Learning The Hard Way: Every Car Should Carry a First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit - Finger vs Car Door - 1

In the gun community, there is a common piece of advice that applies to survival and preparedness. Any vehicle you own should have a Get Home Bag inside. A very basic bag may contain a first aide kit, change of clothes, food with a long shelf life, and a flashlight. Get Home Bags can become complicated and carry a wide assortment of items but the idea is to have the supplies needed to get you home in an emergency.

Not every emergency needs to be an attack on your life. Your car could break down in the middle of nowhere, in a place with no cell servie to speak of. These Get Home Bags are designed to help you make it through the night(s) until you can get back home (or get somewhere to find help).

Putting together a Get Home Bag is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time now. Unfortunately, it has been one of those things that I just haven’t gotten around to doing. Yesterday I had a minor incident and having at least a first aid kit in my car woud have been a big help.

Car Door vs Finger

After work, I headed out of the office, arms filled with miscellaneous items I would need for the following day. As I crossed the parking lot, I fished around in my pocket for my keyless entry fob and unlocked my car doors. I opened the rear driver side door and unloaded various items onto the back seat.

While closing the door, I managed to get my middle finger caught in the jamb. At the flash of pain, I pulled my finger free and gave it a quick shake while muttering curses under my breath. I looked at my finger and could see tiny little droplets of blood forming around my cuticle.

The first thought that crossed my mind was “I hope that doesn’t affect my shooting grip this weekend”. That thought was quickly followed by “Wow, my finger has a heartbeat”. Each beat brought forth a wave of pain. That is when the blood began to flow.

Getting Cleaned Up

When the first drop of blood fell from my finger and was blown onto my white car, I knew this was something I should take care of right away. Unfortunately, I did not have a first aid kit in my car. I didn’t even have anything to wrap my finger in until I got back home.

Fortunately, I work for a company that keeps a fully stocked first aid kit. I proceeded to head back to the building, leaving a trail of blood droplets behind me. When I got inside, I elevated my hand (trying to avoid getting blood all over the floor) and made my way to the bathroom.

I was able to clean the wound and get a look at the problem. A chunk of skin, above my cuticle, looked like ground meat and below my nail was turning purple. I pushed the partially attached skin back in place, wrapped my finger in a paper towel and went to the first aid kit.

I cleaned the wound a second time, this time with alcohol, smeared on some antibacterial ointment, and applied a bandaid. I began bleeding through the first one, so I backed it up with a fingertip bandaid then applied one more just to keep everything secure.

I did the best I could with one hand then headed home. My wife pulled the bandaids back off, re-cleaned the wound, and did a much better job of treating it. It has been less than twenty-four hours since I mashed my finger in my car door. The finger is sore (and will definitely affect my shooting grip this weekend) and it looks like I may lose the nail.

Lesson Learned

This incident, although minor, has been an eye opening experience. What would I have done had I not been able to get back into the building? Driving down the road, looking for a pharmacy, while bleeding all over myself doesn’t sound like a good plan.

I have learned my lesson and before I leave for work tomorrow, both family vehicles will have at least a very basic first aid kit. Get Home Bags have just moved up on the priority list.

For those of you that are curious about what my finger looks like under the bandaids, you can see that here and here.


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

4 thoughts on “Learning The Hard Way: Every Car Should Carry a First Aid Kit

    1. Ron,
      As of right now I have two ziplock bags filled with a few bandaids, antiseptic, clean wipes, and individually packaged non-aspirin tablets. One bag will go in my car and one will go into my wife’s car. I’ve ordered two Adventure First Aid 2.0 kits to replace the make-shift first aid bags.

      In the future, I’ll be adding those first aid kits to a couple of backpacks from LA Police Gear and adding in other necessities (LED Flashlights, Clothes, Food, etc).

      Fortunately, putting together a couple of packs to keep in family vehicles doesn’t need to be very expensive and are worth their weight in gold in the event that you need them.

  1. Just remember that having an emergency first aid kit in your automobile, could be a matter of life and death for you and your family !

  2. Why again did I click on the link to see your nasty ass nail!!! Sucks hope you can still shoot this weekend, I have a few extra backpacks in my house this is on my list of things to start doing this weekend and to get my car ready for that one time I may need it… thanks for the reminder.

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