Astonishingly Easy: What to Bring Car Camping

Ultimate Packing List for Car Camping

Going on a car camping trip is an excellent way to explore nature and relax in your own private space. Whether you’re a camping novice or an experienced camper, this car camping checklist will help you prepare for your camping trip. As a father of three kids and an experienced camper, I’ve compiled this car camping packing list to help you get the most out of your adventure!

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Packing Essentials

Below is a list of items that you must pack for your car camping trip. These items are essential to make sure your trip goes smoothly and you have a safe and comfortable outing.

  • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Matches or lighter
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Compass or GPS device
  • First aid kit
  • Bug repellant
  • Sunscreen

packing list

Food and Cooking Supplies

In order to make sure you stay comfortable and don’t get hungry, packing the right food and cooking supplies is essential. Here’s a list of essential items you must include in your car camping packing list.

  • Cooler
  • Stove or portable grill
  • Cooking supplies (pots, pans, utensils)
  • Plates, cups and cutlery
  • Ingredients and snacks
  • Drinking water

cooking supplies

Clothing and Other Gear

Never pack too much or too little clothing for your camping trip. Pick suitable clothing depending on the weather and the time of year you’re camping. Make sure you include waterproof and warm clothes and a couple of extra layers just in case.

  • Footwear
  • Base and outer layers
  • Rain gear
  • Hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses and swimwear (if you plan to swim)
  • Towel and toiletries

clothing and gear

Camping and Outdoor Gear

Finally, if you plan to camp for more than a few days, you should consider bringing camping and outdoor gear to make your stay more comfortable. This includes chairs, hammocks, camping tables, tents, sleeping pads, and more. You can buy or rent these items and you can find plenty of tips and advice online.

Here’s a helpful video from REI giving some helpful tips for car camping:


To sum up, car camping is a great way to explore nature while having all the comforts of home. Just remember to stay safe and prepare for worst-case scenarios. With proper preparation, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful and safe car camping adventure. Good luck and happy camping!