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Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

Insect Repellent Best Practices

Monday, June 27th, 2022

I grew up in Connecticut and spent a significant amount of time only miles from Lyme, CT where the effects of lyme disease were first detected and reported. As beautiful as Connecticut’s forests, coastlines, and countrysides are, they are breeding grounds for deer ticks not to mention mosquitos, black flies, no-see-ums, and other pests. When I was younger, the only viable option we had was insect repellent with DEET in varying concentrations. The strongest DEET available was used primarily on clothing as it was considered too strong and potentially unsafe. Repellent paired with daily and nightly vigilance was the best answer to the tick and insect problem. Over the years, I used other products that worked with mixed results. Recently, I was exposed to Bullseye Insect Repellent with IR3535. This Department of Defense-approved product was advertised as working better and longer than DEET; a claim I had to test myself. While field testing Bullseye, I reflected on some best practices for repellents like this one. Just like any gear, it isn’t just that we have it, it is how we use it.

Apply and Let Dry
Bullseye comes in a 4 ounce spray bottle and it applies as a mist. In a matter of minutes, the insect repellent feels dry to the touch. Compare this to DEET repellents that have an oily residue after application. Long after you apply DEET, it makes your skin sticky and can rub off on your gear. Bullseye is different. During my field test, I found it very easy to remove my watch, roll up my sleeves, roll down my collar and spray it on. After a couple minutes of double checking my backpack contents or prepping my fishing tackle, I rolled the sleeves down, put my collar back up, and wristwatch back on. The reason Bullseye dries so quickly is because an alcohol is used which evaporates quickly. Once dry, you are free to recreate as you please knowing you have approximately 8 hours until you have to reapply. By the way, one of the bonuses of this dry sensation is sleep. In years past, with DEET, I couldn’t sleep comfortably if I knew I had it on my skin. You can apply Bullseye overnight as long as you follow the same protocols as you would during the day.

Ankles, Waistline, Wrists, Neckline
As someone who spends a lot of time at elevation and spends a lot of time on self-supported trips to the backcountry, space and weight are crucial. One of the ways to respect both is to make sure the ounces and pounds you carry are utilized well. With insect repellent, it is easy to go overboard quickly. Instead of creating a fog to pirouette in, be tactful with your application. While in Idaho recently for a training event, I used a single bottle of Bullseye (4 ounces) on my ankles, waistline, wrists, and neckline. These are the typical entrance points for ticks as the ankles are close to the ground, the waistline is warm, and cuffs and collar can lead to the armpits and hairline respectively. I was impressed how far I could stretch a single bottle as long as I rationed it for use in these spots. I used to hesitate to apply deet to my wrists and neckline in particular knowing DEET has potential dangerous nervous system side effects.

Backhand to the Face
Perhaps one of the most annoying habits of mosquitoes and flies is their insistence on flying into your mouth, eyes, and ears. Keep in mind, mosquitoes have special receptors that are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breathe out. One would think applying bug spray to your face would be as simple and straightforward. Traditionally, DEET was used as it was designed to disorient the flying nuisances but once disoriented, there was nothing stopping them from flying directly into you since they had to be close enough to smell it. Keep in mind, this also meant your body had to be exposed to the DEET and the strong chemical smell it gave off. A better option than spraying your face is to apply a better insect repellent like Bullseye to the back of your hand and wipe it on.  We use the back of our hand already for wiping sweat from our brow and wiping insect repellent is second nature. There’s a reason you want to use the back of your hand. We touch our face frequently throughout the day. We wipe food from the edge of our lips, we rub our eyes, some of you might pick your nose. Even though the active ingredient in Bullseye, IR3535 is both non-toxic and odorless, you always want to keep the palms of your hands clean. Perhaps one of the most important best practices with bug spray is avoiding cross contamination. We’ve all probably experienced what happens when you accidentally taste something that was meant for external use only like sunscreen or a topical medicine. Some of you may have cooked with spicy peppers and rubbed your eyes. An easy way to avoid getting anything for external use only where it shouldn’t be is to keep the palms of your hands clean.

Help Kids or Those with Limited Mobility
As previously mentioned, I grew up in CT and spent a lot of my youth running around the woods getting cuts and scrapes while having a grand old time like every kid should. Before I would run off to the woodline with my friends, my parents applied a combination of sunblock and bug spray to my exposed skin. I personally would not put DEET on my kid someday but I would not hesitate to use Bullseye. As an able-bodied adult, it is a good idea to help kids and those with limited mobility apply insect repellent. Anyone with an ailing and aging parent knows how caring for them is much like looking after a child. Sometimes you have to do for them what they are too stubborn to do for themselves. When it comes to your kids, apply insect repellent to the palms of your hands and rub it into the skin on their arms, legs, and neck. If you abide by my suggestion to keep your palms clean, wash your hands after applying it to them. No disrespect to Bullseye but good advice is good advice and cleanliness is next to Godliness, right? If your kids are like I was, you will have to call them back in to reapply it after 8 hours and hopefully your kids aren’t ready to go to sleep or stop playing when the street lights flicker on as the sun drops below the horizon.

Application Tips
With any insect repellent, you want to follow instructions carefully but sometimes common sense isn’t included on the packaging. Apply your aerosol outdoors or in a well-ventilated area away from the rest of your gear. Step outside your tent and get out in the open. While the gear we use is often durable and long-lasting, we can never be certain how additional ingredients in it will interact with painted surfaces and polished finishes. Also, just like we want to avoid exposure to our eyes, we also don’t want to breathe in what we don’t have to. This is true of any aerosol spray. When you or the other members of your party are applying it be cognizant of others in your immediate area. Also, keep in mind, if you are involved in any activities around water or those that result in you sweating profusely, the repellent may be removed as a result. Also, remember that a little will go a long way and it isn’t wise to overdo it. Since it is fragrance free, you may not think it is present but it is and you don’t need to reapply. Keep in mind a repellent like Bullseye works by shielding your carbon dioxide and it’s more important to create a schedule of 3 applications in an 8 hour day than when you perceive more insects present.

Highest Recommendation
As a survival instructor, I am often asked, “how do you deal with ___?” or “what’s the best solution to ____?” Often, these questions pit man against nature. So far, nature has an unbeaten track record. Without supplies, we are ill equipped to run faster than most predators, we can’t see in the dark, and we are poorly insulated against the cold. We must use our intellect to create, acquire, and equip ourselves with gear that provides an advantage to us over our environment. I’m a firm believer in carrying the best gear I can afford and what makes the most sense. I’ve used DEET products in the past as well as citronella candles and various electronic repellents but I’m certain Bullseye is far superior to anything I’ve used in the past. Bullseye has impressed me with its ability to prevent bites from the pests I learned all too well about in my childhood. It is my job to teach skills that mitigate risk when we get the opportunity to explore the great outdoors but I also advocate for ways to live a healthy life from one day to the next. This includes not using products that could potentially negatively impact someone’s way of life. I’ve done the research on this one and I’ll recommend you equip yourself with it to gain an advantage, 8 hours at a time, in the worst buggy environments. Bullseye is the best, being tough on insects and gentle on skin. It is exactly what is needed to get the most out of your outdoor adventures.  

How to Purchase Bullseye:

If you’d like to purchase Bullseye Bug Repellent there are 2 options, eBay:


By: Kevin Estela

About the Author:
Kevin Estela is the best-selling author of the book 101 Skills You Need to Survive in the Woods as well as hundreds of published and online magazine/website articles. He is a professional survival instructor with over 2 decades of outdoor education experience. Kevin is an avid traveler, outdoorsman, athlete, and adventurer. He has dozens of appearances on podcasts, at trade shows, and industry events speaking on readiness, mindset, training, and gear. He is frequently tapped to test, evaluate, and design equipment and has produced a wide variety of content across multiple social media platforms. Follow Kevin on Instagram @estelawilded  | [email protected] 


ORSM 22 – Wool+Aid Ltd

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Naturally enough Wool+Aid Ltd hails from New Zealand. Their idea was to replace synthetic materials for adhesive bandages with the natural material, wool.

Made of Merino wool, they are plastic free and breathe. What’s more they are biodegradable.

They also won a Media Preview Award from OR.

Air Force Medical Service Launches ‘Nutrition Kitchen’ Series

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022


The Air Force Medical Service is launching “Nutrition Kitchen,” a series of online nutritional cooking classes geared toward service members and their families.

The Nutrition Kitchen’s goal is to inspire healthy meal choices by providing options for service members to make realistic changes to foods they are already eating, while also providing the opportunity to learn the science behind those choices and “level up” their nutrition knowledge.

Each episode introduces different options to “level up” a classic meal, starting with simple ingredient substitutions and ending with a chef-curated recipe option taught by Tech. Sgt. Opal Poullard, chef and culinary instructor at the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence at Fort Lee. Following each cooking episode, Sahra Pak, registered dietician at Travis Air Force Base, California, shares the science behind the nutritional choices made.

“Nutrition has a profound impact on the health, performance and readiness of our active-duty personnel,” said Maj. Gen. Sharon Bannister, Medical Operations director, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. “Combatting unhealthy weight gain and obesity and the detriment of poor nutrition is obligatory to improving warfighter readiness.”

Beyond maintaining a healthy weight, improvements to physical and mental performance and underlying chronic health conditions are among some of the benefits.

Giving nutrition the spotlight it deserves is a key tenet of the rapidly growing lifestyle medicine field.

“Nutrition Kitchen is lifestyle medicine at its best,” said Col. Mary Anne Kiel, Air Force Medical Home chief, Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, and chair the Lifestyle and Performance Medicine working group. “Food has an enormous potential to harm or to heal, but it’s surprising how infrequently we consider the types of foods we are eating every day. It is time for that to change. It’s time to empower the members of all our military services to upgrade their nutrition by making choices to keep them ready for the mission and to improve their health.”

The Nutrition Kitchen series aims to make the sometimes difficult process of both selecting and cooking nutritious meals more engaging, approachable and fun.

The recipes for this series were developed to be tasty, easy to prepare, and low-cost, all while providing the fuel necessary to “level up” service members’ health.

Service members can look forward to several delicious recipes heading their way over the next few weeks. The chef-curated dishes range from banana pancakes with date syrup to a cauliflower black bean ranchero taco bowl, a favorite among recipe taste-testers.

More conveniently, this series will be available at service member’s fingertips, where they can watch and cook completely on their own time. New episodes are set to release weekly and can be found on the Nutrition Kitchen page or via YouTube.

Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

Photo by Cynthia Griggs

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Navy Corpsman Birthday

Sunday, June 12th, 2022

In my 26 years in the US Navy, I came across some of the best Corpsman you could possibly imagine. Almost all have gone on to become doctors, not that that is a measure of anything. But the Rips the Doc Conza, Doc Henao, and Smiths of the SEAL teams would break their backs to make sure you were good to go. To all of them, Happy Birthday to all the Docs that patch us mortals up. The Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America of 1775 contained only one article that directed the formation of Navy medicine. “A fitting area shall be set apart for sick or hurt men, to be removed with their hammocks and bedding when the surgeon shall advise that it is necessary: and members of the crew shall be designated to attend to and serve them, as well as to maintain the space clean,” according to Article 16.

Between 1775 and 1814, the period covered America’s first maritime conflicts, and little changed medical techniques and structure. Feeding and personal care of the non-combat wounded and injured were among the less dramatic obligations of caring for them. Untrained personnel was sure to bring down the minimal daily feed of porridge or “loblolly” to those in the medical section. On March 2, 1799, Congress passed an act that exacted the language of the Continental Congress’s medical department article 16 of 1775. As a result, enlisted medical personnel still lacked a title or job description. The term “loblolly lad” had been around for so long that it was adopted as an official title in the Navy Regulations of 1814. A new senior enlisted medical rate, surgeon’s steward, was established in the decades that followed. The phrase appeared in Navy pay charts for the first time in 1841; however, the new billet was only available on larger ships. The Navy Department issued an order on April 1, 1843, that allowed surgeon’s stewards to be attached aboard brigs and schooners. The relative relevance of medical Sailors was raised as a result of this. Surgeon’s stewards would be second only to the master-at-arms in seniority among the ship’s petty officers. With the tremendous rise in the Navy and the onset of the civil war in 1861, improvements and developments in the medical sector were bound to occur. On June 19, 1861, a Navy Department circular order gave the loblolly boy a new moniker.

The United States Navy Hospital Corps was not formally created as a unit inside the Navy’s Medical Department until June 17, 1898. The Spanish-American War was looming on the horizon at the time, and the U.S. Navy and Marines needed a well-trained medical section. Since that time, Hospital Corpsmen have served with their fellow Sailors and Marines on every continent, on every warship, submarine, and ocean.

Modern hospital corpsmen can pursue additional training to become highly skilled medical specialists, specializing in areas such as laboratory technologists, dive medicine, or aerospace medicine.

On August 29, 1916, Congress enacted the following significant change in the structure of the Hospital Corps. Hospital apprentices, second class and first class (both of whom wore a red cross on their sleeve), pharmacist’s mates, third, second, and first, and chief pharmacist’s mate would be the rates under this model. The two warrant officer grades of pharmacist and chief pharmacist would be included in the Hospital Corps’ officer contingent. The restructure would allow the Hospital Corps to grow by five times its current size. The Hospital Corps’ greatest manpower, diversity of duties, and example of sacrifice occurred during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, the ranks of this modest organization increased from about 4,000 at pre-war levels to over 132,000. This raise was necessary to meet new tasks that required new technology at new duty sites. The Hospital Corps’ reputation for efficacy and bravery would be cemented in the face of severe difficulty.

The Hospital Corps has a long history of courage and sacrifice. Hospital corpsmen have also responded to natural disasters, military mishaps, and peacetime emergencies. They’ve also kept their Sailors and Marines healthy by immunizing, practicing preventative care, and holding sick calls. 23,000 regular and 6,000 reserve Navy Hospital Corps troops serve globally. They operate in naval hospitals, clinics, ships, and submarines. Search-and-rescue missions and Seabee deployments. Not to mention their deployments with the Marine Corps and SEAL teams.

Corpsmen have always been responsible for shipmates’ health. Their endless acts of heroism, exposing themselves to risk to save lives, were essential. Because they cared about their shipmates, their bravery is notable.

During the United States Navy Hospital Corps’ 124-year history, it has risen to become the most decorated rating in the U.S. military. 22 Medals of Honor, 179 Navy Crosses, 31 Navy Distinguished Service Medals, 959 Silver Stars, and almost 1,600 Bronze Stars with Vs. for heroism have been awarded to Corpsmen. In addition, 14 Naval Vessels have been named after Hospital Corpsmen, and other hospitals and clinics have been named after brave individuals who gave their lives in the service of our country and freedom.

RTS Tactical Releases New Rapid Deploy IFAK Field Medical Kit for Military, Law Enforcement, and First Responders

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

The most comprehensive one motion pull system IFAK kit on the market launches to help save lives in the field.

Jun 7, 2022- MIAMI – Today, RTS Tactical launches their new rapid deploy IFAK, a comprehensive medical kit outfitted with cutting-edge components designed for injuries in the field. Rapid one-hand deployment allows access to all components instantly while maintaining situational awareness.

Other IFAKs currently available were developed in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom to fulfill a critical need and have been left behind by advances seen in tactical gear today. RTS Tactical reached out to Combat Medics and other personnel who understood the importance of a quick deploy IFAK to make the RTS Tactical Rapid Deploy IFAK the ultimate field-tested solution. The RTS Tactical Team researched the latest materials that would achieve a lightweight yet strong and rugged shell. The company incorporated all the necessary medical components for an advanced compact and Ready Kit while the engineering department created and field-tested the comprehensive one motion pull system that can be used by the operator itself or a fellow operator.

Mendel Berns, Marketing Director at RTS Tactical, shares, “When treating an injury in the field, time is critical. Every second counts. You need to be ready when called upon to save the life of a team member, even perhaps your own. Your new RTS Tactical IFAK Kit has been field-tested to be the most comprehensive one motion pull system that can be used by the operator itself or a fellow operator in a time of critical need.”

The light-weight Rapid Deploy IFAK is made with bonded cordura, high performing zippers, MIL-SPEC bungee cords and all the premium materials available in advanced tactical nylon today. The design lets customers control their IFAK contents as well as laser-cut MOLLE and bungee attachment points. The RTS Tactical Rapid Deploy IFAK Kit is available in Black, Ranger Green, Coyte, and Multicam. The RTS Tactical Rapid Deploy IFAK is currently in stock and shipping coast to coast on the RTS Tactical Website:

Some of the components included in the RTS Tactical Rapid Deploy IFAK:

Tourniquet Selection/Options:

– SWAT-T Tourniquet

– SOF Tactical Tourniquet


– ISRAELI Trauma Bandage

– Vacuum-Sealed 12’Z-PAK Gauze, 3” x 24” QuikClot Hemostatic Gauze “Stops The Bleed 5 Times Faster”

– Nasal Airway + Lubricant

– 2 Vented Hyfin Mini Chest Seal

– RTS Tactical Trauma Shears

– 3M Medical Tape

See the full list of what is included on the website.

Using VR Through VALOR to Improve Combat Casualty Care

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022


The 24th Special Operations Wing Surgeon General’s office has implemented the use of virtual reality training devices, in partnership with SimX, throughout special tactics to maintain the critical pararescueman’s skill in an ever-changing operational environment.
“The operational mission is going to continue to grow in complexity in the future fight,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John Dorsch, 24th SOW Surgeon General. “The PJs must be prepared to treat both injury and illness in austere environments for longer periods of time with limited reach-back.”

When looking at what the future operational environment may look like, the 24th SOW SG team must consider the implications to operational medicine. Scenarios PJs face could be in low-visibility areas where they have to keep patients alive for longer periods under possible chemical, biological, radiation or nuclear conditions.

“Preparing PJs medically for the future fight will require an advanced interoperable standard, optimized initial and sustainment training, deliberate tech development and integration, and enhanced performance tracking and feedback,” said Dorsch.
The virtual reality program objectives are to improve realism, increase flexibility and reduce cost. Through more than $10 million in Department of Defense Research and Development Funding and the Air Force Small Business Research Innovation Research program, SimX and the 24th SOW have been able to create more than 80 training scenarios including canine treatment and care, blast injuries, severe gas exposure, and more.
These training devices provide intricate and realistic training scenarios that other methods, such as medical dummies, cannot, and improves the effectiveness of the training.
“By using a flexible piece of equipment, we are able to deliberately and efficiently target specific desired learning objectives based on evolving mission requirements,” said Dorsch. “We now have the time and bandwidth to provide trainees with enhanced real-time feedback from the through the program, which grades the trainee on a point system through data analysis and a performance tracking system.”

Currently, there are 14 sites online using the PJ Tactical Combat Casualty Care curriculum, including Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Combat Command. In the future, they plan to expand access to the existing medical training portfolio across all SOF TCCC responder tiers, broaden capabilities and integrate partner force training.
“The VALOR program has increased the availability of efficient and effective medical training and has allowed us to develop complex decision-making, which will improve survival rates in U.S., coalition and partner force combat casualties in the future fight,” said Dorsch. “VR training is critical for ensuring that the highest level of combat trauma and austere medical care are provided by our special operations ground forces. We have only scratched the surface of its incredible potential.”

Story by Capt Savannah Stephens, 24 SOW Public Affairs

Photos by TSgt Carly Kavish

OpEx 22 – Brief Relief

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Chances are, if you’ve deployed, you’ve used Brief Relief’s products. Yes, it’s a privy. But their disposable bagging system minimizes the mess.

One point I found quite interesting is that their hygiene products are certified for use in the Arctic.

Additionally, their urinal bag contains a nontoxic powder which becomes a gel once used (see pack on the left) which can easily be disposed of. Additionally, it is designed to be used by both men and women and includes a one-way valve to prevent spillage.

Rampart Range Day 22 – ESCA Tech, Inc

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

ESCA Tech, Inc may be the most welcome booth at the event, at least for me. The health of many shooters, be they recreational or professional has been effected by exposure to lead and other toxins. ESCA Tech is an EPA approved company that offers wipes to clean both skin and surfaces of lead contaminants.

These no rinse wipes are offered in canisters or individually wrapped packs. They also offer a hand and body soap, which requires water.

ESCA Tech, Inc products can be procured by agencies, departments, and units in Canada from Rampart International.