by, bring a shovel, service between this hour and that, etc....
  4. Point of view (POV) sketch. In some cases a site may require a perspective as if seen from the person performing the task, this is the case when the person loading and unloading the cache is face with multiple but similar choices in a given are. For instance multiple paths or multiple telephone pole. It doesn't hurt to include one in every report, but frankly they aren't needed unless you gauge the circumstances to warrant the work.

Here's an organization example of how I set up my cache mapping:

  • Macro (2GA1FEB2015)
    • Navigator Bug out (Husbands work and home)
      • Micro (Support) GA323-01
      • Micro (Support) GA323-02
      • Micro (action) GA323-01a
        • with POV
      • Micro (Recovery) no mapping
    • Navigator Bug out (Wife's work and home)
      • Micro (Support) GA324-01
      • Micro (Support) GA324-02
      • Micro (Support) GA324-03

I would keep all of these in a book and even supplement the data with a Google earth maps overlay. Ideally when I forward a cache I want the information as simplified as possible yet accurate. This way in a pinch I could simply "text" it to someone and send them on their way.

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Under this organization I can group my caches and maps into zones, and maintain an underground supply network that supports multiple family members in different locations, perhaps a child in college and so on. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="2353,2355"]

Mapping.

Mapping is the trickiest part of all of this. Caches are aren't any good if YOU are the only one who can use them. But for OPSEC or data reasons you may not have access to accurate enough mapping to make this work. So make your own! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="2360,2361,2362"] The trick to this is finding the right amount of detail with out over crowding your work. Practice this amongst your own group to see what I mean. Have one person draw a map to an unknown location, and another person navigate to it with out any assistance. Then you will see how your assumption over the obviousness of a particular reference point may not be as obvious as you previously thought. There is an art to it and it must be learned and rehearsed. We wont go to far into mapping in this article, its an article all its own but we will write it up as an addition to this cache piece.

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Of course here at CAGmain we offer a wide variety of classes and that includes how to cache. Caching is a hybrid of field craft, administration and art its not just bury MREs in the woods for a rainy day. Play with Geocaching and get a feel for the venue and see what other folks have done. Its fun and family oriented I think you'll like it. Click this link to learn more! As always thank you, and please ask questions!

TR

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Austere Guide to Gauze

Hemostatic Gauze Vs. Non-Hemostatic Gauze... There are many types of gauze on the market to choose, from standard gauze rolls to different types of "Hemostatic gauze", which are impregnated in substances to help stop bleeding. Without understanding the differences between a package of compressed gauze, to Combat gauze, Celox-gauze and Chito-gauze, how they work, or even if they work, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you and your medical kits. Here's the breakdown:

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Plain (Non-Hemostatic) Gauze:  Often called Kerlix, and coming in "Z-fold" or "S-rolled", or even compressed to take up less space, This is a must and a minimum. While this gauze certainly is not as good as the hemostatic gauzes in terms of controlling severe hemorrhage , It's inexpensive and versatile use make it a must. This isn't just for packing a bleeding wound that a tourniquet can't reach, it can be used as simple bandaging, dressings, stabilizing such as a sling and swathe and so much more. For the low-cost, it's a stepping stone towards hemostatic gauze. I recommend at least 2-3, and more in your house/truck kit, for those areas on your body where a tourniquet can't stop the bleeding, or for a little pressure in an extremity that is not a severe enough bleed to warrant a tourniquet. [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" link="none" orderby="rand" ids="2327,2328,2329"] Hemostatic Gauzes - For arterial bleeding, don't risk having a non-hemostatic gauze as your Primary choice, you and your loved ones deserve the best shot at survival. What you do for bleeding control for the first few minutes is similar whether you are in an austere environment or 911 is just a few minutes away... If you don't get this bleeding stopped, it will eventually stop when the patient runs out of blood. Unlike previous generations of hemostatic gauze, these do not generate heat or burn.  Here's your choices, and how they work:

  1. Combat Gauze:  Combat Gauze is the #1 choice of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and Committee of T.C.C.C and has earned it's place. It is impregnated with kaolin, which helps the bodies clotting along much greater than using standard gauze. It's got a hefty price tag, but would you rather have a wallet with more money or a heart with enough blood to keep pumping? For a bare minimum medical pack I'd recommend at least 2, because if the first one does not work, you will have to be more aggressive your second time.
  2. Celox Gauze - Unlike Combat Gauze, Celox does not help your body itself clot but creates one. This is because when the it comes into contact with blood it creates a gel. What this means in basic terms is if your patient does not have good clotting factors ( Hypothermia, Medications such as Aspirin, etc.) this is a good choice because it works by itself instead of supporting the bodies clotting process. 3.   Chito Gauze - Chito Gauze does not rely on the bodies clotting process, as well. Instead of a gel, it uses the chitosan and dressing to slow down and stick the blood and platelets to create a clot. Again, for those with poor clotting factors, this is a good choice.

[gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="2338,2339,2340"] These are in no particular order, and I'd recommend all 3 as a good decision. While the Military recommends Combat Gauze as #1, their demographic is healthy young soldiers who likely don't have poor clotting factors. Even then, blood loss can cause hypothermia and ruin their clotting factors, making Celox or Chito-gauze an option as well. Now that you know why and how, you can make an educated purchase. Personally im a fan of Chito-Gauze, but I'm also a reasonably trained medic...

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A product is only as good as your training, so if you leave it on the shelf, it won't live up to it's potential in a stressful situation. Have a couple non-hemostatic gauze as "trainers" to practice wraps and packing wounds as free drills to keep sharp. You do dry Fits in a cargo pocket

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Knock-off medical supplies: Is saving your wallet worth risking your life? 

This warning fully understands that many who seek self sufficiency are not made of money and may be on a fixed income. It's always nice to get a deal on something by finding it online for cheaper, but when does the expression "You get what you pay for" come into play? When does quality become priority over price?  bogusCAT Medical Supplies should be that line in the sand. In  CATS eat RATS: Tourniquet Comparison Article we addressed the difference between tried and true and unproven medical interventions, but now we're talking Knock-Offs and copy cats from trying to save a dime by going through unreliable vendors. Some may justify buying a cheaper tourniquet on non-reputable dealers because the differences aren't obvious to the untrained eye. Would you do that on medical supplies, such as heart or cancer meds? I've seen many post pictures of their medical gear and I've caught fakes, knockoffs and at a minimum outdated gear. For instance, China has a terrible problem with infringing upon patents and not caring about which products they make look-alike. While it can often be harmless stuff such as clothing, there is simply no cheap way to go about quality medical supplies. If there is one thing to not be frugal about, I'd recommend it to be what you have to use on the worst day(s) of your life. I've noticed no explanation needed for people to drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars into weapon accessories, just to turn around and relentlessly search Ebay or auction sites for used or knock off medical supplies. While I'm not denying the effectiveness of firearms and self defense, I will rebuttal with frequency of medical emergencies. How many times in your life have you needed to use your firearm in relation to times you've needed medical intervention? Nobody is immune to this, and you can't always trust "How to spot a fake" guides. Some are nearly identical and it is a fact that even the U.S. Military has bought batches of fake CAT tourniquets that have made their way into the battlefield, where they have failed when needed most. They are frequently used by "Military Simulation" (MILSIM) / Airsoft Operators to match their Plate Carriers to what the SOF uses without the cost. Their game is not life or death, but ours is. [caption id="attachment_1229" align="aligncenter" width="620"]The Boston Bombing is a testament to the proof of tourniquets in civilian, especially mass casualty incidents. The Boston Bombing is a testament to the proof of tourniquets in civilian, especially mass casualty incidents.[/caption] You may get lucky when you roll the dice, but I'll stack the odds in my favor and go into a situation with superior training and equipment. Use a reputable dealer to negate the risks associated with subpar products that you, your loved ones and your patients will need in the most common factor of emergencies: Medical Injuries and Illness. References: CAT Knock-Off - http://www.scribd.com/doc/31121665/Combat-Application-Tourniquet-GEN-III-vs-E-CAT

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This weeks featured livestock: The Turkey!

People often forget the turkey as a viable meat source. Most tend to think of chickens. There are several good reasons for it. Turkeys are loud. Brakes squeaking can get toms to gobble. Hens are always chirping. When toms strut they make a drumming noise. Like a rooster crowing in the subdivision, these noises sometimes don't go over too well with neighbors, home owners association and or local ordinances. They don't lay eggs all year round which makes them more

Turkeys, The forgotten poultry. People often forget the turkey as a viable meat source.  Most tend to think of chickens. There are several good reasons for it. Turkeys are loud.  Brakes squeaking can get toms to gobble. Hens are always chirping.  When toms strut they make a drumming noise. Like a rooster crowing in the subdivision,  these noises sometimes don't go over too well with neighbors, home owners association and or local ordinances.  They don't lay eggs all year round which makes them more

of a meat bird. Most people keep chickens just for eggs so that puts the turkey at a disadvantage when comparing the two. Turkey a eggs are quite large and taste like a chicken egg.

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Baby turkeys are called poults. Unlike  the chicken's 21 day incubation period, the turkey requires 28 days. Like chickens they must be kept warm in a brooder until they can regulate their own body heat. You'll want to have the broader set up and prepared before receiving your poults. Gradually lower the heat at ground level from 90 degrees by 5 degrees per week. If it's over 75 degrees outside, they can go out once they are a month and a half old. You will need to have a high protein feed ready for them, something in the 20% and higher range. Like all livestock,  water 24/7 is a must.  You'll need one waterer per 25 birds. This is for space not volume. So select a waterer adequate for their needs or refill it as often needed. [caption id="attachment_861" align="aligncenter" width="300"]TurkeyChicks Courtesy of mother earth news[/caption] The breed you have chosen will determine the length of time until harvest. The broad breasted bronze or white will take about 6 months to reach 20-25 lbs. A lot longer than a chicken but several times the weight.  This breed also has the largest amount of breast meat,  the kind we are used to. Heritage birds may never reach that weight and wild ones take much longer. A broad breasted bronze will have 3-4 times the breast meat than even the biggest wild turkey.  Harvest just like chickens.

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We have a few different breeds and some mutts. My favorite is the midget white. It's a smaller bird with a large breast. The breed allows us to cook an entire bird without having Thanksgiving style leftovers for weeks. This can be an important consideration for preppers and those off the grid folks where refrigerator space and electricity are finite. turkey_dinner_ll_131112_16x9_608 Once they're grown they are very hardy. Standard housing as used for chickens may need some slight adjustment to accommodate the larger size of turkeys. They are also quite amazing to watch with Jakes vying for position and toms strutting and drumming in the pasture. Now, go get your gobble on.

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Get noticed during an emergency!

In most cases, when catastrophe strikes near or on you, you're going to need some help. Having a few easy to use, easy to store items near by will go a long ways towards effecting a positive outcome during your time of need.

In most cases, when catastrophe strikes near or on you, you're going to need some help. Having a few easy to use, easy to store items near by will go a long ways towards affecting a positive outcome during your time of need. In this article I am going to focus on tools that get you noticed and versatile enough to support most venues you could encounter. Signal Kits: There are plenty of commercially available, low-cost signal kits that will cover most of what you need. Generally they include

some kind of strobe light and signal mirror, but some may come with colored panels. Lets break down basic signal kit items:

  • stroebflashlightStrobe lights blast bright pulsing light that are easy to distinguish from ambient back ground lighting like in a city, or against a city backdrop. Don't assume you will be somewhere doing any given task, I've seen first hand vehicle accidents just outside of city limits where ambient lighting could and would interfere if you tried to signal with a flashlight. The pulse of a strobe is unique enough that emergency crews would naturally gravitate towards your signal.
  • untitledewqrgwetrSignal mirrors are tried and true. Even on a cloudy day they can reach out for miles. They work along the same lines of a strobe in that emergency crews can easily decipher a distress pulse from any surrounding light ambience. These are handy in and out of the city and are logistically manageable for the pocket Everyday Carry or EDC.
  • untitledSFHzdjxfkcghSignal Panels work because they offer contrast. That's why certain colors are generally reserved for safety, like orange or neon green/yellow. Of course their being bright helps get noticed but when a bright orange panel is flown it doesn't match anything in the immediate area, and more likely to draw attention to the eye. This is important to understand if and when you're trying to create an emergency panel/beacon in a hurry. Contrast is king...

Signal Flares and pen flares: Flares are great because they generate a tremendous amount of explosive light and can even be used during the day. Of course they burn so use caution, but having said that flares are cheap, safe and readily deployable for almost any venue.

  • zgfHGRoad flares have long burns times and require you to create a "clear" area around them so they don't start a fire. Most of them are reusable and are uber handy when you're having a hard time starting a survival fire.
  • untitledfhzdjgxfkgcljhvbPen flares shoot a few hundred feet into the air like a streamer and will broadcast your location thru thick vegetation or over buildings. These are small enough to fit in most pockets and certainly gloves boxes, but take care in aiming and save them for when you actually see the rescuers....You don't want to run out of flares putting on a fireworks display for no one to see!
  • imagesE5U2K4I9Whistles and bangers can be launched from most pen flare sets. If it makes sense to send out an echo against a canyon or city wall, bangers and whistles may be a good addition to your pen flare set. These are also good deterrents for people hiking in the woods where unwanted animal contact is likely...

Beacons: There are three types of beacons used to transmit distress signals, EPIRBs (for maritime use), ELTs (for aviation use), and PLBs (used for land-based applications). I wont go to far into this for this article because its a class all on its own, but NOAA has an excellent article on how they work and how they can be used. Click here to learn more about beacons... sosSOS: There was a time when SOS was a universal distress code, but this day and age I wouldn't bet my life on it. Having said that it's still a good tool to have in your toolbox. 3 short dots followed by 3 long dashes, followed by 3 short dots spells I NEED HELP! While I'm not suggesting you sit back and bang out code over the radio all day, the SOS can still be used to broadcast a visual signal across the international language barrier as well. ergthrywj6q534If its contrast that gets you noticed, the pattern gets you understood! Build your emergency signals into an SOS with both letters AND dots to increase the likelihood a passerby wont mistake your signal for woodland junk! In this example, notice how the shadow gives contrast which allows this SOS to be seen from much farther away. Use the rule of 3: When you finally think your signal is big enough, make it 3 times larger.... In the prepper community a lot of emphasis is placed on staying hidden and living as a ghost, and for the most part we can agree as long as that makes sense. For the vast majority of Americans out there, being prepared means knowing what to do and having what you need to do it with. This means understanding and accepting that help from rescue units is vital and critical to a well prepared family. This article is intended to explain and validate the use of basic survival items for the average American family and is by no means a comprehensive lesson plan. If you have any questions please feel free to hit us on Facebook or leave a comment below! As always thank you!

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CAT's eat RAT's: Tourniquet Comparisons

We have come a long way in trauma medicine since the days of "Use a tourniquet only as a last resort." We now know it can be on for hours before it even begin to damage the patient, and now tourniquets are often times your first intervention in tactical medicine

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Tourniquet+poster   We have come a long way in trauma medicine since the days of "Use a tourniquet only as a last resort." We now know it can be on for hours before it even begin to damage the patient, and now tourniquets are often times your first intervention in tactical medicine. It's now a rush to create the latest greatest equipment, especially tourniquets, to save lives both on the battlefield and here back home as referenced in their success in the Boston Bombing. Most often times these new medical innovations are not created by a scientist in some dark lab but the warriors who return from the battlefield and realize what we need. I applaud those who innovate in order to save lives and experienced Tactical Medics can make their own decisions about the newest medical interventions. Unfortunately, some products

come out seeming to be best thing since sliced bread and we here at Crisis Application Group are here to help you make an educated decision in what you choose to purchase because this purchase may be used to save somebody's life.  Every tourniquet has its Pro's and Con's that can and should be mitigated by rigorous training. When the human factor is eliminated as best it can through rigorous training, THEN we can talk about proper equipment.  It doesn't matter if you have the best tourniquet in the market if you can't use it properly.

 

 


R.A.T. Tourniquet:

CATSeatRATS   Cutting right to the chase: I'm not sold on the R.A.T. Tourniquet just yet. (Pictured:) it has "TCCC" approved on it, which is not the military's official "CoTCCC" which Crisis Application Group's CEO was formerly a member of. That could be misleading to many folks that think it has been approved for battlefield use. The RAT tourniquet is a flat bungee that works through wrapping the cord around the extremity to stop bleeding. While you could improvise many items to slow the bleeding, I expect total arterial occlusion from a commercial product. I have yet to see Doppler prove that it occluded arterial blood flow, studies on live tissue, or real CoTCCC approval. The RAT tourniquet page has video documenting it stopping the pulse through the use of a Pulse Oximeter, but that is not where the bar is set. I see the temptation with the lower cost and size, but in medicine you can't take the "idea" over proven effectiveness. In the game of saving a life, you may have to spend the extra dollar.

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  There is also the argument about proper width, which is directly correlated to soft tissue damage and more importantly arterial occlusion. It states and is 1.5" when properly applied, which I will give them the benefit of the doubt. However, with items used in a high stress environment, you'll want a redundant product that is less likely to be messed up. For instance, if there is too much spacing between the wraps, or overlapping too much could require the Operator to re-do the intervention, releasing the tourniquets pressure. In addition, Some haFlatBungeeTourniquetve argued about the length of RAT tourniquet on a thigh, but after seeing a video demonstrates it's use on a 26" thigh properly, I have no complaints there.

  A large portion of the reviews say it's fast enough than taking an already 'looped' CAT from the foot of the patient and jostling it all the way up. I teach my TCCC students the option for a CAT to instead be applied through the friction adapter at the correct height of the limb. This requires less movement and going around the limb than the multiple loops of the RAT.   A tourniquet isn't just about putting one on, but keeping it on. I would like to see how it would hold up in casualty drags and carries, where rocks, debris and gear can cause a tourniquet to possible become loose and therefore less effective.   If we received one in the mail, we'd surely test it out further. Until then, we'll wait till we see more concrete proof.


SWAT-T Tourniquet:

[caption id="attachment_454" align="alignleft" width="372"]SWAT Tourniquet SWAT Tourniquet[/caption]

   This is the SWAT-Tourniquet. It's name is also how to use it: "Stretch, Wrap and Tuck." . It's an elastic wrap, I've used one in practice when I came across it. It was very strenuous to get working and after application to the legs and I put it on aggressive and tight. In addition, when finished wrapping, you have to find a place to tuck the tail into or it will unwrap itself, which was one of the largest issues I had. I would mention the pain, but that has no room in saving a life because "The Operator feels no pain (when doing medical interventions.)"  I would not recommend this product that is not CoTCCC approved and many units do not allow it. I wouldn't even use it as a pressure dressing to avoid compartment syndrome, and an ACE wrap is easier to see blood leaking through if your intervention fails.



Committee of TCCC (CoTCCC) Approved Tourniquets:

  The two tourniquets widely used in the the Special Operations community as well as experience in the staff here at C.A.G.,  but even more importantly have approval from the Committee on TCCC (CoTCCC) and Fort Sam Houston's Institute of Surgical Research are the Combat Application Tourniquet, version 3 -or- CAT3 and Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet -or- SOFT-T/SOF-T. CATTrauma CAT-T   The CAT3 has been ol' faithful for quite some time. It does get a lot of hate, though, and as someone who has taught all different groups of people TCCC, I can see where it frustrates newcomers. Just like many other good pieces of equipment, a tourniquet is not a learn-once and done. The CAT3 needs some practice to get down smoothly, especially with the friction adapter. C.A.G. has a video you can watch to learn how to do it right and practice in order to stay under the goal time of 30 seconds.


** A CAT3 once used for training or any other purpose should not be used in trauma.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAF5LIxzOPo&w=420&h=315]

SOFT-T:   Special Operations Forces - Tourniquet is another tourniquet we recommend, but just as with the CAT, it will take practice to get it right. If you foresee you or others in your group having a hassle with the tightness of the screw or remembering it, the newest generation SOFT-T has a buckle that makes life easier. SOFT-TSOFT-TW (Wide version with Buckle instead of screw.) LEFT: SOFT-T RIGHT: Newer SOFT-TW Wide with Buckle in place of the screw.

 

 

 

Improvised Tourniquets: token1

  Improvised Tourniquets are as their name implies, using what you have available in an attempt to create a tourniquet effect. They are good to know how to make and have prepared for an austere or mass casualty incident where you do not have one, or do not have enough tourniquets. However, they do not work as well as commercially designed tourniquets, so prepare a few in case you run out and tuck it away in your intellectual equity toolbox. Our very own Crisis Application Group's Jay Paisley demonstrates just how simple it can be.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q_ClfyM0Ls]



  What I hope you take away from this article is to be skeptical of new inventions proclaiming to be the next big thing, especially in the business of saving lives. I could go over every possible tourniquet on the market and write a book but I'm sure you got the point. When you come across one you're unsure about, do some research or even feel free to ask us about it. Inspect your tourniquets as you receive them, as some have cheap after-market knock offs made of cheaper, flimsy products or even an older generation of what's currently best. I also recommend you take your tourniquets out of the packaging and prepare them properly as fumbling around with that can cost a few extra seconds when the goal is preserving "fresh clean blood."

CAG Class: Intro to Austere Field Medicine, Conyers, GA!

  Once more, I applaud those out there creating these products to save lives on the battlefield, Law Enforcement Officers and even Civilians back home. I would love for a product that is smaller, faster and lighter than what we currently use, but more importantly I want one that can save more lives. It would be a safe bet to stand back and monitor a product you're interested in while it receives further testing and real world application to work out the kinks. Even the beloved Combat Gauze had criticism when it first came out and replaced Celox and Chitogauze awhile back, then in the new TCCC updates Celox/Chito are back in the game as alternate uses because they work intrinsic of the clotting cascade and may perform better for someone with poor clotting factors. It goes to show you that what you knew about medicine 6 months ago may not be correct, and what you knew a decade ago might not work as well as what is out today.   For now I recommend you stick with what you know and keep training. No matter which tourniquet you or your community purchase, buy at least two; One for training, one to keep when you need it. Mark/spray paint the training TQ to keep it separate and train on it often to stay fresh and keep your time under 30 seconds. The equipment doesn't live up to its full potential without proper, consistent training.   If you have any question on medical products, feel free to ask the medical subject matter experts here at Crisis Application Group about it. We have Special Operations, Special Forces, former CoTCCC members and other Medical Professionals that can give you a professional opinion. Trust the reviews of those who have used tourniquets on real life trauma casualties. [caption id="attachment_2" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Med training with Crisis Application Group Med training with Crisis Application Group[/caption]   Don't take our word for it, Check out these References and come to your own conclusion, or Google "TCCC" or "CoTCCC tourniquets" : JSOM TCCC References: https://www.jsomonline.org/TCCC.html TCCC PDF from U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research updates, as of 02 June 2014: http://www.usaisr.amedd.army.mil/pdfs/TCCC_Guidelines_140602.pdf

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