SUV with tent on top

Car Camping Essentials

Car camping trips are an excellent way to explore nature without worrying too much about travel means and costs. Another advantage is that, you’re at liberty of packing extra stuff unlike when backpacking. In this post, I will explore some car camping essentials to get you started.

When packing for your car camping trip, the rule is still the same, only carry what you need. What this mean is that start by packing the essential items first, then pack luxury items later -but not too much- depending on your car’s size.

First Order of Business, Create a Packing List

Having a list of the items you’ll need during your trip should be the first piece of business. This list will help guide you and prevent you from forgetting any essential items that you may require during your campout.

Without further ado, fellow campers and soon to be campers here is the ultimate guide on car camping essentials.

Let’s Start with Your Vehicle

Car camping isn’t limited to only those who own cars alone. If you don’t have one you can rent-out one and you’ll be good to go. Ideally, a proper camping vehicle should be fitted with a sturdy roof rack. This way you’ll be able to pack extra luggage on the rack and free some space in the inside.

Next, research more about the terrain of the area you’re going to travel through. This way you will have an idea if your vehicle will be able to travel through unabated or not. Just as a precaution, take your car for a full service to ensure everything is ok.

Sleeping Bags

Cuddling up in the backseat of your car isn’t as comfortable as it may seem to be especially after a long tiring day. Its always good idea to pack a light sleeping bag. Besides that, you can also pack a backpacking pillow to make yourself extra comfortable during the night.

A Tent

a person in a tent, one of the car camping essentials

If you’re traveling with friends or family, you will most certainly need a spacious tent where you can sleep or spend some of your free time. Instant tents are the best bet and you’ll never go wrong when you’ve got one. To learn more about instant tents and how to choose one for yourself, you can read more on our guide here.

First Aid Kit

Emergency respondents can always take a while before responding to your calls in case of a medical emergency. So, ensure that your kit is well stocked before leaving town. Some of the items that shouldn’t miss are;

  • Sanitizers.
  • Bandages.
  • Cotton wool.
  • Gauze pads.
  • Antiseptics.
  • Syringes (needles included).

Another thing you should probably consider is taking a first aid course. This way you will be able to treat or contain most injuries while you’re for help to arrive.


Outdoor camping is interesting. Mostly because you get a chance to interact with nature. With probably no electric power around, you will certainly need a flashlight and not just any flashlight, a tactical one to be precise.

With one you’ll be able to shine your way during the night, send SOS messages in case of danger, or even use it to protect yourself.

Pro Tip! Check out our best backpacking lashlights it includes reviews and a buying guide to help you get the best flashlight.

Food and Water

Ideally, you should carry enough supplies to carry you through the whole trip. However, this also depends on whether there are any eateries close by. For starters, some of the foods you can carry include; potato chips, cheese, eggs, bacon, and bread.

However, for the meats and cheese or any other type of perishables, you will certainly need an ice cooler to keep them fresh.

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