How to Pack a DIY First Aid Kit for Your Car

April 14, 2021 4 min read

car first aid kit

Being prepared is something we all care about, but some people put more effort into preparation than others.

If you are the kind of person who is never more than a few steps from a pocket knife and a bottle of water, you are probably more aware of your surroundings than your peers.

You find yourself casually wondering what you'd do if your car broke down on the highway, if you were trapped in an elevator, or if a burglar attacked your home.

It's fun to think about different scenarios about how you might break out of the elevator hatch like an action movie hero, but this has likely resulted in you being just a little more prepared than your average desk jockey.

When planning for absolutely everything, one fact that cannot be missed is how many potential disasters or minor mishaps could occur in the car or with only your vehicle nearby.

This is why so many people have a car first aid kit tucked next to their spare tire and flat patches.

But why let some manufacturer build your kit for you when you can save money by hand-picking each quality component?

That's precisely what we're here to create today.

The Car First Aid Kit Bag

car first aid kit

The first thing you need to choose is your kit bag.

This will determine your kit’s ultimate capacity and how tidily it packs into an unused corner of your car.

Some people like the altoid-box kit with only a few band-aids and buttons, while others will load an entire backpack full of bandages, braces, and icy hot pads.

The most common for cars are small rectangular soft-pouches slightly larger than the palm of your hand and about as wide as your fist.

For a commuter, first aid kit, go small and compact for something that can be slipped into a purse, pocket, or briefcase for any incidental fieldwork.

For those of you who like camping or anything-is-possible preparation, go for something more significant to include oversized items.

For Treating Illness

As a practicing professional, your car first aid kit’s first aspect should be a defense against non-injury medical issues.

Headaches, nausea, and other minor maladies are statistically going to be the worst of your problems and the most frequently needed.

Rather than getting individual pill packets, get a small plastic pillbox or empty tic-tac containers to keep your medicines tidy.

If you can tell them apart by site, you can also try a mini pill bottle keychain.

Medicines to Include

  • Pain and Fever
  • Allergies
  • Nausea and Indigestion
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamines
  • Menstrual / Muscle Relaxers

For Cuts and Scrapes

car first aid kit for cuts

The next most common first aid problem is minor skin abrasions and cuts.

You will need a kit to clean, medicate, and protect against any damage to the skin, and this is what most car first aid kits are made for.

  • Alcohol Pads
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Bandaids
  • Gauze Pads
  • Paper Tape
  • Burn Cream

For Itching

Itching happens when the skin is exposed to something mildly toxic or from an internal allergic reaction.

Itching problems require different equipment in your car first aid kit.

  • Anti-Itch Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Calamine Lotion
  • Aloe Gel

For Sprains and Breaks

car first aid kit for breaks

Sprains and breaks happen most often during camping and sports events, so not everyone includes this gear in their first aid kits.

However, if you do a lot of walking or working out, have active children, or like to camp, a car first aid kit can be beneficial.

  • Ace bandages
  • Pair of wrist braces - also suitable for carpal tunnel days
  • Ankle/shin brace
  • Large gauze pads - for accompanying large scrapes
  • Ice and Heat Packs
  • Arm Sling

Miscellaneous Necessities

Various minor medical issues could either be irritating for days or quickly dealt with on the go with a complete first aid kit.

This is why kits often include several seemingly miscellaneous items, such as emergency crafting supplies for tent and clothing repairs.

  • Safety pins
  • Bottle of isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton balls and q-tips
  • Vasaline
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Rope

Just-in-Case Items

items just in case car first aid kit

Finally, several items become very useful should you ever be stranded with your car but are not necessarily part of a first aid kit.

When packing your emergency bag, there's no reason to exclude these items for larger kits.

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Eye-Dropper
  • Sturdy change of clothes
    • Don't forget socks and underwear
  • Towels - one or two
  • Flashlight
  • 1-Gallon Bottle of Water
  • Survival Food
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Clothesline
  • Pencil and Notepad

Conclusion - Car First Aid Kit

Building your car first aid kit is all about deciding how prepared you want to be.

If this particular car only goes to work and back, you may be best served by a small kit equipped for upset stomach and paper cuts.

However, if there's a chance that you might blow out a tire halfway up a mountain, consider packing an entire backpack full of backup gear with first aid supplies included.