The Ultimate Packing List for Car Camping (Free Printable PDF)

Car-camping is a great way to travel on a budget, without the need to book a hotel or rent a 4×4. It’s not absolutely necessary to spend 5-figures on a car which is perfectly suited for the purpose, which is often a common misconception from those who think about doing it! Car-camping really is much easier than you think, and we hope to convince you that the car you already have (if you own one) is perfectly suited for this kind of adventure. With a couple of accessories we’ll mention in this article, you will be ready for your first night out.

Overland travel is so much more than high-tech, powerful machines going off-road. We proved this by spending 7 days exploring Croatia in an ’89 VW Golf named Vučko. We did not need to stay in a hotel or a hostel even once, thanks to planning ahead and the equipment we had in the car.

The ability to have a shower was sometimes limited. However, who said that the best adventure is when they have everything within reach?


So, depending on your budget, you might want to source some equipment from your home – most likely you’ll pick up most of your cooking utensils and tools from your kitchen. This will allow you to easily save some funds!

Most of these items do not have to be specialised towards camping – you’re not limited in terms of weight (like you would in the case of normal camping).

Item categories

"Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization."

Charles Lindbergh

We planned these categories according to the usual activities of camping: cooking, enjoying nature, sleeping, and keeping yourself clean and warm. 

Also, there are a couple of gadgets that will keep your devices charged and connected to the world if you wish to do so.

Disclaimer: it is highly recommended to enjoy raw nature and forget about your phone for a while. 


  • Gas cooker
  • Propane
  • Pot and pan
  • Jetboil
  • Portable fridge
  • Plate, bowl, cup, spoon, fork, knife for each person camping
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Frying oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • Leftover containers (if you travel for multiple days)

Creature comforts

  • Camping table
  • Camping chair
  • Blanket
  • Hammock


  • Food ingredients
  • Water (big jug and bottle to fill in)

Keep your cooking plans nice and simple. Use grains, vegetables and nice pieces of meat to create hearty, single-pot meals for maximum flavour and minimal cleanup!

Our favourites


  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad or mattress
  • Roof tent or normal tent (we are all-in roof tenters)
  • A roof tent is an easy solution for camping on-the-go. It can be setup by one person and it takes only a couple of minutes.

    It is a great solution for solo travellers and campers who seem to always be running out of time – these tents are so easy to setup and it is easily manageable in the pitch-black of night.


    • Baby wipes
    • Portable shower
    • Towel
    • Rag
    • Binbag
    • Washing up liquid
    • Sponge


    Spare change of clothes (if the trip is longer than 7 days, pack for 7 and do washing in the meantime).


    • Shampoo bar
    • Body wash
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Antiperspirant
    • Moisturising cream
    • Sunscreen


    • Power bank
    • 12V socket USB charger
    • Camping lamp

    Another advantage of car camping is that your car is a power source in itself. Utilize all power sockets to charge your devices on-the-go, so you don’t have to worry about it when you’re not on the move.

    Having a power bank handy will save your phone from dying in critical situations. 

    Download a printable checklist for car camping adventures.

    We’re giving you free access to this beautiful printable checklist without having to submit your email or like us on social media. 

    We want to keep it real, so if you appreciate what we do and like to read our stories, we will be glad to see you on our Youtube, Instagram, or Facebook page. 

    Thank you and enjoy!


    Car camping can be as easy and cheap or as hard and expensive as you want it to be. We researched tons of products and reviews and used them in a real-life environment for an unbiased opinion. We really hope that now you feel more confident about your upcoming car-camping trip.

    If you have any questions, feel free to drop us an email or send a DM on any social media platform you’re using. 


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