A Packing List For Car Camping

Car Camping

Camping is a fantastic way to take in and appreciate the outdoors, and provide you do it responsibly, it also has a very low impact on the environment. There are many types of camping, from “roughing” it in $100K+ RVs to sleeping with nothing more than a wool blanket under the stars. Car camping is a great choice for those that are just getting into camping and looking for one of the easiest ways to get outside for some overnight trips with the family. Here are some essential pieces of gear you’ll need to get started in car camping.



A good tent is the most important piece of gear you can purchase for your car camping trip. Purchase the best tent that your budget will allow, and make sure it has good rain protection (e.g. a rain fly).

Sleeping Bags and Pads

Since you’re arriving at your campsite by car, you can afford to bring heavier and more luxurious items, so don’t be afraid to throw that bulky air mattress in the trunk. Pay attention to the weather forecast when deciding which sleeping bag to bring. It’s probably a good idea to have a bag that’s rated for colder weather than you’re expected to get.

Cooking Stove

Camp Stove

It’s a lot of fun to cook your meals over an open fire, but it can also be hard work. If you’re looking for a more convenient way to cook, consider purchasing a two-burner camp stove. You’ll be able to make just about anything from coffee to chili, and it’s as easy as turning on the gas and lighting a match.


This is a big advantage that car campers have over others. You can bring as big a cooler as you want, provided it fits in your trunk. A good cooler will allow you to bring a much wider assortment of foods and beverages, too.


You won’t see a lot of hikers hauling around those folding camp chairs and it’s for a good reason. They’re heavy. Car camping allows you to include this luxury and it will add a level of comfort to your campground that you’ll appreciate after a long day of exploring the outdoors.


Another overlooked advantage of car camping is the ability to store and organize all of your equipment in plastic storage containers. You don’t have to worry about packing a backpack with low-weight items and how you’ll find all of those items when you arrive at your campsite in the dark. With car camping, you can always have your containers packed and ready to go so you can throw them in the trunk at a moment’s notice.