• What Every Shooter Should Carry at the Range

    August 10, 2015
    A case for for first aid kits at the gun range.

    Is your range bag truly complete? If it doesn’t have a first aid kit, the answer is ‘No.’


    You go to the range to practice and prepare but are you actually prepared while at the range?

    It is something none of us like to think about. We follow the rules of safety and encourage others to do so too. But what if the unthinkable happened and there was an accident at the range. Would you be prepared?

    When I go to the range or travel I carry several items in my vehicle in case of emergency. Among them are a general medical kit with items such as band aids, gauze, ice packs, aspirin, bottled water, bug spray and an overall assortment of items that myself or someone else might need.

    The second most important item I carry is a trauma kit geared towards gun shot wounds (GSW). My actual trauma kit is in its own small pouch or pack that I can take with me to the bench or slip into my range bag with my other gear. It is actually small enough to be worn on my belt without being in the way. The items I have in my trauma kit are:

    C.A.T – Combat application tourniquet                                                       

    Is your range bag ready for a day of shooting?

    A basic first aid kit could literally mean the difference between life and death.

    Halo sterile chest seal patch 

    4″ quik clot combat gauze  

    Nitrile gloves

    Sterile trauma dressing 

    2 6″ Rolled sterile gauze


    Trauma reference card 

    These items alone are relatively inexpensive or you can actually find some pre-prepared kits with these items included. I like to keep it simple and found they were actually cheaper to purchase separately.

    A person doesn’t have to become a EMT or take lot of training to learn to use these effectively. Taking a basic first aid course is always a good idea. Getting CPR certified is fairly easy and there are basic trauma first aid courses around too. The Army Combat Trauma Course is readily available for download as a PDF and it is a pretty easy to read and understand manual. Here in Iowa, and in most states there are good Samaritan laws where someone trying to render aid is not liable. Statistics have also shown that a large majority of serious wounds to the torso or limbs are survivable if general aid is applied on-site or while still in the field

    So if the unthinkable happen would you be prepared and wouldn’t you want to be?  Please give this some thought and consider making some of these things part of your range equipment. As with everything, we hope for the best but should prepare for the worst and just a few simple items might someday turn a fun day at the range into saving a life.

    Go Safe

    Steve Hensyel


    Steve Hensyel is a guest writer for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Hensyel is the owner of Hawkeye Firearms Instruction and an IFC past president.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.