Back in 2019 I wrote about what I carry. One of key items in my urban kit, and one of the things I always have with me, is a tourniquet.
For a while I carried a SOF Tourniquet as part of my kit, however back in 2020 I transitioned to the CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet) made by North American Rescue. The CAT is lighter and relatively easier to work with, specially under stress and with wet hands.
Recently, though, I discovered the ETQ (Everyday Carry Tourniquet), made by Snakestuff Systems. The ETQ is lighter, smaller, and easier to carry during the commute.
Here's a comparison between the CAT and the ETQ for reference. ETQ on the left, CAT on the right.
I have used the SOF and CAT tourniquets in the past, during combat and while assisting a person during a car accident injury. I know how these tourniquets perform, and they perform really well. However, I haven't used the ETQ in a real life situation; I've trained with it, practicing how to deploy it, use it, and finding the best application possible, since every new equipment needs to become second nature; so I don't know how it will perform in the field.
The decision to change the tried and true CAT was centered around the size and weight. I'm always trying to go lighter, always simplifying and making my kit more efficient. In this case, I wanted a tourniquet that I could fit in my backpack, but also in my pocket, if I wanted to go without a backpack.
Reviews around the internet are good, I will continue to carry a CAT in my backpack until I'm confident the ETQ works.
Because you need to stop the bleeding. Whether you suffered a car accident and you or others are bleeding, or a natural disaster wounded you or anyone around you, or a bad actor started shooting, bleeding has to be stopped in order to survive. A tourniquet, along with the rest of the trauma kit is your first line of treatment and care.
Things are getting a lot more chaotic these days, and a lot of people are doing bad things, leading that possibility of getting hurt. Cities are crazy places, even the safer ones.
Today it makes no sense not to carry a tourniquet, so please get one, learn how to use it, and help keep you and those around you bleeding if bad things happen.