Camping Gear Items Most Useful for Car Camping

Camping, Packing & Organizing -

Camping Gear Items Most Useful for Car Camping

Not all of us own an SUV or pickup truck. However, that does not stop those of us with cars from finding a camping spot. With the proper collection of camping gear, you can make your car into a camping machine that carries everything you need for a few days of camping.

What is car camping?

Car camping does not mean you sleep in your car. Instead, you use a car to get to your camping destination instead of an RV, pickup truck, or SUV.

Some cars are comfortable, enough to sleep in, and many will sleep in them on camping trips. However, a car with a tent, sleeping bags, cots, kitchen gear, a cooler, and groceries can be a tall order unless you are organized.

Without organization, you may end up on Cripple Creek without a way to cook a meal other than on a twig over a fire.

What camping gear will you need for car camping?

Every camping trip requires a few essentials for your comfort and safety.

Tents — so many to choose from

There are many tents on the market. Tents for one person and tents big enough they have separate rooms.

With the advent of car top tents, you have a new option if you are looking for a tent for car camping. The benefit of a car-top tent is you are off the ground, which puts you away from bugs, snakes, and other creatures that roam the woods.

Choosing the right tent camping equipment is personal, and only you know your needs. However, take your time when tent shopping to ensure you get the tent you need and want.

Ground cloth

Before setting it up, many campers place a ground cloth under their tent. This can help insulate you from ground chill and dampness.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags, like tents, come in many styles and different weights. For example, if you are camping in Florida, you don’t need a sleeping bag rated for subzero temperatures. But, on the other hand, if you are camping during the winter or in areas where the nights grow cool, a sleeping bag rated for cooler areas is suggested.

Ground pads, cots, air mattresses

Your sleeping bag does not need anything under it, but you do. Sleeping pads made of foam, cots, and air mattresses will put a layer of comfort and insulation between you and the ground.


Another alternative to sleeping on the ground is hammocks. They are made for resting in the shade or can be hanging tents that will keep you secure from the elements and the bugs.

Camping stove

You can go purely rustic with your cooking when car camping or take a few creature comforts. A camp stove is one of these items, and like all camping gear, it can be small and compact or big enough to cook a meal for a crowd.

Again, you know what you need, and keep in mind that whatever gear you add will need to fit in the car.

Camp kitchen

A camp kitchen with its own storage space like the Out-In-About-Box™ can help you keep your camping kitchen gear in one place. Then, when you are ready for a car camping trip, you toss it in the car, knowing you will have what you need when you arrive at your campsite.

Camping gear to include in your camp kitchen:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Can opener
  • Pot and a pan
  • Dutch oven
  • Mess kits, or plates, cups, and flatware
  • Trash bags
  • A water jug and bottled water
  • Coffee pot or instant coffee and cocoa
  • Groceries, including granola bars and other high protein snacks

Folding camp table

Many campsites have tables, grills, and other amenities. However, primitive sites may have nothing more than a fire ring. Therefore, a folding table will come in handy for preparing food, holding your camp kitchen, and dining.

Folding camp chairs

Folding camp tables and chairs, especially those with cup holders, will give you a comfortable place to sit.

Camping lantern/ flashlight

Whether you prefer a lantern that uses fuel or a more modern LED camp lantern, you need at least one when you are car camping. But, of course, every camper in your group needs a flashlight, too.

Camping tools

Other items you need to have in a backpack, so they are handy, or in another box include the following:

  • First aid kit
  • Tent repair kit
  • Multi-tool
  • Folding shovel
  • Ax or hatchet
  • Knife
  • Lighter
  • Water filter
  • Rope or Para cord

Camping equipment storage

One of the biggest challenges of camping is being sure that everything you need makes it to the campsite with you.

It is easy for things to become disorganized between car camping trips. However, if your camping gear has a home of its own, it will be ready and waiting to go when you are.

Using camping equipment like the Out-In-About-Box™ can help you keep all your camping gear in one place. Proper storage for your camp kitchen and other gear will ensure you have everything you need when you arrive at your campsite.