Motorcycle First Aid Kit

Motorcycle First Aid Kit

A Motorcycle First Aid Kit has special needs.

An ordinary first aid kit just won't cut it. This is mainly to do with size, but also the types of common injuries that bikers may experience need a different balance of first aid content.

Common injuries for motorcycle riders are:

When packing a Motorcycle First Aid Kit, or looking to buy one, consider kit contents that are used for stopping bleeding, treating burns, abrasions and cuts and eye injuries.

It is important to know the purpose of and how to use every item in your motorcycle first aid kit - otherwise it's just taking up space.

Here's our Motorcycle First Aid Kit Checklist:

  • A good compact first aid book.
  • Antiseptic Wipes - 5 or 6 packet wipes.
  • Antibiotic Ointment or powder- Individual packets. Pack 6.
  • Anti-microbial Hand Cleaner - Waterless: They make waterless hand cleaners in individual packets. Bring five or six. There are small bottles of Anti-microbial gel as well.
  • Band-aids - A variety of shapes and sizes for small cuts and scrapes. We like to pack knuckle and fingertip band aids. They really work a treat and cling on well.
  • Steri-strips (Butter-fly sutures, Adhesive Sutures, Adhesive Closures) - used to pull a small gaping cut or wound together.
  • Large Combine Pads - For heavy bleeding.
  • 5 Large Sterile Gauze Pads - For bleeding. Most first aid kits do not have enough gauze or absorbent dressings to be useful in a motorcycle kit, so don't skimp on the dressings.
  • 5 Medium Sterile Gauze - If you don't want to carry this smaller size carry extra of the larger size and cut them down to what you need.
  • CPR Mask.
  • Emergency Blanket - These are great for retaining body heat and can be used as a reflector for rain and ground cover.
  • Normal saline 10ml vials - this doubles as an eye wash or wound cleansing.
  • Instant Cold Pack/s - These are so useful with burns, bruising, swelling and sprains. They are single use so if you have space grab a couple for your kit. 
  • Burn cream or gel - Aloe Vera aids in healing, pain relief, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps prevent blistering and scarring.
  • Glow Stick - High intensity emergency glow stick for directing traffic or signalling for help.
  • Heavy Duty Zip-lock Bags - Tons of uses including removing used and contaminated gauze, gloves and dressings.
  • Latex gloves - Bring a minimum of 4 pairs.
  • Non-deodorant Feminine Pads - This is an old first aider trick. Feminine pads are highly absorbent and great for stopping heavy bleeding. Cut them in half for easy storage and usability.
  • Other medication - Pack the travel size or sample packets not the bottles. These are usually small packets that contain 2 to 4 pills. Or put the pills in small zip-lock bags and label them carefully.
    * Anti-diarrhoea tablets
    * Anti-acid
    * Antihistamine: for mild allergic reactions
    * Pain reliever
  • Triangular Bandage - For slings, padding, strapping limbs to splints when fractures are suspected.
  • Trauma shears - Go for the heavy duty pair, a size 7 1/2. You'll need to be able to cut through leather. You won't have time to unzip and undress if there is heavy bleeding you'll need to cut through the leathers. I know, I know just take a deep breath and do it.
  • Curved Scissors - Scissors come in handy in many ways. Curved medical ones are great as they don't have sharp points. In an emergency you might need to cut clothes away from an injury (not leathers this time "phew"). With sharp edges it is easy to poke through something and cause further injury when you are in a hurry or under stress.
  • Elastic and crepe bandages - a few different widths. 10cm (2") and larger are often more versatile then smaller ones.
  • Tweezers - A good pair of tweezers has easy-to-grip handles and can be used for splinter removal and other first aid procedures. Do not bother with a cheap quality pair that do not grip splinters as you will only get frustrated. I know I have.
  • Mobile phone - most people own one these days but worth mentioning anyway.

Of course the big trick is getting all this stuff in a container small enough to actually fit on the motorcycle. Look for soft sided waterproof zipper cases. And believe it or not you should be able to get all this stuff in a bag about 20 x 13 x 8 cm (7" x 5" x 3").

It can be done!

Other things to consider when putting together a Motorcycle First Aid Kit:

Consider packing these items in separate strong zip-lock bags. The reason is you will need to stuff all these items into a small bag -as mentioned above- it is very useful to use one bag for each 'type' of item such as gauze in one bag, medication in another and medical tools (scissors and tweezers) in another. Then when you pull out the items from the main bag they do not all tumble out and end up in a mess on the ground. This will not instil confidence in the person you might be helping.

With this packing system not only is it easier to find what you are looking for it also gets you familiar with what is in your kit, what it's for and how to store it on your motorcycle.

Last thing, you may not have much time to read a manual while trying to give first aid to an injured person or yourself. We at recommend you do a First Aid Training Course to learn what first aid challenges you may encounter and how to treat them.

The course you choose should include learning CPR, how to stop bleeding, how to treat burns, eye injuries also how to stabilise a fractured limb as well as how to treat other injuries.

After finding out what to have in a Motorcycle First Aid Kit you may be interested in learning about:

Basic First Aid Instructions

First Aid for Shock

Performing CPR

First Aid for Burns

Photo on courtesy of Eric Schmuttenmaer

›› Motorcycle First Aid Kit