Several years ago, a couple of buddies and I spent a week in the Alaskan wilderness hunting caribou. We were dropped off via floatplane on a small lake and left to fend for ourselves for several days.
Two caribou per hunter were legal at the time, so we all purchased the extra license and hence the full week in the backcountry.
On the first day of hunting, we were all fortunate to harvest caribou. During the skinning and boning process, one of my compadres had the unfortunate luck of slicing his hand open with the slip of the knife. The cut was deep, almost to the bone.
The wound was non-life-threatening, and we were able to bandage him up and continue with our hunt for the rest of the week, with all of us taking two caribou each.
At that time (30 plus years ago), the backcountry medical kits and options for base camps and austere environments were nowhere near as well-thought-out and planned-for as they are today. Mountain Man Medical is one company providing top-notch medical kits for just such occasions as described above.
I had the opportunity to get my hands on two of Mountain Man Medical’s kits–The Basecamp Trauma and First-Aid Kit as well as the Tracker Trauma Kit. While you hope you never need these types of products in a real-life situation, I was able to go through them in detail and make my assessment.
Let’s take a closer look at the company itself and then the two medkits.
Mountain Man Medical Review
In a nutshell, Mountain Man Medical provides quality medical kits for backpackers, hikers, hunters, and outdoorsmen. The kit you may need is based on your excursion, and there is a wide variety of kits to choose from. All kit components are time-tested products that come from name-brand companies.
According to the company’s website, they truly believe in their products. “At the core of every decision we make about the product we manufacture, stock, or compile, we ask ourselves, ‘Is it proven and tested?’”
Mountain Man Medical is not the only company to provide quality lifesaving medical tools for sportsmen, law enforcement officers, or defensive-minded people. However, they are one of few companies going above and beyond with continued and practical online training videos.
The Director of Training and Product Development is Brian “Doc” McLaughlin. Brian has a history in the military as a Combat Medic in addition to being a paramedic on the civilian side of life.
In the training videos mentioned above, you will find Brian giving real-world advice and examples of proper emergency medical techniques, especially relating to remote locations.
Mountain Man Medical stresses using the acronym MARCH to treat life-threatening medical issues in an austere environment.
- M-Massive bleeding
I can vouch that this doctrine is used in many of the basic and intermediate emergency medical courses that I have taken and taught over the years.
Quality Components from Reputable Suppliers
According to the company, “We believe in sourcing and providing existing name-brand proven products to the customer. With the number of companies currently manufacturing quality bandages, dressings, tourniquets, gauze, etc., we decided early on as a company to not reinvent the wheel if we don’t have to.”
Hence most kit components are from highly regarded companies such as North American Rescue, H&H Medical, Tactical Medical Solutions, and QuickClot, to name a few.
Basecamp Trauma and First Aid Kit Review
Mountain Man Medical has recently put together the Basecamp Kit for those out-of-the-way places outdoor folks tend to frequent, just like my Alaskan hunting venture.
The company claims, “The Basecamp Kit is designed to be a comprehensive trauma and first aid kit that is too big for the trail but ideal for the vehicle or campsite. Many backpackers, hikers, hunters, and outdoorsmen establish a base camp from which day hikes and excursions can embark.”
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I recently tried out the Basecamp Kit and found it perfect for the stated purpose.
With major blood loss always a cause for concern, the Basecamp Kit provides more than adequate tools for such an emergency. It includes 2 CAT Tourniquets, 1 SWAT-T Tourniquet, 2 QuickClot Gauze Rolls (Hemostatic Bandages), and 1 OLAES 4″ Pressure Bandage. A complete list of the Basecamp Kit components can be found on their website.
The included trauma kit also includes a well-equipped first aid pack.
All of the components are packaged in a durable molle pouch. This rough duty pouch measures 8 x 6 x 4 inches and includes additional organizational pockets.
The design of the pouch and its soft molle tourniquet compatibility makes it easy to stage the tourniquets in case of an incident. This well-thought-out functionality could save time in an emergency.
As with all kits from Mountain Man Medical, it has a first-aid patch attached to the outside.
- Rather comprehensive kit for the layperson outdoors
- Multiple blood loss/stoppage tools
- Solid kit to have in any vehicle or stationary camp
- Bulky size & weight limits its range of uses
- Comes at a high cost, MSRP is $240
Tracker Trauma Kit Review
One may ask, what if I’m away from my basecamp or vehicle?
No worries, Mountain Man Medical offers the perfect on-the-trail kit, known as the Tracker. This kit is compact and lightweight, weighing only 12.3 ounces.
The pouch is designed to be easy to transport and carry on your person or in a pack.
Like the Basecamp, the Tracker includes a SWAT-T Tourniquet. This is one of the most versatile tourniquets on the market. It can be used as a pressure wrap for splinting or even a chest seal.
Components of the Tracker Kit are comprehensive compared to a typical first aid kit. A complete list of what’s included can be found on their website.
In addition, there is room in this kit to add small customized items based on your needs. Weighing less than one pound, there is really no reason not to have this kit along every time you step out into the field.
- Small and compact
- Affordable, MSRP is $70
- Minimal emergency medical gear, but deals with core issues such as blood loss/stoppage
Why You Should Trust Us
I have spent several hundred hours teaching the core topics of what I like to call last-ditch medical. My training includes an instructor certification in Basic Tac Med via the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
Beyond that, I’ve spent 30 years in law enforcement and over 50 years as an outdoorsman, including as a hunting guide.
This experience has made me acutely aware of the types of emergency situations you might encounter in the field and the supplies you need when those situations happen.
As the saying goes, “training and skills trump gear.” Training is central to providing an adequate response in an emergency.
When purchasing one of the medical kits offered by Mountain Man Medical, spend some time reviewing their training videos or other training they offer. Take a look at their online training course.
I recommend The Basecamp Trauma and First Aid Kit for extended trips like those backcountry hunts where you’re gonna pack in on horses or just set up a wall tent in the woods. This kit makes a lot of sense for remote areas where you’re far from a medical facility.
Oh, don’t forget the other important part of being prepared is…have the gear with you!