A huge benefit of car camping is that not like backpacking, car camping allows you to take more gear with you. That way your camping experience will be more comfortable by having all the essentials that you need. This Car Camping Essentials list will be of great help as it contains all the essentials including shelter, camp kitchen, tools, personal items, and clothes.
Although car camping is a wonderful experience, it can be incredibly uneasy and uncomfortable if you are not prepared. I have made it easy for you by listing all the things below. You won’t have to spend so much time, wasting searching what you’ll need for car camping.
Car Camping Essentials – Shelter and Bedding
When camping shelter and bedding are generally a little expensive as a great camping setup can make you comfortable and will provide you a good sleep. This means you’ll wake up with energy and refreshed, ready to have fun.
Listed below are the car camping essentials that you’ll need for shelter and bedding.
- Camping Tent and Footprint– Tent is one of the basic essentials in camping. Since you are car camping, you won’t have to consider the weight of the tent. Of course, adding a tent footprint will be of great use, as it acts as a protection for the tent floor.
- Sleeping Pad– A sleeping pad will keep you warm during cold conditions and comfortable on hard ground.
- Sleeping Bag– Always choose a good quality sleeping bag, even if they are a little expensive because a good night’s sleep without freezing and not being awake is really important.
- Camping Blanket– Camping blanket is another essential to keep you warm and restful.
- Hammock and Straps– A hammock will allow you to have a secure good night’s sleep off the ground.
- Pillows– Of course pillows are required to have a comfortable sleep. You can bring inflatable or regular pillows.
- Camp Chairs– Include light weighted, easy to carry camp chairs to make the perfect camping setup.
- Lanterns – Lanterns are needed in camping and in outdoor activities at night.
Car Camping Essentials – Camp Kitchen
Your camp kitchen is the second most important thing after shelter and bedding. I have listed all the important essentials you should bring with you when car camping. I recommend you to plan your camping meals earlier and make a list of things that you’ll need for cooking.
Listed below are the car camping essentials that you’ll be needing for your camp kitchen.
- Stove – Bring a camping stove for cooking and heating.
- Fuel – You’ll need fuel for stoves and lanterns.
- Cooler – A cooler is needed to keep your food and drinks fresh for a long time.
- Jet Boiler– A jet boiler is a great way to boil water quickly and it is mess-free.
- Mess Kit– A camping mess kit usually contains a skillet, a plate, a cup, a kettle, and cutlery.
- Utensils – Take a reusable large spoon, spatula, tongs, sporks, and whisk as utensils.
- Pots and Pans – Light-weighted cookware is great for car camping.
- Kitchen Organizer – This is optional as it could be heavy. But if you want a more organized camp kitchen you can bring a kitchen organizer.
- Cutting Board – A wood cutting board is recommended as it is ideal for most cuttings.
- Dutch Oven – Depending on what you are cooking you may need a Dutch oven.
- Kitchen Knife –Bring a kitchen knife for food prep.
- Refillable Water Bottle –Staying hydrated is very important when camping, therefore don’t forget to bring a refillable water bottle with you.
- Water Filter – It is good to have a water filter as you can’t be sure to find clean water in the wilderness.
- Aluminum Foil – Aluminum foil will be of use to wrap food, leftovers, kitchen utensils, etc.
- Container for Leftovers – Leaving leftovers open to air can cause spoil. Therefore bring some solid jars or containers.
- Can Opener –If you are bringing canned food, surely you’ll need a can opener.
- Egg Holder – An egg holder will help you to keep your eggs from breaking.
- Trash Bags – Always bring trash bags to clean up after yourselves and place them where animals can’t reach.
- Paper Towels – Paper towels will be your napkins while camping.
- Dish Soap, Sponge, and Bucket– These will be needed for cleaning the kitchen equipment.
- Wash-clothes and Rags – Wash-clothes or rags are an alternative for paper towels.
- Dog Dish – If you are taking your beloved pooch for camping, don’t forget to bring dog dishes with you.
- Tea Bags and Hot Cocoa Packets – Make sure to treat yourselves with a hot tea or a coffee.
- Coffee Press – Coffee fans won’t regret having a coffee press and a jet boiler.
- Granola Bars – Granola bars are a healthy snack that you can enjoy while car camping.
- Spices and Condiments – Pack all the spices and condiments that are needed to prepare your meals.
- Cooking Oil – Needless to say, you’ll need cooking oilwhen cooking.
- Food – As I said before, always have a meal plan when camping. It will make things so much easier for you. Plan healthy yet easy camping meals for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Car Camping Essentials – Camping Tools and Extras
Preparation is the key to having an uninterrupted car camping experience without having to worry about anything. When you pack things for car camping, you may remember all the basic car camping essentials, but you might not remember all the tools and extras. That’s why I created this car camping tools and extras list so that you won’t miss anything.
- Trekking Poles– Trekking poles will assist you with walking.
- Head Lamp– Headlamps will help you to see in dark conditions.
- Flashlight and Bulbs with Batteries– These light sources will kill the darkness during night time.
- Lantern with Fuel– Lanterns portable and easy to use.
- Candles– Candles are light-weighted and can be used for heating the tent.
- Duct Tape– Duct tape can be used for fixing damages.
- Lighter / Matches– You’ll need lighter or matches to crate name for gas stoves, fireworks, and candles.
- Tissues– You’ll need tissues for wiping.
- Safety Pins– You may need to secure bandages with safety pins.
- First Aid Kit– Having a first aid kit is essential when car camping.
- Patch Repair Kit / Small Sewing Kit– In case you have to fix a hole or repair a tear you should have a patch repair kit as car camping essentials.
- Solar Kit– Your campsite may not always have electricity, so to get the best use out of the sun, use a solar kit.
- Hiking Umbrella– Hiking umbrellas will keep you dryer than a rain jacket.
- Knife – You’ll definitely need a knife at the campsite.
- Swiss Army Knife / Pocket Knife– Pocket knives are portable and easy to carry with you.
- Scissors – Don’t forget to add scissors to your list.
- Multi-tool – Multi-tool contains a screwdriver, a can opener, a pair of pliers, or a knife.
- Firewood / Coals– You’ll need these to start campfires and for stoves.
- Saw / Axe – If you wish to cut your own firewood take these.
- Shovel – Shovels will be needed when pitching the tent.
- Work Gloves– Wear work gloves when working, they will prevent you from injuries.
- Hand Warmers– They will keep you warm in cool conditions.
- Compass – Compass will show the directions.
- Portable Potty – You’ll need a portable potty to dispose of human waste.
- Collapsible Drying Rack– Take a drying rack with you to hang your clothes.
- Offline Google Maps– Use maps to get directions of routes.
- Park Guide Book / Trail Maps– Always keep a park guide book and trail maps with you.
- Campsite Reservations Info / Confirmation– Don’t forget to take campsite reservations and confirmation documents to the campsite.
- Note Pad and Pens– It is always good to have a notepad and pens with you.
- Day Packs– Day packs are ideal for day hikes and car camping.
- Dry Sacks– Dry sacks are ideal for keeping things wet-free.
- BackPack / Fanny Pack– These are ideal for carrying personal items.
- Books and Magazines– Reading books are magazines can be a great experience.
- Musical Instruments– Take some musical instruments with you to enjoy your free time.
- Radio – As some areas don’t have cell phone coverage, radios will be of great use.
- Camera – Take a camera with you to capture your moments.
- Tripod – If you prefer cooking your food directly over the fire, use a tripod.
- Binoculars – If you love bird watching take binoculars.
- Cell Phone and Chargers – Probably you won’t forget your cell phone and charger.
- Cards and Games – To cut the boredom while car camping, take some cards or games to play with.
- Fishing Gear– If you took the license and wish to go fishing while camping, don’t forget the fishing gear.
Car Camping Essentials – Personal Items
Maintaining your personal hygiene can be a challenge while car camping. The following are some car camping essentials that you’ll need to stay healthy and clean.
- Face mask– Wearing a face mask will prevent you from getting dust and harmful germs.
- Hand Sanitizer – Due to the pandemic situation, always have hand sanitizers with you to keep you safe.
- Sunscreen – To avoid sunburn and protect your skin while camping outdoor apply sunscreen.
- Chapstick – Chapstick will keep your moisturized and prevent dryness.
- Lip Balm – Apply some lip balm on your lips to keep them protected.
- Hair Comb –Take a hair comb with you to detangle your hair.
- Sunglasses – Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays.
- Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Mouth wash –Take these to keep your oral hygiene.
- Biodegradable Soap –Biodegradable soap is another one of the car camping essentials as they are eco-friendly.
- Dry Shampoo– If there are no showers, you can use dry shampoo to keep your hair clean.
- Towel – To dry yourself after a bath use towels.
- Razor– Add a razor to the list for shaving.
- Flip Flops– Take a pair of flip flops that are comfortable and lightweight.
- Insect Repellent– Needless to say, there will be bugs and insects around your camp, so be sure to take an insect repellent.
- Toilet Paper– Always try to use a limited amount of toilet paper.
- Clean Wipes– Clean wipes are a good solution if there are no showers available.
- Feminine Hygiene Products– It is very important to maintain good female hygiene, as poor hygiene can cause many infections.
- Personal Medications –If you are taking specific medications, take extra with you.
Car Camping Essentials – Clothes
When car camping, always choose clothes according to the season and activities. Clothing can make the weather bad or good. Here’s a brief list of what you’ll need.
- Sandals or Crocs
- Hiking Boots
- Down Jacket
- Rain Jackets
- Jeans/ Pants/ Belts
- Sleep Clothes
- Swim Suits
- Laundry Bag
The next time, when you are going car camping, You won’t miss anything. Enjoy!