There are many ways to camp in your car, some say it is easy and others complicate things. In light of that, we are here to help un-complicate things and to help you get on the right track so that you can have a fun and exciting car camping experience.
There is nothing like the total freedom that camping has to offer, and car-camping provides you with the means to go camping anywhere you want! Car camping is a lot of fun, and there are so many fun and different ideas that we are sure you already have racing around in your mind. However, before you set out on your next car-camping adventure, you will want to think about some preparations first.
What Temperatures Will You Be Encountering?
No matter where you go, it is always a possibility to encounter different temperatures than you are expecting. Whether you are going into a colder or a warmer environment, make sure you bring some extras like a small heater or fan. These will be there to either keep yourself cool or warm when you are camping in your car. Try to bring either a battery-powered or solar-powered tool, these will be used as backup resources to keep you comfortable. This will also help you run your car less often so that you do not have to drain its resources such as its battery and fuel.
First of all, you will want to start by getting the basics out of the way. You do not need to have everything, but you do need the essentials. Preparing for car camping does not have to be complicated, and do not worry if you have no idea where to start. We will list some main preparations and explain them below to help you get some footing. If you are going car camping for more than a couple of days, you will want to have most of the below.
Before you read on, we want to take a moment and say that although these lists seem long, most of these items are common in kits found all over the place. So do not worry, and do not let it get to you. We have simply laid out everything that should be in your kits.
1). Do You Have The Basic Essentials For Car Camping?
Making sure you have the essentials is an important step for your safety, and whomever you might bring with you. Having the basics can and will go a long way to helping you in a situation where things don’t go your way. We will list some of them below. We also added some information to each of these items just for a little added detail and to help you better understand the use and importance of each item.
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Below Is An Example Of A Basic First-Aid Kit:
- An Up-To-Date First-Aid Manual:
- First-aid manuals include important procedures for emergencies. These manuals show you what to do, and how to do it.
- Splints are for broken limbs, and broken digits, so bring splints for fingers and limbs.
- Small bandages of all different sizes that are made for healing smaller cuts.
- Gauze is for covering larger wounds and for helping with wrapping up splits, etc.
- Sterilizers (Antiseptic Wipes Etc.):
- Sterilizers are used to sterilize any wounds to help prevent any infection(s).
- Tweezers are used for getting sharp objects out of your skin. They are also used to safely pull small insects off of you.
- Benadryl Or Similar:
- Benadryl and other fever reducers are mainly used to help with the swelling of the skin and fever.
- Medical Gloves:
- Medical gloves are used to avoid any potential bacterial transfer from your hands to open wounds. It is the other way around if you are treating someone else, and in that case, the gloves would be there to protect you.
- Safety Pins:
- Safety pins are hold bandages together. These pins are also for creating slings and so on.
- Triangular Bandages:
- Triangular bandages are for body cuts and even a sling.
- Scissors cut bandages, etc.
- Adhesive Medical Tape:
- Adhesive tape can help with binding bandages and even small wounds if necessary.
- Medication (If You Take Any):
- If you take any medications, bring as many as you need for as long as you will be car-camping and a couple of extra days worth just to be on the safe side.
Below Is An Example Of A Basic Emergency Car Kit:
- Spare Tire:
- A spare tire is stored in the case that you get a flat tire.
- Tire Inflator:
- A tire inflator is for pumping up your flat tire if it is deflated. If you can, bring an electric or battery-powered air compressor and tire inflator. Something along the lines of the Ontel Air Hawk Pro Automatic Cordless Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor, Easy to Read Digital Pressure Gauge, Built-In LED Light would be an excellent choice.
- Tire Patches:
- Tire patches are for fixing holes in your tire(s) if one or more gets a hole or holes.
- Extra Fuel:
- It is always a great idea to bring extra gas with you so that you won’t get stranded. If possible, bring a 5-gallon can.
- Jumper Cables Or A Car Jump Starter:
- Jumper cables are for jumping your car battery with another running vehicle in case your car battery dies. A jump starter is a self-powered device that can give your car battery a jump if it dies and if it is possible, bring both of these items when you go car camping. For a self-powered jump starter, the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Portable Lithium Car Battery Jump Starter Pack For Up To 6-Liter Gasoline And 3-Liter Diesel Engines is one of the best we have found. For regular jumper cables, the Energizer 6 Gauge Jumper Battery Cables are a great option. Energizer has been around for a long time and they created these jumper cables with quality in mind.
- Electrical Tape:
- Electrical tape is for wrapping up any wiring that may be loose or frayed. This tape can also be wrapped around or over any possibly electrically charged items to protect you from being electrocuted.
- Backup Fuses:
- A fuse can pop at any given time, so make sure you have some extra fuses. A blown fuse can sometimes mean very little trouble, however, a blown fuse can also cause your vehicle not to start, so bring some extra of each size of fuse that your vehicle uses.
- Basic Tools:
- A basic tool kit for your car containing at least a screwdriver with bits, a small wrench set, pliers, and a ratchet along with some sockets that are commonly used for your vehicle (10–19mm for example). This will be in case you have any small issues with your vehicle that you can fix by yourself. These same tools can also put together any items you might have that need to be assembled before you can use them. You can also easily find a small mechanic’s repair kit in a lot of places if that is what you choose to get.
- A Basic O.B.D 2:
- A basic O.B.D. 2 or second-generation (On-Board-Diagnostics) tool can help you understand any trouble lights that your car may be showing on the dashboard. The BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android is one of, if not the very best in it’s class! This O.B.D 2 reader will tell you what is wrong in detail and even has an app that will help you solve the problem if you are not mechanically inclined!
- Windshield Scraper:
- A windshield scraper will be used in case you get some nasty gunk on your windshield or to get ice off of your windshield if you go car-camping in the cold. The Subzero 532 Colors May Vary Snow Brush, Fixed Head, Plastic, 26 In is a very good windshield scraper that has 2 sides. One side is a scraper and the other side is a brush!
Below Are Some Camping Supplies:
- For sustenance
- For hydration
- Sleeping Bag:
- A sleeping bag is for somewhere to sleep and to keep your body temperature regulated when outside temperatures get cold. Bring a sleeping bag that can handle most temperatures. If you are unsure of what to get, here is one of our posts on how to find the right sleeping bag -> https://outdoorcampingadvice.com/how-to-find-the-right-sleeping-bag/
- Extra clothes:
- Bring at least a few of each clothing item. Such as shirts, pants, undergarments, etc.
- A Cooler:
- A cooler is for storing anything that needs to stay cold. Items such as food and drinks.
- A Lantern Or A Flashlight:
- To help light your way in the dark. If possible, bring one that is rechargeable. If you need help finding a good lantern, check this one out, it is even rechargeable! -> KYNG Rechargeable LED Lantern Brightest Light for Camping, Emergency Use, Outdoors, and Home- Lasts for 250 Hours on a Single Charge- Includes USB Cord and Wall Plug, Built-in Phone Charger <-
- A Tent:
- Tent size depends primarily on how many people you bring with you unless you want lots of room, then bring a big tent for yourself. If you need help with finding the right tent, we have a post all about that -> https://outdoorcampingadvice.com/how-to-find-the-perfect-tent-size/
- Camping Tools:
- Survival equipment such as a knife, a hatchet, and a small saw. Here is an awesome camping and hiking multi-tool kit -> RoverTac Multitool Camping Tool Survival Gear Handy Gifts for Dad Men UPGRADED 14 in 1 Stainless Steel Multitool with Hammer Axe Knife Plier Screwdrivers Saw Bottle Opener Durable Sheath <-
- Cooking Supplies:
- Cooking supplies are things such as pots, pans, and utensils. Or you can bring a mess kit or camp cooking kit that includes everything you need so that you can cook on the go. Here is a great mess kit -> 1 Liter Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear & Hiking Outdoors Bug Out Bag Cooking Equipment 10 Piece Cookset | Lightweight, Compact, & Durable Pot Pan Bowls – Free Folding Spork, Nylon Bag <-
- This item is self-explanatory, firestarters are used for lighting fires so that you can stay warm and cook your food. You can also use a fire to boil and sanitize potentially contaminated water in a dire situation. Here is a great firestarter -> Tag-Z Emergency Fire Starter – Permanent Match – Forever Lighter – Camping Fire Starter <-
- Rain gear:
- Sometimes rain is unpredictable, even when you do not expect it. Prepare beforehand and bring some gear like a raincoat.
- Hiking Boots:
- Hiking boots are great when you want to go adventuring outside of your vehicle. They can protect your feet much better than traditional shoes. The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots are a great choice!
- Personal Hygiene Items:
- Personal hygiene items are things such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Along with soap for your hair and body, etc.
- Cold gear:
- No matter where you go, the temperatures can drop during the night. You do not want to be caught without proper protection from the cold.
In Conclusion: Car camping can be something that truly gives you some real freedom in this world. A lot like traditional camping, the first time is never the only great time you will have. Every time is always awesome! So do not let anything stop you from enjoying the camping life! Thank you for allowing us to help you on your way to the freedom life of car camping!