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Top 10 Car Camping Essentials For Beginners

December 16, 2022 1 Comment

Top 10 Car Camping Essentials For Beginners

Photo by Alfred Boivin on Unsplash

Think you don't need anything beyond a tent to car camp? Think again!

Imagine you're a camper. You've been looking forward to this trip for months, and finally the day has arrived. You load up your car with all of your camping gear and hit the open road. As you pull into the campsite, you realize you forgot something important. Don't let this happen to you. Read on for information on what to pack for your next car camping adventure.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To EV Car Camping

In this blog post, we will list out the top 10 car camping essentials that you should bring on your very first car camping trip. From sleeping bags & pads to cookware and water purifier, we will cover it all! So whether you're headed out for a weekend in the woods or a cross-country road trip, make sure to pack these 10 awesome car camping essentials!

Here are the top 10 car camping essentials you need to make your trip as comfortable and convenient as possible.

1) Sleeping System

car camping essentials

A car camping trip means being able to sleep comfortably no matter where you are. That’s why a great sleeping bag is essential, along with a sleeping pad for extra comfort. If you’re car camping with family or friends, make sure everyone has their own sleeping system to avoid any arguments over who gets the comfiest spot!

Sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and warmth levels to accommodate different campers. Choose one that fits your needs and will keep you comfortable in the temperature range you’re expecting. Sleeping pads come in both inflatable and self-inflating varieties. Again, choose one that fits your needs – if you plan on car camping in a particularly cold climate, opt for a thicker pad with more insulation. With all of the different sleeping pads on the market, it can be hard to know which is the best for you. So, we recommend getting our UL140 Sleeping Pad. It provides extra cushioning and insulation, making your car camping experience more comfortable.

Related: A Quick Guide To Self Inflating Sleeping Pads

If you want to amp up your comfort levels, consider bringing along a portable cot. These can be a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it if you want to be able to sleep soundly through the night. Likewise, you could also bring an inflatable pillow such as our ALUFT Deluxe Pillow. It's small, lightweight, and hardly takes up any space in your car.

2) Camping Stove & Fuel

car camping essentials

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A camping stove is a must-have car camping essential if you want to be able to cook hot meals while you’re on your trip. There are all sorts of different models and brands available, so do some research to find one that will suit your needs. Because this is for car camping purposes, you should highly consider getting a stove that is easy to set up and doesn't require a lot of extra gear. For beginners with not much experience using a camping stove, we recommend getting a canister stove. These stoves screw onto the top of a small, pressurized gas canister and have an adjustable flame, so they're very easy to use.

Do keep in mind that, the camping stove you choose must be compatible with the type of fuel you plan on using. As far as fuel goes, you have a few different options. Propane is one of the most popular types of fuel for car camping stoves because it’s relatively easy to find and use. Butane is another option, although it can be a bit more difficult to find in some areas. Alternatively, you could use white gas, which is more expensive but will last longer. Whatever fuel you choose, make sure to pack enough to last the entire trip. It’s also a good idea to pack a backup just in case. When it comes to car camping, always err on the side of caution when it comes to packing essential supplies.

Related: How to choose a camping cookware?

3) Firestarter

car camping essentials

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A good firestarter is essential for car camping. Whether you're car camping for a weekend or setting out on a longer backpacking trip, fire is essential for cooking food and keeping warm. Matches and lighters can be easily damaged or lost, so it’s always good to have a backup. Firesteel is a great option because it’s durable and easy to use. You could also pack some dryer lint, which makes an excellent fire starter. As long as you have a way to start a fire, you’ll be able to keep warm and cook food while car camping. We highly recommend buying a firestarter that's waterproof. If you're looking for an easy way to get your fire started, check out the UCO Stormproof Matches. They're easy to light and will stay lit even in strong winds and rain. But before you hit the road, make sure to learn how to use the firestarter.

Related: Best Firestarters Of 2022

4) Water Purifier

car camping essentials

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A water purifier is an essential car camping tool, especially if you’re car camping in an area where the water isn’t potable. When you go car camping, one of the most important things to bring is a water purifier. Not only do you need it for drinking, but you'll also need it for cooking and cleaning. Not all water purifiers are created equal, so be sure to choose wisely! We recommend the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any chemicals or batteries. Just fill up the bottle with water from a river, lake, or stream, and the Grayl will purify it for you. If you’re car camping in an area where there are no potable water sources, then you’ll need to bring your own water with you. We recommend bringing at least one gallon of water per person, per day.

5) Cooler

car camping essentials

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When it comes to car camping, not bringing a cooler can be disastrous. Not only do you need something to store your food and drinks in, but you also need something that will keep everything cold in the hot summer sun. We recommend the Coleman 60-Quart Cooler with Wheels. This cooler is perfect for short trips, as it has a small footprint but can hold up to 60 quarts of food or drinks. It comes with sturdy wheels that make transport easy, and it's also available in several different colors so you can choose the one that best suits your style. Once you bought it, try to pack items that will remain cold for as long as possible. Meat, cheese, eggs, and yogurt should go in the bottom of the cooler, with salad greens and other perishable items on top. And don't forget ice packs or frozen gel packs!

Related: 14 Best Coolers Perfect For Any Outdoor Activity

6) Camping Table

car camping essentials

A camping table is a great car camping essential for those who enjoy cooking or spending time outdoors. It's the perfect way to keep all your things organized and within reach. Not to mention, it provides a place to eat and relax. There are many different styles of camping tables available, so choose one that best suits your needs. For example, some have built-in storage shelves or cup holders. Others fold up for easy storage.

When choosing a camping table, consider the size of your vehicle and how much space you have to store the table when it is not in use. You also want to make sure that the table is stable and will not easily tip over. Look for a model that has been tested for safety. If you are looking for a portable option, there are some folding camping tables available that can be easily transported in a car.

We recommend getting our Large TALU Camping Table. This table is super lightweight and easy to set up, which makes it perfect for trips where space is limited. Plus, it's really affordable too, so it's perfect for anyone on a budget. You'll love how handy this table is on your next car camping trip!

Related: How to choose the best camping table?

7) Camping Chair

car camping essentials for beginners

Next on our list of car camping essentials is a good camping chair. This is another item that you will use all the time while car camping, so it's worth investing in a good-quality chair that is comfortable and durable. Not only do they make sitting around the campfire more comfortable, but they also provide a place to sit when you're taking a break from hiking or exploring the area. Again, there are many different types of camping chairs on the market, so take your time and find one that suits your needs.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a camping chair:

-How much weight can the chair hold?

-Does the chair recline or have a footrest?

-Is the chair easy to fold up and transport?

-How comfortable is the seat?

-Is the price affordable?

Once you've considered these factors, you can decide which camping chair is right for you. But if you want our recommendation, you can go with our YIZI GO Camping Chair. Whether you're looking for a comfortable camp chair or one that is lightweight and easy to transport, our YIZI GO Camping Chair is the perfect option for you. It is super comfy, can hold up to 300 lbs (135 Kg), and folds up easily so you can take it with you wherever you go. Plus, it's very budget-friendly!

Related: What to look for in a camping chair?

8) Headlamp

car camping essentials

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You're going to need a headlamp for car camping because there are no streetlights in the middle of the woods! A headlamp is also great for reading at night or going on late-night hikes. Nowadays you can find headlamps that are very lightweight and comfortable to wear, so don't worry about feeling weighed down. Some can even last for up to 100 hours on a single charge, which is pretty incredible. Plus, they are not very expensive either. We recommend the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp because it is lightweight, has a long battery life, and is very affordable. But really any headlamp will do the trick!

9) Tool Set

car camping essentials

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You should always have a basic tool set with you when car camping, just in case something goes wrong with your car. A mechanic's tool set is perfect for car camping, as it includes everything you need to fix minor problems with your vehicle. A few essentials that you should bring are a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, wrenches, pliers, a hammer, heavy-duty scissors, and a pry bar. Again, you can find all of these things at your local hardware or car supply store. Whether you are fixing a flat tire or just doing some general maintenance on your vehicle, these tools will come in handy.

10) First Aid Kit

car camping essentials

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Last but not least, you should always have a first aid kit with you when car camping. This is especially important if you are car camping with children. A basic first aid kit should include supplies for minor injuries, such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, and pain relievers. You can find pre-made first aid kits at most drugstores. It's also a good idea to include supplies for more serious injuries, such as a CPR mask and stretcher. By packing a first aid kit, you can ensure that you're prepared for any emergency that may occur during your trip. In terms of car camping essentials, a first aid kit is an absolute must. So be sure to get one that is comprehensive and pack it in an easily accessible place.


Now that you know the 10 car camping essentials for beginners, you're ready to hit the road! Just remember to pack everything on this list and you will be sure to have a great time. Keep in mind that car camping is a bit different than traditional camping, so you don't need to bring all of the same gear. For example, you don't need to bring a tent because you'll be sleeping in your car.

Thanks for reading and happy car camping!

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1 Response

Charles Krim
Charles Krim

April 21, 2024

I love the freedom of car camping! It’s like having your own cozy little home on wheels. Thank you for the camping gear pack list it’s a beneficial guide. 🚗⛺️

I love to share the best six car camping sites in metro manila: https://www.wkadventures.com/outdoor/six-best-car-camping-sites-near-metro-manila/

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