Car Camping Checklist

If you are going car camping, and you haven’t done it in a while or it’s your first time, this car camping checklist is for you. I like having checklists because it helps me to remember what I need to bring.

Yes, this list is obvious but there’s been many a times I didn’t follow a list and I’ve forgotten the basics, like toilet paper or my contact solution.

Not fun to forget these items when you are miles away from a store, and not just 20 miles away, it could be 50 – 60 miles away, up and over several mountains and it’s late, nothing is open.

Been there, don’t want that to happen again.

So I speak from experience and want to share my personal car camping checklist I keep in our camping room (picture above)

Now I must say I still forget something but lately it hasn’t been anything that I can’t do without and because of a list my forgetfulness has greatly improved.

Car Camping Checklist


Sleeping bags and pillows

Air mattress and pump or a sleeping pad

Tarp or Canopy

Kitchen stuff

Camping Table (optional)

Stove with fuel

Trash Bags/Ziploc Bags

matches and or lighter

Cooking utensils and pot/pans


Dish towel/scrubber/dish soap

Cooler filled with ice, food and beverages


Toilet Paper



Soap/Sanitizing lotion



Contact Solution/case/glasses/extra contacts


Hiking pants

x Socks/liners

Rain gear

Long underwear (depending on the season)

Hat/gloves/fleece jacket (again depending on the season/weather)

Hiking boots

Camp shoes – for wearing around the campfire at night after a long day of hiking.

Water shoes – if you plan to go swimming in the river or doing some water crossings on your day hike.

****Stay away from cotton clothing when you’re hiking. OK to wear around the campfire though.*****

Other Essentials

Water bottle/ Water Purifier

Compass/GPS /Maps

Camera/X batteries/smartphone


First Aid Kit





X batteries

Lip Balm

Bug repellent


Day Pack




Battery Chargers

car camping list

Here’s our car camping setup.

So there’s your car camping checklist. I do use this same list for backpacking,  I just modify it slightly.

I also make  separate lists for food and for the dogs. Yes, more lists – I LOVE THEM!

Feel free to print this (print button to your left) and change or add to it to fit your needs. And if you know someone who needs a car camping checklist please share this post with them.

Happy Car Camping!


car camping checklist

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