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10 Must-Have Car Camping Supplies for Your Next Trip

There are a few different ways to camp, starting from backpacking to glamping, but car camping is one of the most popular activities. This involves arranging the car camping supplies, driving to a campsite, and setting up your camp in or near your vehicle.

But, why would you go for Car camping when you can easily opt for tent camping? The sole reason is because of the advantages that it offers. It’s affordable, you can take pets, there are no permits required, and it doesn’t require much planning ahead of time. Sound exciting!

Before you head out on an adventure into the wilderness, it’s important that you know what car camping gear list and supplies will make life easier for you at the campsite. 

To make it hassle-free, we have listed the 10 must-have car camping supplies. 

Is it Necessary to have a Checklist for the Camping Supplies?

Yes, and we will answer – why? When you’re car camping, you need to think about the safety of you and your passengers. So, you must bring on the supplies that would prove to be supportive during the trip.

For example, loads that are too heavy can affect how your car handles and increase the risk of an accident. A good way to avoid this is to pack light and leave a small amount of room for heavier items.

Whether you’re planning a day trip or an overnight stay, safety should be your first priority, and for that, you need a proper checklist. Try to practice “Leave No Trace Principles” when camping, and pack biodegradable items. You should also avoid scented products and other items that are not friendly to the environment.

If it seems to be confusing, then we are here to help. Go through the 10 car camping supplies that you must bring to the camp.

What To Pack – 10 Car Camping Supplies

So, now you know that a car camping supplies checklist is an essential tool that would ensure you have everything you need. So, let’s check out the 10 most important things that are a must for car camping.

1. A tent

This is quite an essential item on your list. When car camping, you can bring a larger and more sturdy tent than you would if you were backpacking. Choose one that will comfortably fit all the people in your party, as well as any gear.

2. A sleeping bag

When you are going on car camping, you will need something to keep you warmer and more comfortable. Thus, you would definitely need a sleeping bag to get undisturbed sleep. Under the variability of the temperature range, you’ll be camping in, and based on that, buy the sleeping bag.

3. A sleeping pad

It is quite obvious that you won’t be able to sleep on cold ground, so a sleeping pad is needed. It will provide insulation from the cold ground and will help you sleep comfortably. Based on the ease of use, you can go for a self-inflating or inflatable sleeping pad.

4. A camp stove

You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to cook hot meals during your camping trip. So, a camp stove is a must-have for car camping. However, while buying a portable camp stove, you must remember to choose one that is easy to set up and use. 

5. Camping chairs

Who said that you have to sacrifice your comfort to camp in the wilderness? Add camping chairs to the checklist and mark them as one of the most essential for car camping. You can comfortably place the chair and sit around the campfire. Always choose a lightweight and easy-to-transport chair for your convenience.

6. A cooler

You would definitely want to store the food and drinks, so do not forget to carry a cooler along with you. So, keep your food and drinks cold. Choose one that is large enough to hold all the food and drink you’ll need but not so large that it’s difficult to transport.

7. Camping Pillow

While sleeping, you would need something to rest your head, so do not ignore the importance of a comfy pillow during car camping. While buying, always keep in mind certain factors, such as material, price, and quality.

8. Firewood

A car camping is simply incomplete without a campfire. So, mark firewood as yet another essential item among the car camping supplies, as it is the fuel for your campfire. Choose a spot where you can light the campfire by maintaining complete safety and precautions.

9. A flashlight

A flashlight is very much essential for camping, as it will provide light in the case of a power outage. You must choose a flashlight that is bright and has long battery life. Moreover, it will also help you to maintain safety in case wild animals appear out of nowhere. So, you must be prepared for every situation.

10. A first-aid kit

A first-aid kit is the most valuable item on the checklist, as it will provide you with supplies in case of an emergency. Choose a kit that is comprehensive and easy to use. Always double-check whether the kit has all the supplies or not. 

Additional Car Camping Supplies that can Make Your Trip More Enjoyable

The checklist does not end only with these 10 items. If you’re going to a campground, make sure you have tablecloths and trash bags. A tablecloth can prevent any spills on the tables and can also add ambiance to the campsite. Another essential for car camping is a dustpan and mini broom. Other than these, you can also carry –

A camp kitchen

A camp kitchen is a great addition to any car camping trip, as it will allow you to cook hot meals. Always purchase the one that has easy-to-set-up and use facilities.

Portable power station

If you want a reliable source of power, then choose a portable power station for your car camping trip. It will also provide you with warmth. So, do not go for a heavy one; rather, buy a portable and lightweight device.

A solar charger

During camping, you won’t get electricity to charge your device. So, opt for a solar charger, as it will allow you to charge your devices using the power of the sun. These are available at a low cost and prove to be of great help.

A portable toilet

You must not ignore the importance of a safe and sanitary place to go to the bathroom. Thus, if you are not comfortable going into the wild to relieve yourself, then carry a portable toilet. Always remember not to carry a heavy one, as it might cause inconvenience in a car camping trip.

An emergency whistle

You never know when and where an emergency situation can come up. So, keeping an emergency whistle handy is indeed a wise decision. It will allow you to signal for help in case of an emergency. You can get them at a minimal price from Amazon.

How to Prepare For Car Camping?

If you are planning to go car camping, you have to be prepared. You should know about the pros and cons of this type of trip, the places where you can go car camping, and what to pack. So, let’s discuss a few of them:

Pros of Car Camping

When choosing a camping spot, car camping can be a great option. The convenience of car camping can make it a great alternative to crowded campgrounds and the hassle of making reservations. A great pro of car camping is that you can fit more stuff into your car than with other types of camping. You can also use more comfort items, such as electronics, if you’re using a car, as opposed to backpacking. You can also reach more remote areas without having to carry as much gear.

Cons of Car Camping

However, car camping has its drawbacks as well. One disadvantage of car camping is that it can be expensive, especially if you plan to stay for a long time. Another disadvantage of car camping is its limited access to nature and civilization. Some are drive-up-only or have a concrete loop trail. You’ll have to be prepared for that, though. Moreover, you won’t have the luxury of washing clothes or using toilets in an unknown location. 

Where To Go On Your Car Camping Trip?

Car camping is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy the outdoors, but it requires careful planning. Proper roadside preparation, proper vehicle storage, and appropriate outdoor gear are essential for a successful car camping trip. 

Are you a first-timers? You should consider a state park for your first car camping trip, where they can explore the local area while enjoying amenities and activities.

So, if you have a vehicle that is capable of off-roading, planning your route in advance can help you avoid unexpected delays and save money on fuel. Now that you are all set for a car camping trip – Happy Journey!

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