19 Car Camping Essentials for the Most Comfortable Getaway

Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the road to spend a few days away from people and cell service at an epic campsite. Before you…

Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the road to spend a few days away from people and cell service at an epic campsite. Before you take off, pack these car camping essentials. Here are the items I recommend to make your getaway as comfortable as possible. 

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1. Quality Tent

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First and foremost, you want to have a reliable shelter for sleeping. If you’re not literally camping in your car, invest in a quality tent to keep you dry and warm. Make sure you choose a tent that fits the size of your group (including extra room for a dog if needed). Consider a water-resistant, well-ventilated tent with an easy set-up.

2. Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress

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I used to tough it out and sleep in my tent in my sleeping bag. But once I tried an air mattress for car camping, I realized how comfortable it was. Sleeping pads and air mattresses add extra cushion and insulation. They keep you comfortable and warm on even the chilliest nights.

3. Warm Sleeping Bag and Blanket

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Choose a quality sleeping bag suited for the lowest forecasted overnight temperatures. I like to use my 30-degree sleeping bag on summer trips and my 15-degree bag for the rest of the year (or at high elevations). Another option is a quilt that attaches to your sleeping pad or a portable blanket like a Rumpl for extra warmth.

4. Pillow

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A pillow was another luxury I used to deny myself while camping. If you have room in your car to pack actual pillows, they’ll help you feel more comfortable in your tent and help you sleep better outside. Otherwise, you can purchase a small inflatable pillow to use. I recommend leaving it slightly deflated for maximum comfort. 

5. Camp Chairs and Table

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Camp chairs and a table are convenient when hanging around at your campsite, cooking, and playing games. While some campsites have a table, a small foldable table is great for cooking. For chairs, you can pick compact and light or go for something bigger and more luxurious.

6. Portable Stove and Fuel

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Bring a camp stove unless you plan to cook on a fire (or use a grill at the campground). You can cook delicious meals on a 2-burner portable stove. Pack enough butane or propane to last for however many days you need.

7. Camp Cookware and Utensils

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Depending on your cooking needs, purchase pots and pans that are easy to clean and intended for camping. Some even fold into each other for a compact set-up. Other people swear by cast iron pans for camping, but these are often heavy and take up more space. Bring enough plates and utensils to cook and eat your camp meals.

8. Cooler

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Choose a camping cooler big enough to hold all your food that needs to be chilled (and beverages, of course). You also want to pick one that’s well-insulated and easy to carry. If possible, purchase a high-performance cooler that keeps everything cold for a long time. No one wants to arrive at their campsite to find all the ice has already melted!

9. Yummy Food, Drinks, and Water

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Bring some tasty food and drinks to enjoy outside! Pack enough meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks. Bring enough water for cooking and drinking and a filtration system (if using a natural water source that requires treatment).

10. Trash Bags and Wipes

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Bring trash bags so you can pack out all of your wrappers and waste. Pack out whatever you bring in, leaving the campsite clean for the next person. I also recommend packing some hand and body wipes to help you keep clean and feel refreshed. 

11. Fire Gear and S’mores Supplies

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Bring fire gear like a firewood bundle, lighter or waterproof matches, and fire starters if you plan to have a campfire. Pack enough water to put the fire out. And we all know the best part of a campfire is s’mores, so don’t forget a marshmallow roasting stick and other s’mores supplies!

12. Camping Apparel

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Pack comfortable and functional clothing to wear camping. I recommend clothes to protect you from the sun and extra layers to keep you warm. You may also want to pack hiking or swimming apparel. Pack grippy shoes, extra socks, hats, and sunglasses.

13. Insect Repellent and Sunscreen

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Nothing can ruin a camping trip quicker than mosquito bites or sunburn. The good news is you can prevent these with insect repellent and sunscreen. Apply the sunscreen first to any exposed areas of skin (including your face), then spray your insect repellent.

14. First-Aid Kit

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Accidents can happen anywhere, even while camping. Treat minor cuts and scrapes with the supplies in your first aid kit. Your kit should be well-stocked with items like bandaids, wipes, disinfectants, and pain relievers in case of headache or other body aches.

15. Multi-Tool or Knife

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A multi-tool or a knife has so many different uses for camping. You can use it to open things or for self-protection in the outdoors. You can also use it to help you prepare food or repair broken items.

16. Navigation Devices

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Whenever camping, bring navigation devices to help you find your way if you get lost, especially in remote areas with no cell service. Make sure to bring a compass, a map, and an emergency GPS device like a Garmin inReach.

17. Lighting

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You’ll need a way to see in the dark, especially if you constantly wake up needing to pee in the middle of the night like me. I recommend packing a headlamp, lantern, and flashlight with extra batteries. You can also purchase outdoor solar lights to hang around your campsite or drape over your tent. These are convenient because they can recharge in the sun during the day.

18. Portable Battery Charger

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If you need a way to recharge items that don’t use batteries (like your phone or headlamp), you can purchase a portable battery charger for your camping trip. You fully charge the power bank before your trip so you can use it to recharge your items. As someone who likes to take photos and videos while camping, I like how I can use this to recharge my phone when it dies.

19. Entertainment

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Pack items that will keep you entertained at the campsite. Some ideas include a journal, books, board games, cards, musical instruments, paddleboards, or outdoor games (cornhole or ladder golf). These can help you avoid boredom during downtime and create memories with the people you camp with.

17 Creative Car Camper Ideas That Will Make You Want to Convert Your Vehicle Right Now

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Ever glanced at your car and thought: “Could this be more than just a ride?” If you’re nodding, you’re about to get seriously inspired. 

With a little time, skill, and cash, you can turn your trusty car into a camper that will take you on your favorite adventures. Build a bed, add a kitchen area, and create a space to chill out – and you’ve got the perfect home away from home.

We’ve scoured the internet for the most creative car camper ideas. Our list includes hatchbacks, SUVs, Jeeps, and minivan conversions. So, no matter what vehicle you own, you’ll find a floor plan that works.

11 Camping Hacks for a Trip You’ll Never Forget

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Setting off for a night of stargazing with pals or embarking on a family adventure across the country? Camping offers a delightful escape from the everyday hustle.

Yet, it’s not without its hurdles, especially for first-timers. From packing the essentials to setting up camp, there’s a fair bit to keep in mind. Thankfully, the wealth of knowledge online is here to guide you towards becoming a savvy camper!

A lively Reddit thread recently became a treasure trove of invaluable camping tips. We’ve sifted through the advice to bring you 11 top camping hacks that stood out. Let’s dive into these game-changing suggestions.

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