Never heard of or thought of car camping? I had never really given it any thought because, to me, I was either “tent camping” with the kids or hiking out back. Meaning we were either at a campground or I was out on a trail. But recently I’ve begun to change my mind. I realized that with the right car, I could combine the comforts of the campground with the solitude of the backwoods.
Car camping can really help your transition to or even expand your ability to “get away from it all”. Look it as a way to use your vehicle to get you to adventure in really out of the way and extraordinarily cool places. Cheaper than an Airbnb, beside a river you’re going to fish the next day, or at the trail-head you’re going to hike, convenient, comfortable, and an affordable base camp. Not to mention the added benefit of a cooler- better food, and more beer. So now that you’re starting to see the benefits of the car, what type of gear should you look at?
You don’t need all sorts of high end gear and fancy gadgets to enjoy car camping. There are however a few things you will want to take with you. You decide which ones you want to splurge on, there is something in every budget.
Car Camping list
- A cooler- I’m a fan of the COLEMAN STEEL-BELTED COOLER
- Tent, or an air mattress for the car- I like a tent that attaches- Napier Backroadz SUV Tent
- A sleeping bag, blankets, pillow, mattress
- An appropriate pack for organizing and day hiking. KIMLEE 40L DAYPACK
- Water. Two gallons per night, per person.
- Food- did we even have to say?
- Cooking gear, including dishes, stove, pot, and lighter. I’m in the car, I’m going to eat a little better than on the trail- I like the basecamp- Jetboil Genesis Basecamp
- Toiletries, like toothbrush, toothpaste, paper (biodegradable) etc.
- Comfort- camp chairs, a hammock, folding table, and anything really that you want to be more comfortable. I’m certainly bringing a Bluetooth speaker so I can play tunes and plenty of charging ability. Solar for sure.
- Layers, pack for the changes in weather. A decent windbreaker/raincoat, hat, fleece take up no room.
This list is far from all inclusive and is certainly meant to be customizable. For instance, I’m not going anywhere without a coffee maker of some type. I have a buff, hat, and bandanna attached to my pack. My walking stick is essential, plan your gear accordingly. What activities will you be doing, how long are you going for? What’s your budget? The beauty of car camping, you can glamp it up all you want or rough it- totally up to you.