Don’t Forget a Thing: The Ultimate Car Camping Packing Checklist (PDF to Download and Print!)

Don’t Forget a Thing: The Ultimate Car Camping Packing Checklist (PDF to Download and Print!)

When gearing up to sleep in the great outdoors, it can sometimes feel like you’re bringing everything but the kitchen sink—and in some ways, you are. With nothing but the dirt, a picnic table, and a firepit, car camping leaves you with a laundry list of items to bring yourself. And you know how that story goes: The more things you need to bring, the more likely you are to leave something behind.

But fear not! We’re here to make your car camping experience seamless and stress-free. Imagine pulling up to your campsite, the sun setting behind the trees, and as you unload your gear, you realize you’ve got everything you need, neatly organized and ready to go. Surprised? Well, sis,  that's just the beauty of having a checklist at your fingertips. We’ve thought of EVERYTHING, so you won’t forget a thing. 

To help you pack and prep easily, we've compiled the ultimate car camping checklist, complete with a downloadable, printable PDF. Gone are the days of scrambling to remember if you brought cash for the campsite or if you packed the eye mask that will help you sleep like a baby. Our checklist covers every aspect of your camping trip—from shelter to sustenance, safety to sanity-saving items.

From tents to cooking gear sleeping bags to first aid kits, we've got you covered—everything you need to elevate your next camping trip. Let's dive in and get you ready for your next adventure!

 (scroll to the bottom to download the printable PDF)

The Complete Car Camping Packing List

Clothing and Accessories

  • Sweatpants 
  • Leggings
  • Fleece jacket
  • Socks: regular and wool 
  • Undergarments
  • Swimsuit
  • Jeans or jean shorts
  • Tank tops and T-shirts
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals or flip-flops 
  • Rain jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Beanie
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses

Camp Kitchen 

  • Portable stove and propane gas
  • Lantern
  • Pots and pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Knives
  • Cutting board
  • Bottle opener 
  • Cups and mugs
  • Bowls and plates
  • Silverware
  • Fire roasting sticks 
  • Coffee gear
  • Tupperware
  • Ziplock bags
  • Trash bags
  • Washing basin 
  • Sponge
  • Washcloths 
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Large cooler 
  • Backpack cooler
  • Firestarter and kindling
  • Firewood

Campsite Setup

  • Cash for campsite
  • Tent 
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Pillow
  • Sleep mask


  • Toilet paper 
  • Make-up wipes 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Bug spray
  • Lotion 
  • Makeup, if you please
  • Daily skincare regime
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Floss 
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush 
  • Hair ties or clips
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Eye or face masks, just for fun 
  • Aloe


  • Portable charging bank 
  • Charging cord for each device: phone, camera, speaker
  • Camera
  • Speaker 
  • Headphones 

Camping Furniture +

  • Picnic blanket 
  • Camping chairs
  • Folding table
  • Pool towels 
  • Hammock(s)


  • Card, board games, and/or yard games
  • Kindle or book 
  • Journal and pen

Emergency and Medical 

  • First aid kit 
  • Medications: personal prescriptions, ibuprofen, and antihistamine 
  • Emergency burn gel

Food and Drinks

  • Snacks 
  • Prepped meals
  • S’mores supplies 
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Ice
  • Water bottle
  • Gallon water jugs 

Reading next

Know Before You Go: Wildly Helpful Camping Tips for Beginners

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