What Should You Have In Your Car First Aid Kit?

Dietrich Easter

Choosing an emergency medical kit for your vehicle is a big deal, but it shouldn’t be intimidating. There is no room in a portable kit for fluff. Every piece of necessary equipment must be present, organized, and easy to find. If you’re searching for the best vehicle medical kit and need some guidance, this article is for you.

There are some simple, but critical, questions to answer before shopping for a car kit. In some cases, these questions may determine whether you can save a life or not. In others, your legal future may be at stake. So before going too far take a few minutes to examine your particular situation. That way you can make an informed, responsible decision about the best medical kit for your car.


What Do You Expect To Encounter?

A good piece of advice regarding expectations on the road is to throw those expectations out the window. Then expect anything and everything.

With that said, the best first responder kit is small and easily carried. It only contains what you need.

What do you need? In a vehicle, you’ll be concerned with trauma as a result of a crash. However, at times you may need to deal with strokes, heart issues, diabetic problems, or an overdose. You may even encounter a woman forced to give birth in place. These may be the very medical issues that lead to a crash. So prepare with a few essential treatments to deal with them, such as glucose or aspirin.

Becoming trained in basic first aid and CPR could mean the difference between life and death. Under no circumstance should you perform medical procedures you aren’t trained for. Medicine can be perilous. You’re at least as likely to injure someone as you are to help them if you aren’t properly trained (by trainers, not TV shows).

When you encounter an emergency it’s critical to remember this. In a stressful situation, the first pulse you check should be your own. 

Become properly trained and have top-notch gear. Then become intimately familiar with every aspect of that gear. That is the first and best way to stay calm and confident in a crisis.

That leads us to the first consideration when choosing your emergency medical kit.


What Can You Legally Do? 

Laws vary from state to state, but regardless of where in the world you are you need to protect yourself. Good Samaritan laws are often in place to protect those who assist in an emergency, but they don’t cover reckless behavior. We have a more in-depth article here discussing some legal sticking points. But needless to say, someone with no training should not administer roadside surgery.

Your emergency medical kit should reflect that understanding.

Put another way, there’s no need for someone who isn’t medically certified to carry a fully stocked backpack with IV fluids and an intubation setup. For most civilians, who have hopefully decided to become CPR certified, a simple CPR shield can save lives.

Education is important. Once you’ve acquired the proper training you need to evaluate your scope of practice. We’ve taken our field experience and built fully stocked kits for nearly any situation. We carry everything from a Boo-Boo Kit to a first-class, paramedic-ready Trident-32 Medical Backpack Kit. For those who are more advanced, we also have a full selection of individual components to customize your EDC Medical Kit.

You can find your equipment at www.medicalgearoutfitters.com. But it’s up to you to choose which setup is right for you to avoid legal problems.


Space Requirements for A Vehicle Medical Kit

A vehicle is the perfect place to keep an emergency medical kit, but space is still a consideration. It’s wise to put a lot of thought into where you will store your kit.

A vehicle trauma kit, by its very nature, needs to be quickly and easily accessed. A simple, general solution for most people, like the Vanquest FATPack 5x8, could easily fit in the glove compartment of any car.

If your scope of practice is more advanced, or if you intend to be further from professional assistance then a larger, more involved setup like our Response Kit may be right for you.


What is your environment?

Another important factor in choosing a vehicle trauma kit is your environment.

Are you generally located near medical help? If you render assistance and call 911, how long should you expect to wait for help to arrive?

In a city or town, you will likely get help fairly quickly. You can let professionals take over. However, in a more rural setting or off-road, you may need to do a lot of work. If you can’t realistically expect help to arrive in a few minutes then you may need to provide more elaborate assistance.

Once you’ve established a good airway and the patient is breathing properly, and once you’ve secured any life-threatening bleeding, you may need to bandage more minor injuries. You might have to apply splints to prevent further injury. You may even be in a position to monitor a patient’s vitals for an extended period. In this case, a blood pressure cuff and a pulse oximeter are essential.

The best medical kit for your car is the one properly suited to the environment. In hot conditions, a cold pack for sprains may become a lifesaver by lowering an overheated person’s temperature. Our Blizzard Compact Blanket could protect the patient from hypothermia and prevent shock in cold conditions.

Select your vehicle emergency kit based on your competency level and space availability. Then thoughtfully customize it for your environment.


A Word About Budget

The budget for a vehicle medical kit is a major consideration. We’ve done the leg work and put together many kits for nearly any situation and any budget. We've based our kits on practical field experience.

Once you’ve considered your options you'll find an outstanding selection of pre-stocked kits at www.medicalgearoutfitters.com. We also carry all the equipment necessary to customize your kit to fit your needs.


What Does A Vehicle Medical Kit NEED? 

There is a myriad of options for medical supplies. But every vehicle trauma kit needs to have a few essentials.

At a minimum, this list from our Vanquest FATPack 4x6 pouch should be inside every vehicle medical kit:

  • (2) 5x9 Trauma Dressings
  • (5) 4x4 Gauze Sponges
  • (5) Butterfly Bandages
  • (2) Band-Aids
  • (2) Triangle bandages with safety pins
  • (2) Rolls of 3' cling
  • (6) Alcohol pads
  • (2) Triple antibiotic ointment
  • (1) One-inch roll cloth tape
  • (1) EMT scissors
  • (4) Large non-latex gloves
  • (1) Aspirin 325 - 2 tablets
  • (1) Benadryl 25mg
  • (6) Bite and Sting Pads

Each of these elements is non-negotiable. Each piece serves a specific purpose. This is a bare-bones list but with nothing unnecessary or extra.

That’s what makes our medical kits such a great value

Our experience in the field helps us to know exactly what you need, and perhaps as importantly what you don’t need. That helps to avoid clutter and weight. You also avoid the temptation of performing procedures above your scope of practice.

This FATPack is perfectly suited to anyone who has a heart to help in an emergency at an affordable price. Plus you know that what you’re getting is nothing more and nothing less than exactly what you need.

As your skills improve your vehicle trauma kit can be scaled up to any level you desire. From airway management to an emergency surgical kit, we carry what you need.



The choice of a vehicle medical kit isn’t simple, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ve done most of the work for you. All you need to do is consider your particular situation based on these few guidelines. Then customize your choice based on the specifics.

I hope this article has been helpful. If you have a clear idea about what you need then see our store. Our kits are designed by experts in the field, with you in mind.

You never know when you will be the first responder. Remember, you need the right gear and the right training.