A Checklist for Car Campers

To bring an end to our week of camping posts, I bring you this handy, dandy car-camping checklist.


  • Tent
  • Tarps
  • Small entry rug—so you can comfortable take off your shoes before you enter your tent
  • Chair
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Pillow (or just stuff some of your clothes into a pillow case)
  • Headlamp
  • Lantern
  • Bug repellent (Thermacell or Permethrin)


  • Mallet
  • Hatchet for chopping wood
  • Knife/Scissors
  • Nylon rope—for a clothesline, for making a tarp shelter, for hanging food, etc.
  • Duct tape—because you always need it for something
  • Dust pan and whisk broom (for brushing up the inside of your tent)


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large spoon
  • Spatula
  • Tongs with long arms—great for cooking over a campfire and stoking the fire
  • Pot
  • Plates, utensils, and mugs
  • Some means for making coffee, such as one of these.
  • Foil
  • Matches/long-nosed butane lighter
  • Fire-starting aids—buy them or make your own
  • Spice kit: use a pill holder and place a different spice in each day of the week, like salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne, seasoned salt, thyme, and paprika.
  • Tablecloth
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Trash bags
  • Dish towel
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Camp sink: one tub for washing, one tub for rinsing
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Plenty of water

Clothes for around camp:

  • Hat (for tick protection and warmth)
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Fleece or hoodie and long pants (regardless of how warm it’s supposed to be—trust me on that!)
  • Easy on/easy off camp shoes
  • Sleeping clothes, so you’re not dragging the day’s muck into your sleeping bag