The list of things you “should” be carrying every day just keeps getting longer. Of course we want you to carry your gun. We also want you to carry spare ammo and a flashlight. Some people won’t leave the house without a knife. A tourniquet is great, but a tiny little trauma kit is even better. If you are starting to feel like you are wearing a Batman belt, well now you know what cops feel like every day.
But there is something we have not listed. Did you see how, just a few lines above, we talked about first-aid kits and tourniquets? I can assure you that your first-aid kit will likely get more use than your gun ever will. Between household injuries, car accidents or other incidents, a first-aid kit (and the proper training to use it) should be a key element in your everyday carry gear.
And if you are carrying a first-aid kit, you should certainly be carrying protective gloves. Blood-borne pathogens pose a very real danger these days, and if you think you might someday help a stranger, you are going to want to “glove up.” The best part of this addition to your kit is that nitrile gloves pack small. You can stuff a pair into a tiny pouch and drop it into your cargo pocket. I picked up a pouch from a company called CountyComm.com for about $6. They make a pocket pouch that you can carry just about anywhere or a small lightweight pouch with a belt clip that will hang on your belt and nearly disappear until you need it.
Carrying a set of nitrile gloves every day is almost mundane when compared to a gun, an extra magazine and a tactical folding knife. But, just like a gun, it is better to have the gloves and not need them than to need them and not have them. And just like any other piece of gear, you should train so you know how to use the gloves correctly. Putting them on — well, that is pretty easy. Taking them off properly? That’s the trick.
The goal of wearing gloves is to keep blood and other fluids off your hands. At the end of the incident, you will end up with a pair of bloody gloves on your hands and the need to dispose of them properly. If you end up smearing blood on your wrists while taking off the gloves, you have defeated the purpose. So you must remove your gloves properly. Here is how:
Pinch the first glove just below the wrist and pull toward the fingertips, being careful to only touch the outside of that glove while pulling it off. The glove should pretty much turn inside-out as you do this. Once removed, ball up the glove inside your gloved hand and use your non-gloved hand to hook a finger inside the remaining glove, pulling it off your hand so it turns inside out and captures the other glove inside it. Voila!
You should discard the gloves only in a proper medical-waste container. Paramedics should have the proper container with them when they arrive on scene. I expect that if the injury is bad enough that you will be donning gloves, you will also be having someone call 911 to get medical help on the way.
Medical training is not as flashy or as fun as firearms training, but it is every bit as important. If we are planning for the worst-case scenario, nitrile gloves will be part of that.
Related Reading: Where Is Your First-Aid Kit? First Aid Means More Than Just a Band-Aid