Years of us preaching medical skill preparedness, “stop the bleed” movement and classic American capitalism, have made the medical kit – or as adopted from our military heritage Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) common place. But despite a gamut of make-belief companies with overnight self-proclaimed instructors, there are solid venues preaching great things and selling nice kit. The wholehearted mission of keeping people ready to do the right thing at the right time is not lost on companies like Mountain Man Medical, and is evident in their line of IFAKs.
Their Yellowstone trauma kit if a well-rounded IFAK, which is capable of customization and more than it offers on the surface. I want to first touch on the fact that this is a full size med kit, with ability to add user-specific items and customize to user needs and mission. The micro style IFAK’s which only accommodate a couple slim things didn’t win much fan fare in my book. After trying a few, I decided that if I can only carry z-gauze and a bandage, I would rather use a pocket.
My humble opinion is that these kit options look sexy on the range and in competition, but are not functional in the real world, to combat expectations. In that regard, the Yellowstone’s FAK pouch appears a quality 500 denier container, with a solid zipper, smartly placed interior elastic and D-ring option, and as mentioned, ample room. As in any IFAK, the user has to decide what is needed, what is wanted and what is practically optimal. Overfilling any IFAK pouch will result in difficulty accessing the contents and silly appearance.
A very unique and cool feature, is that the Yellowstone and other kits offered by Mountain Man Medical in the same pouch – the Falcon, is vertically mounted, but opens horizontally. I have never seen that, and find this hugely convenient. While one of my classic favorite IFAK’s is a similar clamshell opening full access design, it opens downward on the kit, The Yellowstone opens to the side, which offers full access while saving room, and allowing smoother handling of the items on your belt, or when working while kneeling or behind cover. The other super feature, is that this IFAK can be mounted on MOLLE, belt, clipped or carried by the handle. There is a row of MOLLE/PALS type webbing, which can be set up as a belt or pack attachment when not weaved through, and a generous carry handle on top. Again, additional customization or ability to confidently throw the kit to a casualty if needed, are options desired in Care Under Fire or Tactical Field Care, and not always available in some products.
It was great to see that not only is Mountain Man Medical selling a product, they are promoting and enhancing skills in the application of that product. Aside from resources to hands-on courses, free videos, training blog and reference materials are all on the website. And free they should be, as intended years ago by the Committee on Tactical Casualty Care CoTCCC. This essential knowledge should not be hidden in paid subscriptions or sales gimmicks. Yet another shoutout to Mountain Man team goes for sticking with the CoTCCC/TECC guidelines,. This is the only curriculum an end-user should reference and build on.
Based on these battle-proven lessons, the contents of the Yellowstone Trauma Kit are set accordingly. The Yellowstone comes with a choice of the latest generation Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT), latest variant of the Special Operation Forces Tourniquet (SOF-T), or a SWAT tourniquet. While training guides on the Mountain Man site explain that SWAT-T is not a true tourniquet (TQ), my preference would be that it’s not even offered as one in the kit. While the tool has excellent and effective uses, and efficiently packs into any kit, I would prefer to avoid the risk of someone relying strictly on that as a tourniquet option. On that note, if your preference is to carry a TQ on the outside of your kit or gear for work or tactical reasons, the Falcon pouch allows you to secure it to the top with either a couple rubber bands or a dedicated TQ holder. This also frees up the room inside the pouch for additional items, especially if you intend to use it for longer adventures.
Also in the Yellowstone, are the Hyfin chest seal, TraMedic bandage, compressed z fold gauze, and an elastic bandage. All of the above take up the Falcon efficiently, and are very effective for their intended purpose. The chest seal is of course a double, allowing for control of entry and exit wounds and leaving its own packaging as a similar adjunct, and the elastic bandage in an all around great piece of medical gear. If you’re not familiar with the TraMedic brand, this is a similar product to the Israeli Combat Bandage or the OLAES bandage, minus the pressure bar/plate, and a lot like the North American Bandage. All have a gauze pad and an elastic bandage as one tool. As a hemostatic aid, the kit includes a ChitoGauze dressing. As one of the options for hemostatic bleeding control, the chitosan has been used until additional hypoallergenic options became available. In gauze form, it is effective in packing a wound once visualized. However, I would caution the user in adding to or switching to a dressing such as QuickClot, specifically if you carry the kit to use on someone you don’t know. Meaning, if you known no one in your team or family is allergic to shell fish, the ChitoGauze is a fine option. But if you are working any public venue, I would prefer to avoid the risk of additional issues with Chitozan use. I also prefer QuickClot for ease of application. The kit also comes with additional tools like small trauma shears, marker and nitrile gloves.
The Mountain Man Medical Yellowstone kit comes in black, and ranges from $108.89 to 120.99, depending on your choice of TQs. It is an excellent overall value. The company also offers a generous list of brand name medical restock items, and will be added to my list of suppliers. Their pricing and selection, as well as resources and ability to educate the end user are excellent, and I will be adding them to my list of recommended suppliers. I urge any user to continue and maintain their training. If this is your initial source of information on this topic, please find a reputable provider in your area to obtain hands-on instruction. Additional resources are available at Prolonged Field Care or through any of us at Spotter Up. We are happy to answer your questions or offer resources anytime.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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