BOOKS - Ditch Medicine: Advanced Field Procedures For Emergencies, by Hugh Coffee

Ditch Medicine
Ditch Medicine

This Book Blew Rmabo's Mind!

Whether it's a war zone or a civil disaster area, traumatic injuries often occur in remote, unsanitary locations. Coffee’s book explains advanced field procedures for small wound repair, care of the infected wound, IV therapy, pain control, amputations, treatment of burns, airway procedures and more.

Hugh Coffee is a professional paramedic with extensive experience administering emergency medicine in Third World and battlefield environments. Coffee’s experience in Third World and austere environment medical procedures include improvising medical equipment from available materials and performing disaster-medicine procedures under primitive conditions.

Coffee's book is in use by many SF medics and other folks who often go in harm’s way. Coffee gets right to the bottom line in dealing with the subject of field trauma first aid and "meatball surgery." He learned it the hard way during the guerrilla war in Guatemala -- patching up troops on hilltops where no doctor would go.

I may be biased as he's Hugh "Doc" Coffee is a good friend and I was on a medical team in Kenya, Uganda (during an Ebola outbreak) and the southern Sudan (Sudanese guerrilla war) with him, but anyone who is a combat medic or who may need to perform first aid in the third world needs to read this book. I personally watched Doc Coffee revamp and supply a surgical ward in a Sudanese Rehabilitation and Relief Association field hospital near the frontlines.

Coffee is a fount of knowledge on the subject of improvised medical and surgical techniques and imparts it clearly and concisely to the reader. Ditch Medicine can be found on many survivalist and prepper resource lists and is a recommended addition to the bookshelf of any first-responder, EMT, etc., who could possibly see themselves forced to operate, literally, beyond their training and experience in an emergency.

This book is an invaluable resource on emergency techniques for those with previous medical training (EMT thru General Practitioner). Hugh also has a video series available from Paladin Press.

Click Here to buy Ditch Medicine: Advanced Field Procedures For Emergencies on >>>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ~Rob Krott Foreign Correspondent


Rob is a former US Army Officer who has traveled to over 70 countries and worked with several foreign Military’s. Rob is also the author of Save the Last Bullet for Yourself: A Soldier of Fortune in the Balkans and Somalia, a war memoir of the Balkans and Somalia.

OUTDOOR GEAR: I Call BS on All Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings


About 4 or so years ago I was working on a gig in Iraq where I had to fly and drive to FOB’s* all around the country and stay in tents, empty buildings, transit housing and even the great outdoors. But the majority of times I ended up in a transit tent on the ass end of the base.

After spending a about a month freezing my ass off in the tents (believe it or not the AC in transit tents in Iraq is freezing) with no blanket (on some FOB's they have 9 to 5 billeting or they don’t give linen to transient folks) I got smart and started lugging 2 furry-ass hajji blankets around with me base to base.

The problem was the 2 hajji blankets I had took up way too much space (everything I used I had to shove in a ruck) and were a bit heavy, so I decided it was time for my ass to get a real sleeping bag. It had been about 15 years since I last bought a sleeping bag so I really didn’t have a point of reference when looking for one. I basically needed one that was light and took up very little space.

I spotted an ad for a sleeping bag that was rated to 40 F and rolled-up into a pretty small package, I knew it didn’t get anywhere that cold in a tent (probably no colder than 60 F) so I ordered one up. When it arrived I was all too happy that I wouldn’t have to lug my furry bright red hajji blankets around with me anymore.

And luckily for me the day it arrived I ended up going on mission that same night to a FOB where I knew I would be staying in a cold ass tent.

After arriving and settling in the tent I jumped in my brand new 40 F rated sleeping bag expecting a nice warm night’s sleep. Well I still ended up freezing my ass off, not as bad as before but I still couldn’t sleep worth a shit (a combination of anger and cold). My cheap ass hajji blankets kept me warmer than that bag.

40 F rated my ass

So after spending another 20 bucks X2 on hajji blankets I managed to hop on a computer and look for another sleeping bag. This time I was smarter about my purchase, I bought a real full-size “extreme weather” sleeping bag that was rated to 25 F, figuring that I would sacrifice space over comfort.

Confident that my “extreme” sleeping bag would keep me warm I again left my hajji blankets behind on my next mission and rolled-up my brand new big-ass sleeping bag and strapped it to my pack like an 1800’s British adventurer and hopped in a Hummer.

And again I was cold that night, not freezing like before, but still not completely comfortable – and to add insult to injury the bag was so tight I couldn’t even roll over wile inside it. So not only was I chilly – I had to sleep like I was a fucking mummy with my legs stretched out lying on my back the whole night looking like an idiot.

At this point I was pretty damn furious, not only had I spent like 500 bucks on sleeping bags with BS cold ratings that didn’t keep me as warm as two 20 dollar hajji blankets, I was pretty fucking tired.

All I could think was “how in the hell do they rate these sleeping bags, by using a midget wearing 3 layers of thermal underwear in them?”

“Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” – needless to say I didn’t buy another sleeping bag, I ended up just going back to lugging around my 2 hajji blankets for the next year.

Anyway, fuck a bunch of lying-ass sleeping bag companies.


* Forward Operating Base, basically a small to medium sized military base


~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and kicking kittens.