Car camping combines the best elements of traditional camping with the convenience and comfort of having your vehicle. Not only do you have the freedom to set up in multiple places, but you’ll also have ample storage for camping gear like tents and stoves. In addition, you’ll enjoy the safety and peace of mind that comes with being more mobile.
But a memorable car camping adventure requires more than just a vehicle and a destination, like a trail or national park. It also calls for careful preparation and the right gear. If it’s your first-time car camping with your loved ones or if you want to improve upon your previous experience, here are ten essential items you should pack:
The Right Clothes
Clothing can either make or break your car camping experience. As such, it’s essential to take the climate of your destination and the activities you plan to engage in into account when packing your clothes.
Some must-haves, however, include insulated clothing to ensure your body temperature is regulated correctly. It’s also a good idea to bring clothes made from breathable fabric, like high-quality cotton leggings, to help you stay cool and comfortable during your trip. Moreover, even if the forecast looks clear, it’s always wise to pack a rain jacket and waterproof pants in case it does rain during your trip.
A Microfiber Travel Towel
A quality microfiber travel towel is an underappreciated asset on any car camping trip. Due to its compact and lightweight build, it is a versatile tool for maintaining cleanliness and doubling as a snug, impromptu blanket during cooler nights. Its quick-drying properties also ensure that you’re never stuck with a damp towel, making it easier and more convenient to bring around your chosen campsites.
An Inflatable Car Mattress
If you are sleeping in your car during your camping trip, remember that it won’t be very comfortable to rest on the seats. Due to the interior design of the vehicle, it will be challenging to find the perfect sleeping position when door armrests, seats, and gaps are in the way.
One car camping product that can help solve this problem is an inflatable mattress. Its flat, cushioned surface will readily conform to your car’s interior, and its inflatable and compact design will make it easy to set up and store. A serious car camper would benefit from investing in the right bedding.
A Compact and Lightweight Sleeping Bag
If you don’t have an inflatable car mattress readily available or would rather sleep on the ground inside a tent, a lightweight and compact sleeping bag is a great alternative. Opt for a model that offers the right level of insulation for the climate and that’s easy to roll up and stow away.
One of the major benefits of car camping is the ability to bring more amenities from home, and one of those amenities should be a good cooler. It will allow you to preserve the freshness of your food and keep your beverages cool throughout your trip. Make good use of the space you have to store small luxuries and ensure that a roomy cooler is among your camping gear essentials.
A Solar-Powered Portable Charger
A solar-powered portable charger for your devices will come in handy while you’re off the grid. It harnesses sunlight to power up your devices, allowing you to stay connected while camping in remote areas. Remember to bring one with you on your car camping adventure, especially if you use multiple electronic devices for navigation, communication, and entertainment.
A Solar-Powered Portable Camping Shower
Another solar-powered item you can bring with you if you’re going car camping is a portable camping shower. With one in your trunk, you can enjoy a warm and refreshing shower even outdoors. It’s a convenient and environment-friendly option for personal hygiene during your car camping adventures.
You can choose from several types of portable camping shower designs. One of the most popular, however, is a solar shower bag. This item is made of black PVC, a material known to absorb heat rapidly. Just place the bag under sunlight, and it will be able to use the sun’s heat to warm up your shower water.
A Multipurpose Tool Kit
A comprehensive, multipurpose tool kit is a critical item for any car camping adventure, as it can help you quickly tackle any unexpected repair or maintenance tasks on your car or camping gear. Ensure your kit includes essentials like a multi-functional knife, screwdrivers, and wrenches.
A Portable Car Jump Starter
Portable car jump starters can be lifesavers during emergencies, especially in remote areas. With one in hand, you’ll be able to jump-start your vehicle—bypassing the need for another car, which may not always be accessible. Consider making this small investment for future car camping experiences so that you can have full peace of mind over the condition of your car.
A First Aid Kit
Finally, a well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for every outdoor adventure, as it will help you deal with any sudden bouts of illness and injury while camping and prevent further complications. Your kit should contain first aid basics like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, and other items required to handle minor injuries. You should also stock it with essential over-the-counter medicines like motion sickness medicines, antacids, pain relievers, and antihistamines, as well as your medications.
A car camping adventure can be a fun and memorable experience to share with your loved ones, but again, preparation is key. Packing items like the ones mentioned above will enhance your comfort, security, and peace of mind and maximize your overall enjoyment of the trip. Focus on your preps, and you may find yourself wanting to repeat the adventure all over again!