Compact Gloves for First Aid or Mechanics

Last updated on December 10th, 2018

I bet you’ve been there beforeYou’re already late to class or work, and the chain on your bike slips off the sprocket and gets tangled. You know exactly how to fix it quickly, and you do so. But now your hands are full of grease and heavy-duty degreaser is nowhere to be found. Or you have to jump-start your car. Or bandage a bad cut on a coworker. You may even be reminiscing that roadside tire change last week where this would have been a lifesaver. Having a compact, portable set of compact gloves close by is way more convenient than having to clean up afterwards.

This DIY isn’t so much a how-to, as much as it is simply a “Hey! You might want to copy this” type of thing. While storing gloves this way isn’t exactly new, it isn’t the type of thing you see that often either.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What you’ll need

To make yourself some individually-wrapped compact gloves, this is what you'll need.
To make yourself some individually-wrapped compact gloves, this is what you’ll need.

Plenty of people will have this stuff already. All we need is as follows:

  • Nitrile Gloves – Personally, I’m a fan of nitrile gloves since they’re excellent all-around gloves. It’s chemical and puncture resistant, as well as non-allergenic (latex-free) and non-irritating. The 3 or 4 mill thickness is perfect for some compact gloves without being overly flimsy. Make sure to choose the right size.
  • A sheet of paper – Regular paper, or if you prefer it, wax paper, will be needed. Pretty much anything will do.
  • Clear Tape – To secure the paper.
  • Paper Guillotine and/or Scissors – I’m a huge fan of paper guillotines. This is just another situation where it’s simply nicer for straight, equally-spaced cuts. Of course, you can use some scissors and a ruler instead.

Note – Don’t bother with sterile gloves

Even if you intend to use these for a first aid kit, it isn’t worth getting sterile gloves. If you do, they will come in their own sealed packaging which you shouldn’t open until you’re ready to use them. You can’t convert them into compact gloves. Plus, it’s much more expensive.

In a real-world, first aid kit type scenario, having clean gloves is much more important than having sterile gloves. The real world isn’t sterile, nor will it leave sterile wounds in the first place.

EDC Compact Gloves How-To

Step 1 – Cut the paper

We’re going to need some rectangular paper strips. When cutting, I just went with the closest suitable mark on the paper guillotine, which was about 1″ wide. No need to be precise, but it will look better if the cuts are parallel so the paper’s edges match up when looped.

After you have the long strips, cut them roughly in half.

Step 2 – Fold and roll the gloves

Next we have to roll them. This is the most important step to make the gloves as compact as possible since we have to make sure we get all the air out of them.

Lay them one on top of the other, and fold the sides inwards until you have a long strip like in the second image. All you have to do then is carefully roll them up starting on the finger side making sure you get all the air out through the cuff.

Step 3 – Stretch over the cuff

Sadly, it isn’t enough to keep the gloves from unraveling to just stretch the cuff over the balled gloves. However, if you twist the cuff and stretch it over, it will help keep the gloves cleaner and help it maintain its shape.

Step 4 – Wrap it with the paper strip

Wrap the rolled up gloves with the paper strip from before, and secure it with some tape. Said and done.

Finally, we have the finished product! Some clean, compact gloves, perfect for thrashing wrenches or doing some unexpected wound care.

And make some more!

I always make a handful of these at the same time to make the effort more worthwhile. After all, the whole point of this idea is being able to stash them here and there to make sure you have them available when you need them,. Even if you didn’t plan to need them. Throw some in your glovebox, your backpacks, or anywhere or anything else where it might be of use.

Thanks for reading! If you found this interesting, check out latest projects to see what else I’ve been up to — here are some you might like:

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