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What’s in your blowout kit?

There’s a fair bit of interest in preparedness these days. Unfortunately, once a topic becomes relatively popular, questionable and even bad information seems to multiply. Add that to the reality that since companies which sell preparedness gear are in business to make money by meeting a need (which means there will be some whose only real interest is separating you from your money) and the questionable/bad information only increases more.

I have been a registered nurse, if not long enough to qualify as an old nurse, then at least long enough to qualify as a “seasoned” one. Before that, I was an EMT. In addition, preparedness as part of a healthy lifestyle is something I practice. It frustrates me, then, to encounter bad information when it comes to medical or health preparedness. I’m not the go to person when it comes to questions like “what’s the best survival firearm,” if only because my desire to have one of everything (and ammunition to go with all of them) is probably neither realistic nor helpful. When it comes to first aid supplies, though, I’m a little more capable.

What is a blowout kit, anyway?

I’m glad you asked. A blowout kit is an individual first aid kit (IFAK) designed to allow you to treat potentially life threatening injuries. The items in it are intended to help keep you or someone else alive until more definitive care can be obtained.* You don’t have to call it a blowout kit, if you find that too weird. After all, one of the most important rules of preparedness, if you’re going to successfully teach others is “don’t be weird,” so call it whatever works for you. Regardless of what you call it, it’s a good idea to have it. This is particularly true if you are a hunter/fisherman/camper/hiker. It’s even more so if you practice these pastimes in remote areas. I used to hunt and fish by myself, before the age of cell phones, miles from the nearest person. I’ve lived and worked on farms and fishing boats. In those and similar circumstances, if you get hurt, professional help may be delayed too long for you to wait for it.

There are three basic emergencies for which I think you should be prepared. Those are significant hemorrhage, a tension pneumothorax, and an airway obstruction. Please note that while I will tell you what I recommend be in your kit, I am not recommending that you buy and prepare to use these things without proper training. Do yourself and other people a favor and get the training. The cost in negligible compared to the value of what you learn.


We aren’t talking here about bleeding you can stop with a Band-Aid or even with super glue. We’re talking about bleeding you must get under control immediately to prevent death. (“Oh no. I seem to have severed my foot with a chain saw”). For that I recommend the following items.

  • QuikClot or Celox
  • Israeli or pressure bandage
  • Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)/Tactical tourniquet
  • 4×4 gauze
  • Tape
  • Mini “Sharpie” or other permanent marker. Why? Take the class and find out.

Tension Pneumothorax

These are bad. (Why, oh why is his trachea shifting to the side like that?) They are also treatable with just a little training and a few supplies. (Take the class and learn a new use for that credit card!)

  • Chest seal
  • Decompression needle. I’m not going to tell you what size. Take the damn class.

Obstructed airway**

Breathing is important. If the air doesn’t go in and out, we die. (“I wonder if all that stuff in there is why his face is turning blue.”)

  • Nasopharyngeal airway (NPA). What size and how/when does it go in? All together, now: “Take the class!”
  • Water soluble lubricant

Toss in some nitrile gloves and maybe a pair of trauma shears (they don’t have to be titanium) and you should be good to go.

Oh, in case I haven’t mentioned it, you should take courses to learn how to properly utilize these items.

*If circumstances require the use of these items, follow-up care by a trained professional is essential.

**Note that some people will suggest you can also use some of the supplies above for an emergency cricothyrotomy. I cannot tell you just how much life is going to suck if that becomes your only option for restoring or preserving an airway. I’ve done one. They suck donkey balls. Want to know how to do it, too? Take even more courses.

New fuel for the pew

Just visited the Abilene Gun and Knife Show. Some people are, uh, “proud” of what they have for sale, meaning their stock is grossly overpriced. On a much better note, I found some .223 FMJ ammo from a new manufacturer, Texas Small Batch, out of Early, Texas. I’m eager to try it out. Once I do, I’ll share my results here…probably.


It appears that I spent 22 years in the military just so I could afford to buy lumber. Who knew?

Heard over the 1MC

Now for the information of all hands:



That is all.

April 21, 1836

This date, following the events at Goliad and the Alamo, is recognized in Texas as San Jacinto Day. It commemorates the 18 minute butt whoopin’ given by Texans to the forces directly lead by Santa Anna.

As an aside, the good general seems to have been resistant to learning from his mistakes as some years later, during the Mexican-American War, he would be handed yet another sugnificant defeat, this time at the hands of Winfield Scott.

*I propose that the state of Texas officially change the name of this day to “Curb Stomp Day.”

Allies who aren’t

The good news is that HB 1927, a bill that would eliminate the need for Texans over the age of 21 to obtain a license (TLC) in order to legally carry a firearm, is scheduled for a floor vote tomorrow (4/15/2021) in the House. More good news is that a similar bill didn’t get this far last time, so we are making progress. If it passes the House, the state Senate will be forced to at least consider it. As you might expect, the normal group(s) of anti-freedom people oppose the bill. It happens. That’s not good, of course. There is, however, something much worse. Also voicing opposition is a group of TLC instructors. It is beyond annoying that this group would join in such an anti-freedom effort. Given that the prior predictions of doom and destruction voiced by gun control advocates have uniformly failed to materialize, I can come up with only one reason for TLC instructors to oppose this bill: They’re worried their fellow citizens increased freedom will cost them money. Quislings. And yes, if you are a Texas TLC instructor who is opposed to the elimination of the TLC requirement, I am referring to you.


For your consideration:

My eyes are watering. Must be my allergies.

Of projects and youth

Recently, Mrs RM asked me it I would do something for her. The thing? Expanding a closet. “Ah,” I thought. “This could be a project. I like projects.” And so, I agreed. Except, as it turns out, what I agreed to was not the mere expanding of a closet. Oh, no. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that what I had actually agreed to was the removal of a load-bearing wall, the span of which was to be replaced with a 4×10 beam, assembled and put in place by a certain blogger, to span the space, and then the expansion of the closet. My neck hurts. My shoulders hurt. My back hurts. This sort of thing was much easier when I was in my twenties.

Happy Easter!

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in gleaming clothing; 5 and as [a]the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why are you seeking the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen…'”

Of smoke and wonderfulness, pt 2

The stall. It’s that point in barbecue when the temperature of the brisket you’re smoking stops rising. Sometimes, it will even drop a bit. There’s nothing mystical about it. The liquid, mostly water, that collects in the surface of the brisket as it smokes is to blame. Like the brisket itself, the water is exposed to the temperature(s) inside the smoker. It does what water does and evaporates. This evaporative cooling is what causes the stall.

How long does the stall last? The answer to that is much like the answer to “how long does it take to smoke a brisket?” Cooking a brisket takes as long as it takes, and the stall last as long as it lasts. That’s where I am now, at about 0800. What do you do during the stall? You wait. Remember, smoking a brisket is an exercise in patience.