Category Archives: First Aid

WEMR at Tremont…


The great instructors over at Roane State are teaching a Wilderness Emergency Responder, formerly known as “Wilderness First Responder”, class over at Tremont in January.

I preach that good survival skills, medical skills, and land nav skills prepare you for 99% of wilderness emergencies. The only person responsible for your safety in the wilderness is yourself. A WEMR class is a great step in that direction.


Check it out here: WEMR at Tremont

More Than One Dose From an EpiPen..


Ten years ago, my EMT instructor at Tyson McGhee showed us a cool way to get a couple more doses out of an EpiPen. Caught in the act, he was chastised by his commanding officer and I stood by in disbeilef, as I witnessed the disparity between concern for liability and practicality rear it’s ugly head.

Well, Bubba taught me well, and after administering Epi to a patient at Mammoth Cave five years ago, I passed on his rebellious teachings to the Rangers on scene. Conversations at this past weekend’s tracking class, reminded me that I needed to write this post for Kevin and Doc Survival.

Fortunately, someone with far more knowledge and experience has already done the legwork, so I present “The Retrieval of Additional Epinephrine from Autoinjectors” by Seth Hawkins, M.D.

A tip of the hat goes to my buddies Kirk Harris and Fred Baty, who developed the Roane State method. Their outstanding Wilderness First Responder course is coming up in January and highly recommended for outdoor enthusiasts.


Knox Tactical – Finally…


Two weeks ago, after visiting every gun and surplus store in my wife’s Florida hometown, I lamented to my wife:

“I just wish there was a gun or surplus store that actually had good gear. It is like they don’t even use this stuff. If they did, they would know it was crap”

Fast forward to today and everything changed. Knoxville Tactical on 7609 Blueberry Rd is that “good gear” store.

When an early birthday check arrived, I call up my shooting buddy to see if he could escape from work and daddy duties to quench my thirst for a mag pouch I had been eyeing on the internet. With four women in the house, three of them under the age of two, it didn’t take much convincing.

The funny thing nowadays is that guns don’t really excite me as much as good support gear. I have had all the “cool” toys at work, but it is rare to find a store that you can actually get your hands on quality accessories . Usually, I am relegated to late night sessions perusing SKD Tactical, but now I am going to have to find excuses to drive over to north Knoxville. Same internet price on the mag pouch, but I got to handle it and try it out with my mag.

In Florida, I walked into a police supply store and asked..

“Do you have any HSGI Taco pouches for rifle mags”

“Is that a brand?” was the confused clerks reply

Contrast that to Knox Tactical, where I walked into a wall of them first thing..


If you haven’t seen a HSGI Taco pouch, they are the ticket if you have multiple caliber guns.

Here is the pouch with an AK mag..

unnamed (11)

Here is it with an AR mag..

unnamed (12)

And here is the pouch with a Gunsite Scout mag..

unnamed (13)

“One mag pouch to rule them all” should be in their marketing plan!! You can have one plate carrier or chest rig set up with them and run different weapon systems. That solves a lot of headaches if you are like me and bounce between calibers.

Knox Tactical also has THE best selection of medical gear that I have ever seen in a brick and mortar store. Chinook Medical was my online supplier for the past fifteen years, but now I can support a local business that has a great selection for blow out kits or IFAKs.


For less than the price of lunch, you can set your car, workplace, home, or backpack up with the gear to handle  vehicle accidents or any other trauma. There are no excuses not to stock up. “Watching someone you love die, sucks!”, was my friend’s sober reminder when he pushed medical skills and gear.



There is a “Survival” section with a variety of firestarting gear and some emergency food..


Clothes, packs, pouches and more..


A large selection of Bravo Company products, Magpul, and of course guns..



I have been told that I am hard to shop for and it is hard to find stuff on my wish list. Knox Tactical had five out of seven items right there! Maybe six, but I forgot to check the flashlight case.

Oh well, gives me an excuse to go back soon..

Edited to add: I got some great prices on used gear, if you want to help finance my next trip. first two safarilands SLS are for 229 w/o rails. The other 2 are for 229R, top right ALS only, and bottom right SLS with QLS, two platforms and extra mount.  Mag pouches for Glocks. Message me if interested.

IMG_0424 (1)

Wilderness & Tactical Medicine News…


Thanks to Mike in SC for keeping me in the loop with his emails and Doc Hawkins FB page for the interesting reads..

  • “The Army’s “Emergency War Surgery” has been a staple combat/austere medical reference and until now, the latest edition (3rd) was from 2004.  I found the updated (4th) 2014 edition here, which includes the many lessons learned during the recent wars: The entire book is available as a single .epub or .mobi file, then each chapter is available as a separate PDF file.  However I haven’t found the whole book in one PDF file.” – Mike
  • PJ MEDCAST are the podcasts for PJ MED (Pararescue Medicine). Besides PJs, these podcasts may be useful to other Military, Law Enforcement and Civilian Medical Personnel involved in Tactical and Technical Rescue Medicine, and other facets of Operational Medicine. PJs may document the time they spend listening to podcasts as training for their training folders, and also apply towards Paramedic Recertification. This podcast represents the positions of the authors and may not represent the offical position of the Department of the Defense or the United States Government.

2014 Alaska Cold Injuries Guidelines…


You don’t have to live in Alaska to benefit from the wisdom in this manual.  A tip of the hat to Mike for sending me the link..


Interested in learning the skills to not become a cold injury victim? Sign up for your survival experience here:

Wilderness First Responder class at Tremont…


If you’ve been studying Survival Weekly, you know that a very high percentage of wilderness survival scenarios revolve around injury. The ability to assess, treat, and package a trip member can be a real lifesaving skill.

Kirk Harris and his crew will be teaching a Wilderness First Responder class January 18 – 25 at Tremont Institute in the Smokies. There are a lot of WFR programs run all over the country, but as far as I know, this is the only one that will allow you to test for National Registry First Responder, or EMR now, which is a double whammy. Wilderness skills and National Registry all in one class!!

 While I have not taken this class, I have had the pleasure Kirk’s EMT refreshers for the Ranger division over the years and can attest to his level of knowledge, experience, and teaching ability. Kirk was saving lives, while I was still pooping my diaper..

Click here for more info:

Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Profesionals..


Good friend and EMS instructor stud, Kirk Harris, is now offering a Wilderness Medical class for healthcare professionals through Roane State.

Learn how to deal with difficult environments,improvise equipment and make crucial medical decisions in remote regions with confidence. Apply your urban emergency care knowledge asour seasoned instructors guide you through five days of intense, hands-on learning. The WUMP course will keep you engaged in wilderness medicine curriculum through case studies and practical scenarios with mock patients.

Roane State Community College instructors are Advanced Wilderness Life Support certified with over 100 years of experience in Emergency Medicine and Search & Rescue. Additionally, Roane State’s Wilderness Program is nationally recognized as a leader in Wilderness Medicine for the past 19 years.

Our program is scenario driven with hands on experience!! We teach leadership and management skills and have been involved in the Wilderness Medical Society’s Medical Student Elective for over 15 years.

Topics Include:

  • Introduction to Wilderness Medicine:
  • Whats the difference Frontcountry vs backcountry: Protocol Differences
  • The Patient Assessment System
  • Triage. The Sorting of Patients
  • The Acute Stress Reaction and Shock
  • Orthopedic Injuries & Dislocations
  • Soft tissue Injuries & Wound Treatment
  • Closed Head Injuries
  • Chest Injuries
  • The Environment
  • Cold Injury
  • Cold Water Immersion
  • Heat Injury
  • Lightning
  • Acute Mountain Syndromes
  • Avalanche Medicine
  • Bites & Stings: The Venom Bunch
  • Anaphylaxis & the EpiPen Auto –injector
  • The Medical Patient in the Wilderness
  • SAR & Patient Evacuation
  • Wildmed Psychiatric Medicine
  • What do I take? From Personal Survival Kit to the Expedition Bag

Prerequisites: This course is designed for EMTs, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, other medical professionals and medical students. You must be 18 years old to attend this class.

Ready for trauma?


Your outdoor first aid kit doesn’t need to be fancy, but well thought out. Severe cuts by chainsaws, knives, or axes, hunting accidents, falls, and in this case, a mountain biking accident, are possible. Here, direct pressure and remaining calm saved the day, but having the materials to pack a wound, apply a tourniquet, or a pressure bandage don’t take up much room or weigh a lot.

Like a tactical environment,  in the wilderness, different protocols need to be considered. Since the bleed was too high for a tourniquet, wound packing with a hemostatic gauze or any gauze would have been appropriate.

Watch the video of the mountain biker with a severed femoral artery here: You’ll have to wait until the Fall Guy clip ends

Read about wound packing here: On page 5

Watch a demo here:

Buy hemostatic gauze or compressed gauze here:———————-——————————————–