Download your FREE checklist and make your own DIY vehicle first aid kit! Perfect for small emergencies while you’re on the road!
Having a vehicle first aid kit in your car is every bit as important as having a spare tire. If you don’t have one, and disaster strikes, you’re up the proverbial creek!
Just like the DIY First Aid Kit you made for your home, you’ll want to keep this one somewhere easily accessible in your vehicle. I like to keep mine in the glove box of my truck, so anytime I need a band-aid, I know right where to go.
But there’s more than just Band-Aids (not a sponsor) in the DIY first aid kit I keep in my truck. Let’s explore what’s going on in that little red bag!
Which Is the Right Container for Your Car?
You’ll need a container to keep all your first aid items together. There are a couple of different ways you could go with this idea depending on the size of your vehicle.
First Aid Bag
For a smaller car or a vehicle with very little room, I’d recommend a small bag. Something like the first aid pouches we have would be ideal.
These bags have a mesh pocket on one side with three elastic straps to hold items. There are also two plastic zipper pouches attached inside for smaller items like band-aids and alcohol wipes. Because they’re small and compact, you can shove them pretty much anywhere you can find a little space.
Another option would be more of a tactical MOLLE-style pouch. If you were going out hiking or camping, you could strap to your gear when you leave your vehicle.
If you’d rather have something a little larger than a MOLLE pouch, you could go with a small backpack. You can also take it with you if you need to leave your car for any reason.
First Aid Box
If you have a larger vehicle, or your vehicle has plenty of room, I’d actually go with a DIY first aid box. Now, when I say that, what I actually mean is a cost-effective plastic tackle box that you pack with first aid items.
I would recommend something brightly colored, but you should always label it, either way.
Label Your Vehicle First Aid Kit
Label the containers clearly so that anyone that gets into your car will know that this is your first aid kit. It might be a good idea to mark a big red or white cross on the box in case someone doesn’t read or speak English (like young children who can’t read yet).
Vehicle First Aid Kit Basics
Below is a list of items to include in your DIY first aid kit for your car. Feel free to add more to yours, but these are the basics that I recommend.
Cleaning & Prep
- Hand Sanitizer – For quick cleanup of dirty, germy hands. Hand sanitizing wipes are great, too!
- Nitrile Gloves – In case of blood, body fluids and dangerous waste. Keep at least two pair.
- Alcohol Prep Wipes – Use pads to clean the area around cuts and scrapes before bandages are applied.
- Rubbing Alcohol – Use for disinfecting and cleaning superficial wounds (not cuts). (Did you know they make a mini isopropyl alcohol spray?)
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Use on the skin to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
- Adhesive Bandages – Various sizes and shapes.
- Small (but sharp) scissors – For cutting large bandages or to cut restrictive clothing from someone.
- 4×4 Gauze Pads – They can be larger if you want, but I would go with 4×4 minimum. You can always cut them into smaller sizes if necessary.
- Medical Tape – Not box, duct, electrical or masking tape (although in a pinch, those will do).
- Cotton Balls – Large and small for applying peroxide and alcohol.
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment – A combination medicine used as a first aid antibiotic to prevent infections in minor cuts, scrapes, or burns on your skin.
- Pain Meds – Small packets or bottles of Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and/or Acetaminophen.
- Thermometer – Don’t mix up the oral thermometer for the rectal one, here, folks!
- Tweezers – (and a sewing needle) For pulling out splinters.
- Bite & Sting Kit – Ideal for snake and spider bites, bee and wasp stings.
- Roller bandages (2, 3, 4 inch) – Used to secure a dressing in place (typically on the head or a limb).
- Sterile Saline – To flush and cleanse scrapes, abrasions and minor cuts.
- CPR breathing mask – I recommend the smaller ones (like these) for your car’s first aid kit.
Optional DIY Vehicle First Aid Items
- Safety pins
- Paper bags
- Razor blades
- Smelling Salts
- Medicine dropper
- CPR breathing mask
- Triangular bandages
- Emergency inhaler, EpiPens, etc
- Calamine lotion
- Elastic bandages
- Diarrhea remedy
- Any critical medical family histories
Tips to Keep Your Vehicle First Aid Kit Ready to Go
- Keep your automotive first aid kit somewhere handy but out of the way. I like to keep mine in the glove box. You could also store your first aid kit in a door pocket or under a seat.
- Teach your children where the first aid kits are stored. Remind them they’re for emergencies, not for play.
- Check your kits regularly. Replace any missing items or expired medicines.
- Clean tweezers, scissors, and thermometer after each use. Sterilize with alcohol for added safety.
- Don’t use any products containing natural rubber latex (NRL). They may deteriorate after time or worse, someone could be allergic.
- Keep a first aid kit in each of your vehicles. No matter where you are, who you’re with, or what vehicle you’re driving, you’re ready for an emergency.
Pin This for Later!
Where do you keep your vehicle first aid kits?
When it comes to your vehicle’s first aid kit, where do you store it? In the glovebox? Under a seat? Leave a comment and let us know!
Thanks for reading this post! As a way to say an extra “thank you,” I’ve added a copy of my personal First Aid Kit Checklist. This will get updated as I update mine, so check back regularly!
Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.