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Complete Car Camping Checklist

Complete-Car-Camping-Checklist

Checklist Overview

This is my Car Camping Checklist; a list I’ve improved upon over the past 10+ years. I’ve modified this list to include items which may seem redundant (i.e. propane stove, tripod grill, steel grill, charcoal grill), in order to provide you with other camp item options. Before heading out, I print out the checklist and cross off items I’m not bringing. Then, I go through the rest of the checklist and cross off each item as I’m packing up my car. Hopefully this checklist helps you on YOUR next car camping trip! Click on the image above for a Printable PDF version!


Don’t forget to test all battery operated items and charge rechargeable items a couple of days before you leave

  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • Flashlight Batteries
  • Headlamp Battery
  • Portable Speaker System (Radio) Batteries
  • Camera battery
  • Rechargeable LED Lanterns
  • Mattress Air Pump
  • Car Battery Pack

Things to have with you on the ride up to the site (within arms-length & not packed away)

  • Money
  • Wallet
  • Credit Card
  • Cell Phone/GPS (have the telephone numbers of everyone going camping)
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Misc. Cables/Adapters for Electronics
  • Camera
  • Printed Directions as Backup
  • Maps/Trail Maps
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweatshirt
  • Power Inverter
  • Ipod
  • Medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Paper Towels/Napkins

Things to pick up near your campsite

  • More Ice
  • More Beer
  • Water (fill up your Water Jug)
  • Firewood – if going to a site that doesn’t allow collecting downed/fallen wood, buy locally. Visit www.Dontmovefirewood.org for rules/regulations concerning firewood transportation.

Personal Hygiene

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Listerine
  • Unscented Deodorant
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Isopropyl Alcohol/Peroxide
  • Cotton Balls
  • Dry Shampoo (when taking a shower isn’t an option)
  • Feminine Items
  • Small Mirror
  • Nailclippers

Other Personal Items

  • Contacts
  • Contacts Case
  • Contact Solution
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Glasses

Shower Essentials

  • Solar Shower
  • Towel
  • Bar of Soap (w/ plastic holding container)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Flip Flops (if using public showers)
  • Body Wash
  • Face Wash
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Comb

Bathroom Necessities

  • Toilet Paper – try to use biodegradable when camping.
  • Small Shovel/Trowel
  • Baby Wipes
  • Pepto Bismol

Optional Bathroom Necessity

Clothes/Outerwear

  • Underwear
  • Socks (bring extra in case it rains)
  • Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Long Pants
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Belt
  • Poncho/Rain Jacket
  • Sweatshirt/Hoodie
  • Pajamas
  • Hat
  • Bandana
  • Extra pair of sneakers/boots
  • Flipflops
  • Swimsuit/Swimming Trunks
  • Beach Towel

Shelter

  • Tent
  • Groundcloth/Footprint – cut a tarp just under your tent’s base size. If the footprint exceeds the base of your tent, water will likely pool up underneath.
  • Mat for outside the tent door (optional)
  • Tent Poles
  • Tent Stakes
  • Mallet (or use the back of your axe)
  • Tarps
  • Paracord/Nylon Rope
  • Canopy – Best screened canopy I’ve ever owned
  • Canopy Stakes
  • Hammock

Sleep Gear

  • Pillow or Pillow Case (stuffed w/ the extra clothes that you bring)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad

Optional Sleep Gear

  • Blanket – to cover yourself around the campfire on cold nights and/or for sleeping.
  • Cot
  • Air Mattress
  • Air Mattress Pump

Kitchen / Chuck Box

  • Paper Towels
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar
  • Hot Chocolate Mix
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Chopping Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cooking Spray/Oil
  • Spices (Multi Spice Shaker)
  • Condiments
  • Serving Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Oven Mitts
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Garbage Bags – clear bags are great with larger group of people. 1 bag for trash, 1 bag for bottles/recyclables.
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Can Opener
  • Dish Soap
  • Sponge
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Tupperware Containers (food storage)
  • 7 Gallon Water Jug
  • Coolers – bring 2 coolers if possible, one for food and the other for beverages. Nothing worse than having food contaminating your ice water where your beverages are being stored. Plus, the beverage cooler is opened more frequently.
    • Food cooler
    • Beverage cooler
  • Ice – try to freeze gallon jugs or bottles of water. Keeps the cooler cold for much longer and you can drink it after it melts.

Dinnerware

  • Folding Table
  • Table Cloth
  • Camp Chair
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Cup/Mug
  • Hobo Tool (Spoon/Knife/Fork)

Cookware

Lighting

Campfire

  • Lighter/Matches
  • Newspapers
  • Cotton Pads dipped in Wax
  • Extra Tarp – to cover your collected firewood in case it rains.

Tools

Bug Defense

Medications

  • Personal
  • Aloe Vera
  • Benadryl
  • Advil
  • Anti-itch cream (Bug Bites)

Cleaning Section

  • Dust Pan/Brush – to clean out your tent before packing it up.
  • Old Rag – for cleanups.
  • Plastic Tub – for cleaning dishes. As long as you clean your plate after eating, this isn’t a problem. It becomes a problem when you wait to clean it the next day.
  • Dutch Oven Scrubber

Misc. Items

Automobile Items

  • Spare Tire
  • Jack
  • Wrench
  • The knowledge of how to change a flat tire

Things to Do While Camping

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Late Night Walks
  • Relaxing in a Hammock
  • Collecting and Chopping Wood
  • Cooking Food
  • Playing Guitar
  • Writing in a Communal Camping NoteBook
  • Personal Writing/Drawing
    • Pens/Pencils
    • Notebook
  • Read a Book/Magazine
  • Play Cards
  • Fishing
    • Fishing License – most Walmart’s sell them.
    • Fishing Pole
    • Bait/Lures
    • Sinkers/Bobbers
    • Hooks
    • Lines
    • Tackle Box
  • Plant ID Book
  • Wildlife ID Book
  • Binoculars (Bird Watching)
  • Games/Board Games

Car Camping Food/Drink Ideas

Food

  • Hamburgers
  • Hotdogs
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Hotdog Buns
  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Chicken Wings
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Ears of Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Cold Cuts
  • Bread
  • Eggs

Beverages

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Mixed Drinks (Punch)
  • Mini Kegs
  • Vitamin B Complex/B-12 – Take one preferably before and after drinking. Drinking depletes B Vitamins (specifically B12). Taking this helps to prevent sluggishness. Drinks that contain B12 include: Power Aide and Coconut Water.

Snacks

  • Chips
  • Hummus
  • Triscuits
  • Cheese
  • Carrots
  • PB&J
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Smores Ingredients

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