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How to Make An Improvised Tourniquet

No CAT-T, No SOF-T, No problem!

People like us are always putting ourselves out on the “edge.” Whether you’re on the range honing your firearms skills or in the field practicing your field craft, the possibility of injury exists. One of the most life threatening injuries one can sustain is a massive bleeder.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a tourniquet and don’t have one, don’t panic. Making an improvised tourniquet is simple and only limited by your imagination. When improvising a tourniquet, there are only a few guidelines to follow:

  • To create the band of the tourniquet, use materials that are 2 to 3 inches in width that are strong and pliable, such as a long sleeve shirt, a pant leg, a bandana or a belt. *Avoid using wire or shoestrings as these materials will cause more harm than good.
  • For the tourniquet windlass (part used to twist), improvise a rigid stick, examples of which include a tent stake, a cleaning rod or even a strong tree branch.
  • Devise a way to hold the windlass in place once you have twisted it to the correct tightness. You can tuck it under extra material from the band, use a separate piece of cloth or anything else you can think of to ensure it does not untwist.
  • Follow normal procedures for applying tourniquets from this point on.

In upcoming tips, we will cover the correct procedures for applying tourniquets as well as other lifesaving information. Until then, train like your life depends on it. Because one day it just might!

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