Do you ever struggle with knowing what to pack for a camping trip? Are those memories of what mom and dad brought along on those family camping outings is a blur? Don’t worry you’re in the right place.

This extensive car camping checklist will help you the next time you go to stock up for a trip in the outdoors.

 

 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download this Car Camping Checklist in PDF

 

HOW TO USE THIS CAMPING PACKING LIST

Before we jump into packing for car camping, I want to give you a quick run down on how to get the most out of this list. Next to each item you will see a few categories, let me explain what they mean. 

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: We know that it is easy to get carried away when it comes to packing for car camping. This section will help you decide what you need to bring and what you can do without. Keep in mind, this will vary from the type of trip you are planning.

PRICE RANGE: It’s good to get an idea of how much each item will cost so you can make a budget.

CONSIDER: Some quick tips on what to look for when buying that item.

OUR TOP PICK: Our editor’s choice based on product quality. If you want an outstanding product and don’t mind paying a bit more, this recommendation is for you.

BEST VALUE: If you want a long lasting product that won’t kill your budget, take a look at this option. 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

***

 

THE ULTIMATE CAR CAMPING CHECKLIST

 

1. OUTDOOR HOME

TENT

eureka tent

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $800

CONSIDER:  How Many People & Weather Conditions

OUR FAMILY PICK:  Eureka Copper Canyon 6 Tent 

OUR COUPLES PICK:  Coleman Sundome 3 Person Tent

ACCESSORIES:  TarpTent Pole RepairMalletDust Pan & Brush

 

 

FOLDING CHAIR

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, If There Are No Benches At Camp

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $150

CONSIDER:  Quality Build & Comfort

TOP PICK:  Helinox Chair One

BEST VALUE:  GSI Outdoor Wilderness Chair 

ACCESSORIES:  Ground SheetBall FeetHelinox Cup Holder

 

 

 

 

FOLDING TABLE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM:  Yes, If There Are No Tables At Camp

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $200

CONSIDER:  Quick & Easy Set Up, Sufficient Size For Group

OUR TOP PICK:  Helinox Table One 

BEST VALUE:  Camp Time Roll-A-Table

 

 

HAMMOCK

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $800

CONSIDER:  Quick & Easy Set Up, Material Quality

TOP PICK:  ENO DoubleNest Hammock 

BEST VALUE:  ErgaLogik Camping Hammock

ACCESSORIES:  Hammock Tree Straps

 

 

COOLER (AKA CHILLY BIN)

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $50 – $500

CONSIDER:  Thermal Resistance, Quality Lid Latchers

OUR TOP PICK:  Yeti Tundra Cooler 

BEST VALUE:  Coleman Steel Cooler

ACCESSORIES:  WheelsIce BlockDividerLock

 

 

SHADE CANOPY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

PURPOSE:  Provide Shade At Camp 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $400

CONSIDER:  Quick & Easy Set Up, Sturdy Construction

OUR TOP PICK:  Coleman Instant Canopy 

BEST VALUE:  REI Alcove Shelter

ACCESSORIES:  Sun WallWeight Bag

 

 

MULTI-DAY
HIKING PACKING LIST

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2. CAMP KITCHEN

CAMP STOVE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $300

CONSIDER:  Fully Adjustable Heat Controls, Windscreen

OUR TOP PICK:  Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner Stove 

BEST VALUE:  Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove

ACCESSORIES:  Carrying BagTank Hose AdapterGriddleGrill

 

 

COOK STATION

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $70 – $150

CONSIDER:  Easy To Store, Multi-Use Tables

OUR TOP PICK:  GCI Outdoor Cook Station 

BEST VALUE:  REI Camp Kitchen

 

 

COOKWARE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $30 – $200

CONSIDER:  Group Size, Non Stick Pots & Pans

OUR TOP PICK:  GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camp Cookware Set 

BEST VALUE:  Coleman 6 Piece Set

 

 

DINNERWARE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $100

CONSIDER:  Group Size & Durable Materials

OUR TOP PICK:  GSI Outdoors Pioneer Dinnerware Set 

BEST VALUE:  Coleman 24 Piece Set

 

CAMP KITCHEN ACCESSORIES

 

 

3. SLEEPING

SLEEPING BAG

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $75 – $400

CONSIDER:  Warmth Retention & Material Quality

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Kelty Cosmic Down 20 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Kelty Tuck Ex 20 Women’s Bag

OUR KID’S PICK:  Kelty Little Tree 

ACCESSORIES:  Liner

 

 

CAMPING MATTRESS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $40 – $300

CONSIDER:  Quick Inflation & Deflation

OUR TOP PICK:   Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed 

BEST VALUE:  REI Camp Bed

ACCESSORIES:  Pump

 

 

COT

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $50 – $300

CONSIDER:  Heavy Duty Construction & Easy To Assemble

OUR TOP PICK:   Therma-Rest LuxuryLite Cot 

BEST BUY:  REI Folding Cot

 

 

PILLOW

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $60

CONSIDER:  Comfortable

OUR TOP PICK:  Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow 

BEST VALUE:  Teton Sports Camp Pillow


 

 

4. ILLUMINATION

HEAD LAMP

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, Or Flash Light

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $120

CONSIDER:  Water Resistance, Brightness

OUR TOP PICK:  Black Diamond Spot 

BEST VALUE:  Black Diamond Gizmo

 

 

LANTERNS

Camping Lantern

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $100

CONSIDER:  Adjustable Brightness Levels, Long Burn Time

OUR TOP PICK:  Goal Zero Lighthouse 

BEST VALUE:  Luci Lantern

 

 

TENT LIGHTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $50

CONSIDER:  Easy To Set Up & Long Burn Time

OUR TOP PICK:  Big Agnes MtnGLO Light Accessory Kit 

BEST VALUE:  Coleman LED String Lights

 

 


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5. ADVENTURE GEAR & FUN

 

 

6. DAY HIKING GEAR

 

DAYPACK

daypack

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Depends On Your Plans

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $240

CONSIDER:  Lots Of Pockets & Lightweight

OUR TOP PICK: Osprey Daylite Pack

BEST VALUE:  Outlander Day Pack

 

 

CHILD CARRIER


poco plus

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Depends On Your Situation & Plans

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $400

CONSIDER:  Ventilation, Padded Frame (Around Child)

OUR TOP PICK:  Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier

BEST VALUE:  Kelty Tour 1.0 Child Carrier

ACCESSORIES:  Rain CoverSun ShadeCarrying Case

 

 

WATER BLADDER OR BOTTLES

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $1 – $60

CONSIDER:  Holds Sufficient Amount Of Water & Easy To Drink From

OUR TOP PICK:  CamelBak Antidote Reservoir 

OUR TOP PICK:  Aquatic Way Hydration Bladder 

ACCESSORIES:  Bite ValveLockThermal ControlCleaning Kit

 

 

WICKING T-SHIRT

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $15 – $80

CONSIDER:  Comfort, Fit, Quick-dry Fabric (Wool or Synthetic)

OUR MEN’S PICK:   Icebreaker Oasis T-Shirt

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Icebreaker Tech-Lite Shirt 

 

 

QUICK DRY PANTS OR SHORTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $100

CONSIDER:  Lightweight, Comfortable, Quick Dry-Fabric

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Prana Stretch Zion Shorts 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Prana Tess Shorts

 

 

WICKING UNDERWEAR

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $50

CONSIDER:  Comfort & Quick-Dry Fabric

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Boxers 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Icebreaker Sprite Hot Pant

 

WATERPROOF RAIN JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

 

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, If You Expect Rain

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $400

CONSIDER:  Seam Seals, Waterproof-Breathable Liner

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Outdoor Research Foray Jacket 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Outdoor Research Foray Jacket

 

 

WATERPROOF RAIN PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, If You Expect Rain

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $400

CONSIDER:  Seam Seals, Waterproof-Breathable Liner

OUR MEN’S PICK:   Outdoor Research Helium Pants 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Outdoor Research Aspire Pants

 

 

WICKING BASE LAYER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, For Cool Weather Camping

PRICE RANGE:  $30 – $120

CONSIDER:  Warmth, Breathability & Quick-Dry Fabric

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Arc’teryx Phase AR Baselayer

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Arc’teryx Phase SV Baselayer

 

 

WICKING LEGGINGS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, For Cool Weather Camping

PRICE RANGE:  $20 – $100

CONSIDER:  Comfort, Breathability, Quick-Dry Material

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Icebreaker Oasis Leggings

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Icebreaker Oasis Leggings

 

 

FLEECE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $40 – $200

CONSIDER:  Comfort, Warmth, Fit

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody 

 

 

BEANIE OR BALACLAVA

pocket beanie

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes, For Cool Weather Camping

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $30

CONSIDER:  Comfort, Warmth & Fit 

OUR PICK:   Icebreaker Pocket Beanie 

 

 

HIKING BOOTS OR SHOES

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $100 – $400

CONSIDER:  Comfort, Support & Grippy Sole

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Salomon X Ultra Mid Boots 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Salomon X Ultra Boots

LEARN MORE:  How To Choose Hiking Boots

 

 

SOCKS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  Yes

PRICE RANGE:  $10 – $30

CONSIDER:  Cushioning, Appropriate Cut For Your Shoes 

OUR MEN’S PICK:  Darn Tough Vermont Socks 

OUR WOMEN’S PICK:  Darn Tough Vermont Socks

 

 

GPS DEVICE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

ESSENTIAL ITEM?:  No

PRICE RANGE:  $200 – $800

CONSIDER:  Easy To Use & Long Battery Life

OUR TOP PICK:  Garmin eTrex 30x

BEST MODELS:  Top GPS Devices of the Year


 

 

7. PERSONAL ITEMS & ACCESSORIES 

 

 

8. FOOD

MORNING

 

MIDDAY/EVENINGS 

 

 

9. DOG GEAR

 

 

10. CAMERA GEAR

 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download this Car Camping Checklist in PDF

 

Do you want to save money on hiking gear?

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