I’ve spent the majority of my adult life Overlanding. I started with my Jeep Wrangler Sahara. To this day, the only vehicle I’ve never sold and will never part with. I frequented Uwharrie National Forest every weekend and spent my free time looking for new trails, new experiences, and new places to visit.
When I became a Green Beret, I realized my time off translated well into Mobility in the military. Since I started FieldCraft Survival—the company I co-own, with an SF Sniper teammate of mine, we have coined the term Everyday Mobility or EDM; and for us, it’s looking at your vehicle as an extension of your rucksack. Those lessons we learned from Overlanding in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Africa, taught us a specific method of applying this mindset, and how we carry our equipment to enable our survival.
Coming home from War, I saw the importance of carrying a trauma kit in my vehicle overseas; not just in stowed equipment, but readily accessible equipment—equipment that you could obtain when you needed it the most. This, for me, hit home hard one spring day in Fayetteville, NC. I was weeks back from an Iraq trip as a Sniper in 3rd Special Forces Group when I saw my Team Sergeant riding his motorcycle with his wife in front of me. It was a sunny Saturday morning and I was on the way to the range to shoot with friends. As I waved to my Team Sergeant, he pulled in front of me and started creating distance. As we rounded a bend in the road, it happened. A car pulled out in front of him and they hit the side of the car going around 45mph. I immediately sourced my trauma bag, which was made up of the same trauma kit you would see in combat. Despite the complacency that’s been bred, trauma is universal in the sense that you will see similar injuries like compound fractures, head trauma, major arterial bleeds in and around vehicles as you would see in a war zone. I grabbed my first-aid bag and ran to not only my bosses’ side but a man who was a great friend. Tragically, his wife died instantly, and I tried my best to keep him alive. I applied a CAT tourniquet from North American Rescue, I applied a chest seal and conducted needle decompression for a sucking chest wound caused by a laceration over his ribs. I monitored his symptoms and gave it my all, but that day the best trauma equipment and medical skills wouldn’t have saved him. He tragically passed from a lacerated artery that bled internally and he passed by my side.
Since that moment, I’ve tried my best to educate the importance of carrying trauma equipment not only on your person but also your vehicle. Overlanding, off-roading, or simply your Everyday Mobility (EDM) should facilitate your survival. According to a Harvard Health Watch study, the average American spends 101 minutes in their car a day or 38,000 hrs... that’s over 4 years in a car in your lifetime. Since we started FieldCraft Survival, we have taught overland courses that include medical training—and this is just the beginning. Take your EDM seriously and always be prepared. It’s not only a passion to teach others how to save their own lives, but a promise I made to those that are no longer here. Stay Alert-Stay Alive!