Well, well, well, so you are thinking about snoozing away in your car tonight in the great outdoors? The stars will look lovely tonight without the city lights to drown them out. It will be magical. Nothing beats looking up above and wondering about existence. You have, anyway, come to the right place. If you want to know about everything you need to bring, then A Printable Car Camping Essentials Checklist for Beginners is sure to help you out.
For this article, I assume you will be sleeping in your car at night. If you are not going to be sleeping in your car tonight, then this list covers everything you need except proper tent gear.
Let’s get started.
Campsite Gear to Snore Like a Baby
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad/inflatable car air mattress, trust me on this one. You might be tempted to forgo the sleeping pad or air mattress, but your back will pay the price. You want your back to last you well into old age.
- Inflatable camp pillow, just like with what I just said, the same goes for the pillow. When you have a good night’s sleep, your health, energy, and well-being fall into alignment.
- Picnic table (if there are none where you are heading)
- Camp chairs
- Clothesline with clips
Kitchen Supplies to Turn You into the Top Chef
- Camp stove
- Fire starter, you might want to consider a long handle lighter to give you extra distance. A regular lighter will work, but it just does not compare to the other option in terms of flexibility.
- Ziploc bags, I refrain as much as possible from using plastic because of the damage it wreaks on the environment, but plastic is quite convenient. It will serve you well.
- Aluminum foil, this is an excellent piece of cooking gear. Cover some corn in it and you will be sure to make some delicious barbecue corn on the cob. Yummy!
- Cooler and ice
- Can opener
- Dish towel
- Biodegradable dish soap
- Cutting board
- Large mixing bowel
- Mugs and cups
- Water bottles
- Dutch oven
- Portable coffee maker
Personal Items to Keep You Squeaky Clean
- Hand sanitizer, I used to be against hand sanitizer. I felt it took up too much room in my gear bag when I could have something like soap instead. My opinion has changed though. If you are about to plow down for a meal, you should use hand sanitizer. With just a quick squirt, you can be clean as a bath tub baby in time for dinner.
- Biodegradable toilet paper
- Biodegradable soap/shampoo
- Lip balm
- Vaseline, this works as an excellent fuel source with some cotton balls. The combination lights quite fast.
- Bath towel
- Eye shades
- Menstrual products
- Ear plugs
- Mirror, I usually do not bring a mirror along with me because I want to embrace the dirtiness and ugliness on an outdoor adventure. I like to avoid vanity in the outdoors. It is just not for me.
Safety, Because it Should Always be First
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent, I usually don’t bring some because I feel like it is unnecessary. If you do bring some though, bring an all natural deterrent like neem oil.
- Whistle, this is essential. It might be tempting to forgo, but one of these is invaluable. You can let everyone know where you are and what you need in an instant.
- Water purification tablets/filter
- Extra batteries
- Sunscreen, I started putting sunscreen on everyday. Your skin is the biggest organ in your body. No matter your skin tone, the sun still affects you. If you want to look beautiful and baby faced in old age, then sunscreen will help to keep Father Time at bay.
Clothing and Footwear to Keep You
- Sun hat
- Long pants
- Boots or shoes for the terrain
- Moisture wicking underwear
- Moisture wicking t-shirts
- Rain jacket, you never know when rain might strike. Even if the weatherman has been right these past few weeks 100% of the time, he might be wrong today, so play it safe and grab your own.
- Bandanna, if you need to wipe away the sweat, a bandanna has got you covered. Need to blow your nose? It’s got you covered. Need to take care of something gross and sticky and gooey? Again, it’s got your back. In other words, a bandanna is versatile. It’s a 100 uses in your pocket.
For Those Cold Days
- Long underwear
- Warm hat, I always bring along a beanie whenever I go camping these days to keep me warm. I want to be nice and cozy as I snooze away.
Miscellaneous Items You Might Want to Consider
- Bins, you need these when car camping. They keep all your gear and items organized. I cannot recommend them enough. You can create one bin for kitchen gear, another for campsite essentials, a third for safety items, and a final one for personal items. If you have bins, you reduce your headaches down the road.
- Campsite reservation information
- Digital camera, it might be tempting to use your smart phone the whole time because they do take phenomenal pictures, but you won’t fully connect with nature then. You need a break from the world of technology for a minute.
- Quarters, sometimes communal showers cost one.
- A good fiction book helps to keep boredom at bay. I am reading The Brothers Karamazov right now and it is incredible. I cannot recommend the book enough. It is a joy to turn the page anticipating what is going to happen next. You enter a whole new world in the pages of a book.
- Trekking poles
- Duct tape
- Multi tool, if you have a problem, a multi tool can likely solve it.
Are You Looking for an Ice Cooler?
You should now be all set to go. Your next step is to start planning your outdoor adventure. This list is only as good as the time you use to make do of it. Think of all the stress relief. Imagine the stars at night.
I have one more request of you before you go though. If you are looking for an ice cooler, then you should check out a previous article, The Best Ice Coolers for Camping in 2019. (Do not fret if it is 2045 and this article still reads 2019; I update the ‘best of’ pieces on an annual basis :)). If you want to keep your beer and bacon cold, then you are sure to need one. A good one is bound to last you a long time.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!