Complete Car Camping Checklist – Don’t Forget Anything

car camping checklistTaking a car camping trip is one of the most enjoyable (and my favorite) ways to go camping. Unlike backpacking or motorcycle camping, you can bring whatever your car can carry. There are no weight or size limits (except those of your car). Using a complete car camping checklist will ensure that you don’t miss a thing when you’re packing.

While you do have a lot more space than someone going backpacking or motorcycle camping, it’s important to think strategically about what you’re bringing and not just throwing everything you own in the car. After all, your car will run out of space eventually.

It’s also a good idea to get a packing system down – each time you go car camping, pack your stuff in a similar way. You’ll soon find better ways to pack your stuff that will help you get more stuff in the car and unpack it easier at the camp site.

Car Camping Essentials Checklist

  1. Tent
  2. Rainfly
  3. Tent
  4. Rain fly
  5. Tarp
  6. Sleeping Bags
  7. Sleeping Pads
  8. Pillows
  9. Extra Blankets
  10. Propane Camp stove
  11. Barbecue
  12. Campfire cooking equipment
  13. Can opener (or multi-tool)
  14. Cooler
  15. Propane (or other fuel)
  16. Water Jugs
  17. Folding Camping Table
  18. Pots & Pans
  19. Utensils
  20. Plates & Bowls
  21. Food
  22. Water
  23. Dish soap
  24. Firestarter/matches
  25. First Aid Kit
  26. Tooth brush
  27. Toothpaste
  28. Washcloths
  29. Towels
  30. Toilet Paper
  31. Feminine Hygiene
  32. Shaving Kit
  33. Shovel
  34. Rake
  35. Toolkit
  36. Flashlights
  37. Extra Clothes
  38. Extra Shoes
  39. Rain Gear
  40. Splitting Maul
  41. Rope
  42. Whistle
  43. Lantern

Along with all the car camping essentials, you’ll also want to bring other things to make the trip more enjoyable and easier.

Optional Car Camping Checklist

  1. Camping Cots or other bedding
  2. Mat for outside tent
  3. Broom
  4. Pavilion
  5. Camping coffee pot
  6. Extra coolers
  7. Folding camping chairs
  8. Spices
  9. Mugs
  10. Can coolers
  11. Cutting board
  12. Pie irons
  13. Cooking sticks
  14. Aluminum foil
  15. Steak knives
  16. Dutch oven
  17. Table cloth
  18. Butane lighter
  19. Pot holders
  20. Tongs/Spatulas
  21. Ziplock bags
  22. Corkscrew

Having all the equipment you need when you leave home will make your camping trips less stressful and much more fun. The worst is forgetting one of the car camping essentials and having to spend the weekend without something you really need.

Use a checklist (or make your own) and mark off every item as you pack it into your car. Check it off any earlier and you may find that it’s still on the table at home when you go to grab it out of your car.

Photo by bpende on Flickr.

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