Everything You Need For A Car Camping Experience: Essentials And Extras To Pack Light

Camping is an exceptionally popular outdoor adventure that comes in numerous forms; from off-grid camping to glamping and everything in between, the wonders of the great outdoors can be experienced in various ways. Suppose you’re a lover of nature and adventure.

In that case, car camping is an excellent option as you will be able to use your vehicle as shelter while also enabling yourself to road trip from one captivating nature spot to another during your getaway with ease.

However, just as with most other forms of camping, there are several essential items you will need to bring along to ensure you can genuinely enjoy your stay in the great outdoors. Your essentials will be slightly different from those of off-grid camping and others when it comes to car camping. So, to help you pack appropriately and avoid overpacking for your adventure, we have created an essentials list for you to pack light without forgetting anything you need behind.

Portable Power

One of the most commonly made mistakes for first-time car campers is assuming that they can use their vehicle’s battery power during their stay in nature. Unfortunately, using your car’s headlights as your camp lighting can drain the battery and leave you in a highly unpleasant situation when you need to go. The same applies to using your car’s radio and heating. Instead of using your vehicle’s power, you should pack in a portable power supply.

These innovative devices are perfect for camping as you can charge your phone, light up your campsite, power a radio, and various other small gadgets you need to bring along. Because they are available in various sizes, you should determine your power needs before investing in a power supply as you don’t want to overspend. At the same time, you also don’t want to purchase one that isn’t able to provide you with enough power for the duration of your car camping trip.

A Quality Sleeping Bag And A Comfy Pillow

Most forms of camping insist that you bring along a quality sleeping bag and a pillow. However, when car camping, you should opt for a low-temperature sleeping bag as this type will keep you ideally warm, even in the coldest of weather conditions.

Even though you will have the protection of your vehicle, you will still need to leave a window open slightly to allow air in, and car camping in colder conditions is not much different from regular tent camping in terms of how warm you will be. Because it is best not to sleep with your car’s heater on, you should also consider bringing an extra blanket to add a bit more comfort and warmth. When it comes to choosing a pillow, any pillow will do just fine.

A Small Camping Stove, Cookware, And Food

You will have to prepare your meals while enjoying the genuine bliss of nature, and packing light can become tricky when it comes to preparing your meals; however, a small camping stove and a small gas canister will take up most of your packing space. You should only bring along one small pot, a folding pocket knife, and a small pan, and when picking the best dishes, you should opt for a tin camping set containing a plate, bowl, mug, and a metal knife, fork, and spoon.

When packing in food, you should plan your meals well in advance, opting for ingredients that will last without needing refrigeration, such as tinned foods, vegetables, and other non-perishables. There are quite a few great-tasting meals that you can make with such ingredients, and you may be able to do some prep before leaving to save space as well.  You can also prepare some nice food at home like Vegan Chili.

Camping Lantern And A Headlight

You will need light to keep your camping spot well-lit during the evening before you get to sleep. Even though you are aiming to pack light, you should pack in at least two camping lanterns, a headlight, and a quality torch just in case one source of light fails to work at any point. It is also wise to pack in fire starters, a lighter or matches, and a bit of dry wood to make a fire, as a camping experience without the joy of a campfire is widely considered a tragedy.

First Aid Kit And Tool Set

A first kit is vital to bring along when indulging in the outdoors as you can’t predict an injury, a snake bite, or even an allergic reaction to a bug bite. So to be safe, you should purchase a travel-sized first aid kit that contains all the basics you may need and add in any extras you find suitable. Be sure to remember to pack in any medications you need to bring along for the duration of your outdoor getaway.

In addition to a travel-sized first aid kit, you should pack in a toolset to be prepared for any situation that could arise. Your toolset should include any tools you might need if your car breaks down, your camping stove needs fixing and various other instances. However, more often than not, a basic toolset includes most of the tools you will need.

Eco-Friendly Hygiene Products And Appropriate Clothing

Even if you are car camping in a camping vicinity where you have access to showers, you should still bring along some eco-friendly hygiene products such as biodegradable wipes, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and other toiletries that you will need to stay clean and fresh during your nature stay.

When it comes to packing in clothing for your trip, it is always best to pack only what you need. Camping is definitely no fashion show, so opt for outdoor gear that will keep you ideally warm or cool depending on the predicted weather conditions. However, regardless of the season, you should pack in a raincoat and a warm jacket just in case the weather changes.

While you can bring along a few other items such as a fire sprinkler, entertainment gadgets and books, you should create a detailed packing list to be sure you don’t forget anything you will need. Car camping can be a marvelous and unforgettable experience, although packing is the most important step as what you pack will determine your entire experience.

Author: Brandon Park