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  1. #1
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    Default EVERYDAY CARRY OF TOURNIQUETS

    RATS-PROD-04.jpg

    We all have preferences. Our “top choices” and favorites. I know that if were to go to a gunfight this afternoon, I would prefer to use a Remington 870 shotgun instead of the Suarez Glock that will invariably be in my belt. Why? Because the shotgun kills better…simple as that. But that aside, what I will have with me in my belt when I am having lunch at the local eatery will be a Glock and not the preferred 870. It is a simple matter of practicality. The same can be said for all our other equipment choices. Few white-collar professionals or even grey-collar business people are going to move about their day with an LBE or a Patrol belt festooned with magazines, knives…and tourniquets. We all make compromises from what we would “prefer to have” in a gunfight to what is realistic to have every day, all day, in our normal lives.

    With the recent active shooter events there has been a renewed discussion of carrying medical gear in your everyday loadout. Some twenty-five victims in the last week as a matter of fact (Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton). The guys in uniform and the paramedics admonish carrying a tourniquet. I do not disagree that this is wise, but it is easy to lead by example in a patrol or paramedic uniform. It is not as easy to pull off if one is one of those white collar/grey collar guys that has a job (often with a dress code) that does not directly involve applying tourniquets.

    Moreover, while doing so would be easy if you dress like a 5.11 model with big oversized cargo pants, that is not the type of clothing our “normal guys” are going to wear to work…or on a date. When we tally up the normal guy load out, we still have a pistol and a magazine (at least one). Likely a blade and a cell phone as well as the normal pocket array carried by normal guys. Adding a tourniquet may be a smart thing to do, but not always an easy thing to do. I queried personnel from students, to instructors and a few LE as well. While they agreed the importance of a tourniquet, few carried one daily. None of the LE guys carried one off duty. Cited were the difficulty in concealing them in normal attire.

    The one gent that carried a tourniquet daily said he had compromised in the one he carried. He told me that the bulk of the medical professionals and uniformed LE all favored the CAT. The CAT, or Combat Application Tourniquet is easy to use, and seen on the bat belts of many LE personnel as well as paramedics. But it is big. It is about the size of a pistol slide. Guys with large waistbands may be able to carry one concealed on the belt, but many whose waist size is smaller – like the student I was speaking with - will have difficulty in normal everyday attire.

    Instead, he opted for a RAT, or Rapid Application Tourniquet, and advised that while it is not as popular with uniformed professionals as the CAT, it is more compact, and easy to carry. “A RAT in the pocket beats a CAT in the car console”.

    I agree. I have a 31” waist and the real estate on my belt is taken up with pistol and magazines. I have tried to carry CAT tourniquets in cargo pockets, in added belt pouches, and even in an ankle holster designed to carry them. None were satisfactory for me. Not all pants have cargo pockets, and even those that do, the dimensions of the CAT in a pocket or printing through a shirt that would otherwise conceal a pistol, tend to announce exactly what it is. And make no mistake that is important (a man carrying a CAT tourniquet…hmmm…what else might he be carrying?). Same can be said for ankle carry. Some guys can pull it off, but it doesn’t work for me.

    The RAT however is easily carried in a back pocket, or the flat design slipped into the waist behind the magazine. Far easier and more convenient to carry. And that means you will likely have it rather than leave it at home.

    I have settled on a RAT as an addition to my everyday carry, and a CAT in the med kit I carry in the vehicle. Making compromises to operate in normal society and in normal life happen with clothing, weapons, and other things. Whether we like it or not they happen with medical gear like a tourniquet as well. But with a light easy to carry one like this, that compromise will not involve leaving it behind.



    .
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
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    Gabe, I came to the same conclusion about a year ago. When I first saw the RAT I dismissed it. After talking to you and the medic who covers my sustainment training for medical I gave it a second look. One rides with two chest seals in a hip pocket everywhere I go. The chest seals get replaced every six months along with my carry ammo.

    Jim Miller
    ISA 6:8

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
    Gabe, I came to the same conclusion about a year ago. When I first saw the RAT I dismissed it. After talking to you and the medic who covers my sustainment training for medical I gave it a second look. One rides with two chest seals in a hip pocket everywhere I go. The chest seals get replaced every six months along with my carry ammo.

    Jim Miller
    ISA 6:8
    That is why I went to it. Is the CAT better? Maybe, but I may as well stick a Glock 34 slide in my belt. I tried carrying it and unless I placed it where the magazine or pistol went...up front appendix and opposite...it was a no-go. And guys that carry in ankle rigs must never wear jeans or shorts. Anyway...the design and nature of the RAT makes it easier to carry for me in normal clothing and that means it won't get left at home or in the car.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #4
    TQs are one of those things that when you need it, you needed it a while ago. If it isn't on your person, readily accessible, you're probably effed.

    As a result, it needs to be treated with the same system of thinking as your normal EDC loadout: somewhere in the diver's triangle is ideal. But, for it to legitimately be Every Day Carry, it needs to not be a burden socially, physically, or mentally. A RATs rolled up in your back pocket is about as close as a man can get to that. One of the other things about medical gear is that when you need one thing, you likely need others, which can lead to a person thinking that they need to carry around a full aid bag. Maybe in your vehicle. Maybe a portable IFAK stuffed into your backpack or attache case of choice...

    All that said, with a bit of practice, you can quickly make a TQ out of many found objects with the aid of a folding knife. Time equals blood equals life, so this isn't really a 'solution' to the problem of an immediate need intervention, but it's something to consider.

    I have yet to find a way to carry a CAT or SOFTT-W in a manner appropriate to civilian life that satisfies my social, physical, and mental restrictions.

    Everything is a gamble and a bargain.

    NB re: RATs. They aren't a first-line TQ in my experience. A CAT or SOFTT-W goes on much faster, and more reliably produces compression to stop arterial bleeds. A RATs is particularly tricky on the thigh, especially if you squat. My work gear had three TQs (all CATs) in it, but I also had two RATs in the bag. The calculus was simple: for the size and weight, they had minimal impact on my gear while adding a lot of redundancy and mission critical capability. Though this discussion is beyond the scope of an EDC TQ, the largest shooting scene that I personally responded to and delivered aid on had four people shot, each with multiple injuries, and involved a motor vehicle crash off the interstate secondary to the gunfire. I went through a lot of kit in a hurry. RATs provide the ability to have a deeper bench of interventions than you would otherwise carry for the same weight/volume.
    Last edited by noonesshowmonkey; 08-12-2019 at 10:57 AM. Reason: storytime
    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
    ~Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5
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    Mine...and thanks for commenting

    Quote Originally Posted by noonesshowmonkey View Post
    TQs are one of those things that when you need it, you needed it a while ago. If it isn't on your person, readily accessible, you're probably effed.

    Agreed


    As a result, it needs to be treated with the same system of thinking as your normal EDC loadout: somewhere in the diver's triangle is ideal. But, for it to legitimately be Every Day Carry, it needs to not be a burden socially, physically, or mentally. A RATs rolled up in your back pocket is about as close as a man can get to that. One of the other things about medical gear is that when you need one thing, you likely need others, which can lead to a person thinking that they need to carry around a full aid bag. Maybe in your vehicle. Maybe a portable IFAK stuffed into your backpack or attache case of choice...

    My combat kit is layered. On my person are things that I may need in an unexpected event and that I will have with me even if my ride is several blocks away. Think Glock 17, couple of mags, and a blade. I see the med thing the same way. A RAT in the pocket is worth ten CATs a quarter mile away in the parking structure. But in the ride is a larger BOK that will fix three or four times what you can fix from the pocket. Also is the issue of location. An urban area with quality EMS is not the same as town in the hinterlands of Bolivia.

    All that said, with a bit of practice, you can quickly make a TQ out of many found objects with the aid of a folding knife. Time equals blood equals life, so this isn't really a 'solution' to the problem of an immediate need intervention, but it's something to consider.

    Yeah...its a good skill nonetheless. What can you do in a pinch with a T-Shirt and some tableware? This is more for the victims you may be tending to after the bad guy's brains are clearly visible on the floor, but it may save a few nonetheless.

    I have yet to find a way to carry a CAT or SOFTT-W in a manner appropriate to civilian life that satisfies my social, physical, and mental restrictions.

    I have tried and unless I start washing down a bag 'o doughnuts with a sixer of beer, or start dressing like I stole a sumo wrestler's clothes, it ain't gonna happen.

    Everything is a gamble and a bargain.

    NB re: RATs. They aren't a first-line TQ in my experience. A CAT or SOFTT-W goes on much faster, and more reliably produces compression to stop arterial bleeds. A RATs is particularly tricky on the thigh, especially if you squat. My work gear had three TQs (all CATs) in it, but I also had two RATs in the bag. The calculus was simple: for the size and weight, they had minimal impact on my gear while adding a lot of redundancy and mission critical capability. Though this discussion is beyond the scope of an EDC TQ, the largest shooting scene that I personally responded to and delivered aid on had four people shot, each with multiple injuries, and involved a motor vehicle crash off the interstate secondary to the gunfire. I went through a lot of kit in a hurry. RATs provide the ability to have a deeper bench of interventions than you would otherwise carry for the same weight/volume.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  6. #6
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    So continuing on RATS. I do sell CATs too so its not a sales pitch, simply one of what I have seen and tried to carry.

    The new RATS are longer so the leg issue may be taken care of. The TQ you carry is for you. If you try it on yourself and find your leg is too big, you may likely be big enough to carry a CAT on the belt as well. I are very strong and can dead 2.5 times my bodyweight. That said, I am weighing in at about 175 now having been on hard paleo for three months. My leg has little fat on it and I can work the RAT on it just fine.

    You do need to qualify the item on yourself.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    The new RATS are longer so the leg issue may be taken care of.

    ...

    You do need to qualify the item on yourself.
    Didn't know the new RATs were longer. That's great news.

    And yes. You're 300% on target and are elucidating a point that people so often overlook: your shit needs to get shaken out, in stressful training, on your target audience (YOUR OWN BODY) long before you ever need to actually apply it in a working environment.
    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
    ~Ernest Hemingway

  8. #8
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    What is the best/most compact way of wrapping/folding the RATS for pocket carry? Any pics?
    Waitin' for a squeeze...

    TWOTU Since March 2012

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  9. #9
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    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Gabe. I’m just trying to figure out if there’s a better/flatter way than I’ve been using...



    I just ordered a couple of the longer Gen 2's and a pair of the carrying sleeves, too, to see what I can do with those.
    Last edited by IANative; 08-13-2019 at 12:50 PM.
    Waitin' for a squeeze...

    TWOTU Since March 2012

    DPS
    CRG
    AR15/M4 RGF
    HRO-6 CQB
    HRO-7 Team Tactics
    HITS-8 Knife


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