In the 21st Century, the prepared citizen carries emergency medical gear: in particular, gear to stop traumatic bleeding. A trauma kit is quite similar in role to a handgun: if you actually need it, then nothing else will do. If you are switched on enough to carry a firearm you need to be carrying a trauma kit as well or there is a significant gap in your preparation. Anyone who does not carry a gun should carry a trauma kit as well, but the mentality that leads one to consistently go armed should also lead one to be ready for emergency trauma. Statistically, you are more likely to need the emergency medical supplies than the gun, so consider that as well.
Similar to the concealed carry of a firearm, carrying medical gear actually on our person is difficult. Also similar to the firearm, we need to make realistic compromises in what we carry so that we can actually carry it consistently. And, just like the gun, the medical kit is unlikely to do us any good when needed unless it is actually on our person. To accommodate this, I have gone to a more modular approach to carrying medical, and it seems we are seeing more of this within the self-defense industry as some manufacturers are offering products specifically aimed at this.
I used to carry a fairly small pouch in my pocket that had only a couple of limited options. Then, for a while, I utilized an ankle kit that was able to hold a lot more. For myself, the ankle kit is limited due to the climate in which I live that sees me wearing shorts about half of the year. Carrying medical in my pockets limits me to the size of the items, but it allows me to always carry. The ankle kit remains the best way that I have found to carry a fairly complete trauma kit on the person, so if it works for you then it is a great option. But, I preferred to settle on a solution that works all of the time instead of only half the time, and for myself the ankle solution is only good for half of the year. Therefore, I have adopted a modular approach:
The trauma gear that I have always on my person, in any clothing that I am wearing, is a Soft-T Wide tourniquet and small pack of Quick Clot gauze, as well as two feet of flat-folded duct tape, held in a small package by a Phlster Flat Pack tourniquet carrier. I don’t carry it on the belt, so I removed the belt loops from the Flat Pack. This package fits in a hip pocket in any kind of pants. It is not much thicker than a phone, and not even as wide.
However, when in certain environments, such as in a vehicle, or in the woods, or at crowded events, etc…, I want to carry a fuller kit. As such, I keep an extended medical pouch in a go-bag in the car, or even transfer it to a cargo pocket in cargo pants or shorts if dressed in such a way, when walking about. In this secondary pouch I keep a second tourniquet, as well as a larger pack of Quick Clot gauze, a pressure bandage, chest seals, and gloves.
This two-component system allows me to always have the most pressing pieces of gear on my person, and also gives me the option to add the additional trauma gear when possible, or at least keep it in the vehicle or in a pack. Like anything else, the gear that you have on you is most important, but having more capability at hand is always good.