Hi everyone! I hope the start of spring has gotten you excited about upcoming outdoor adventures and more particularly, camping! This camping gear list (with links to favorite items) I am providing for you is for car camping specifically. Meaning, you reserve a campsite where you drive in and park right there at the campsite.
Since you don’t need to walk far from the car to where you are setting up your tent so it allows you to bring a lot of the comforts from home (granted your car has room after you add people and pets!). When car camping I don’t try to shave things off my list, if anything, I’m bringing extra (gear, food, etc) to ensure the highest level of comfort for the weekend!
Therefore, this camping list and the camping gear I have linked for you is not the same gear that you would bring if you were backpacking and sleeping on the trail. I am sure you know that. 😉
So, let’s get to it! All items are listed below along with Amazon links to the gear I use for several of these items!
(Scroll down for printable camping gear list!)
- Food and snacks – I like to make things at home and bring with me that I can keep in cooler and eat for a few days like a quinoa salad! But obviously if you have a cooler and a stove you can literally bring anything you would cook on stove top at home; eggs, meat, vegetables, etc.
- Pan(s) to cook on – The cookware set I linked includes utensils you may need.
- Stove to cook on – I love this little Coleman stove that is linked. It’s so easy to use!
- Foil, plastic wrap, food storage bags, or containers – When/if you have food leftover you will need a way to store it in the cooler.
- Plates, utensils, spatula, pocket knife
- Napkins/paper towels – Alternatively you can bring dish towels or cloth napkins.
- 5 Gallon Collapsible Water Storage Cube – You won’t believe how much you need this and how convenient it is! Fill it up at home before you leave and you won’t have to worry about buying water for the weekend.
- Tent – The Marmot one I linked here is big enough for 2 people and one or two dogs. It is also super easy to set up. I went camping alone last summer and everything linked is what I used and what I was able to set up by myself!
- Pillow, sheets (if bringing inflatable air mattress), blankets (I like to bring extra and bring a couple for the dogs as well. I will lay one down on ground for them for some padding and then one to cover them if temps are low)
- Mat to sleep on or air mattress if you have one.
- Sleeping bag if you aren’t using an air mattress
- Cell phone charger (you can also turn your car on and charge phone there if you have a car charger and especially if you plan on driving to hike in morning)
- Books, puzzles, pens! Love writing in a journal in the tent! Or doing a crossword by the fire before dinner.
- Wireless headphones or earplugs – I have some really nice Sony noise canceling headphones. I am sensitive to noise at night and if there is a loud campsite nearby I will put these on to try and fall asleep.
- Chairs to sit around campfire! These are the best. They are light, fold up tiny and are super easy to put together.
- Bear spray/mace to keep in the tent
- Advanced Elements Sun Shower! Campsite doesn’t have a shower? No problem! Lay this guy in the sun to heat, hang it on a branch and it will feel just like home. 😊 Well, almost. 👀
- Flip flops that you dont mind getting dirty! I like wearing them back and forth to the showers (if there are showers) or down to a little river that might be nearby.
- Headlamp, lantern for tent and/or flashlight – most tents have a hook at the top where you can hang your headlamp or lantern.
- Toiletries – The normal products you would bring on vacation! Toothpaste, toothbrush, cream, soap
- Coins for the coin operated showers – If a campsite does have bathrooms and showers, the showers most likely require a few quarters to turn it on for ~20 minutes. Each one is different, I would bring a few dollar of quarters.
- Clothes and laundry bag for dirty clothes – Like on vacation it is nice to have a place to put your dirty clothes but especially while camping when everything gets extra muddy and dirty. Best to keep this bag in the car somewhere so it’s not taking up room in the tent.
- Bug spray..duh! Keep ticks and mosquitos away. Campfires at night will helps with this, too.
- First aid kit