Nylon tactical gear is a business that has grown explosively over the past 15 years. This growth is a direct result of the need to properly equip both military and police with useful armor and load carriage. In the past, there were few companies producing gear, and many products were suboptimal in design or quality.
That has changed, and now a lot of very good companies are doing very good work. Just identifying the gear that is out there today can be bewildering.
With so much gear made by so many people, unique items are rare. After all, how many ways can one make a magazine pouch? Innovation is not uncommon but is getting more difficult.
Certainly the Boo Boo Pouch is not a show-stopping game changer. But it is one of those very useful pouches whose actual use transcends design expectations.
The idea for this came out of the fertile mind of Stephen Hilliard, the design wizard at Blue Force Gear (BFG). Its genesis is from his extensive experience with minor injuries on the range. Unlike many in the business, Stephen (and the others at BFG) is a very active and proficient shooter. Much of what is designed and produced at BFG is the direct result of their experiences, as well as gleaning information from others in the user community.
Stephen knows that if you aren’t accumulating some minor scrapes, scratches, abrasions or bruises in a class, your training program may be too benign.
Based on that, he made a single version of his Bat Belt and originally sized it to fit half a dozen strip and knuckle bandages, a pill bottle with Ibuprofen and Imodium, and a tube of lip balm.
Later while attending an EAG Carbine class in Florida, Ashley Burnsed (also of BFG) cut his finger open on some kit. Stephen produced some Band-Aids and assorted potions. Ashley was impressed, and it became a cataloged item at BFG in 2008.
As such, the original Boo Boo Pouch—M-BBK-Filled-XX (xx indicates color)—comes with earplugs, lip balm, hand sanitizer and Band-Aids, all worthy and useful items. Of course you can reconfigure the contents according to mission requirements, or buy the empty pouch (M-BBK-Empty-XX) and add items as you wish.
The small footprint of the pouch means it won’t take up a lot of real estate and makes it an easy fit on your belt or vest.
However, there are multiple other uses for the Boo Boo Pouch.
- Lube Pouch: It will hold a one-ounce bottle of SLiP 2000 EWL and some other items. In every EAG class, we’ll have someone’s gun go down because of no lube/too little lube, and almost no one carries that free bottle of EWL we give them. It sure would make life easier if they did.
- Handcuff pouch: It will hold one hinged cuff or two chained handcuffs.
- Counterweight pouch: If you are running dual-tube NODs on a helmet, you are probably going to need a counterweight. Instead of running a useless lead weight, I stuff mine with three ten-round clips of 5.56mm M855.
- Mini Trauma Kit: Mikey Griffin is a medic with a lot of experience, and he understands the need for something to stop blood flow right now.
MINI TRAUMA KIT
War generally provides a major plus up for not just technology, but the medical side as well. And while the domestic med side is slow to catch up, use of tourniquets by non-medical personnel has saved a lot of lives on the military side of the house.
While we all should carry an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) when we are on the range, very few do. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that it is inconvenient.
Got it. Now think how inconvenient it would be to lie on the deck watching your life’s blood pump out ….
The second reason is that many have no training for stopping blood loss. However, you should realize that the IFAK is not necessarily for you to selfuse but rather for others to use on you.
Having said that, it isn’t a bad idea to also have something available for self-use, especially if you go to the range alone.
Mikey Griffin has created a Mini Trauma Kit that provides minimal gear for self-use. Mikey uses either a TK4-L or SWAT-T tourniquet combined with an H&H compressed gauze or NAR SRolled Gauze. Your mission requirements or SOP may indicate substitutions, but you get the idea.
It is a tight fit, but the Product Improved Boo Boo Pouch—available from Austere Provisions—will alleviate this issue.
MORE BOO BOO POUCH USES
- Cell Phone: The Boo Boo Pouch will take a variety of cell phones and other electronic devices. If you have a larger smartypants phone, you will need to look elsewhere,
- Camera: It can take a small PHD (Push Here Dummy) point-and-shoot camera.
- Multi-tool (aka Cool Guy Tool): My new favorite multi-tool is the MultiTasker. While this is normally seen inside a vertical pouch, I also run a bottle of SLiP 2000 EWL in the pouch so I’ll always have lube with me.
The Boo Boo Pouch comes in Black, FDE and Multi-Cam™.
The Boo Boo Pouch has been around for four years now, and it is about to cycle into a slightly modified and larger design with a longer flap. Increasing the storage space will make it more versatile.
HELIUM WHISPER TECHNOLOGY
The modification will also include BFG’s proprietary Helium Whisper Technology. This is a rolling upgrade that will eventually replace all current MOLLE attachments in the BFG line-up. It is a single-piece back panel made of an ultralight high-performance laminate that also includes the attachment straps.
The most common attachment is the Natick strap, which has been in use for over a decade. It consists of 27 parts and weighs approximately three ounces. The Helium Whisper Technology reduces this to six parts and weight of about 1 1/2 ounces. In addition, it is much stronger than the Natick strap, which is important for a variety of reasons.
It will prevent loss of pouches due to stitching issues (either not to spec or degradation/damage), but it also means that if you are trying to move a downed team member and all you have is a pouch to grab onto, it will be strong enough to meet the task.
Additionally, Helium Whisper replaces the snaps of the Natick strap with the tucked-under hook-and-loop method that has been proven with BFG’s Ten- Speed series of pouches.
I originally considered the Boo Boo Pouch a relatively insignificant piece of kit, but now I find it almost indispensable.