If you love the outdoors and want to bring plenty of supplies on a trip, consider car camping. Bringing along your tent and other supplies and driving your vehicle to a site is a great way to have a more relaxing experience and maximize the fun. On such a trip, the key is to pack your car with all the essential supplies. Here are the eight things you simply must bring along when you’re car camping.


#1: Tent


Sleeping in the car is never any fun. You’ll never get comfortable, and you’ll wake up in the morning with stiff legs and an unrested mind. Sleeping in a tent, on the other hand, is perfectly comfortable. It also provides unforgettable moments, like telling ghost stories before bed and hearing the birds outside in the morning.


#2: Sleeping Bags


The key to camping comfort is a toasty sleeping bag. A nice bag can keep you warm on even the coldest nights. Don’t forget that the nocturnal hours are often chillier than the day, and bring along the sleeping bags even when you think you might not need them.


#3: Sleeping Pads


The added space of the car (as opposed to the limited space in a backpack) gives you the chance to maximize the comfort of your night’s sleep. Sleeping pads and small air mattresses will fit inside your tent and provide a soft layer of protection between your body and the ground below. This added comfort will create a sleeping environment every bit as comfortable as your bed back home.


#4: Cook Stove


Cooking up a delicious meal is one of the best parts of any camping experience. Small, gas-powered cookstoves are easy to bring along and give you plenty of culinary options. From burgers to hot dogs, sausages to steaks, there are countless hearty meals you can make on your stove that will taste even better in the great outdoors than they do at home. Make sure you bring along the gas canister as well.


#5: Cooler With Drinks


You’re going to get thirsty on your camping trip, and nothing will quench your thirst like an ice cold drink. Hard coolers are great because they double as stools and keep your drinks safe and secure. The RTIC 52-Quart Ultra-Lite Hard Cooler, for example, is a great option because it’s light enough to carry along without throwing out your back. Whether enjoying a sports drink after a hike or an adult beverage around the campfire, you’ll enjoy the icy coolness that such a cooler provides.


#6: Games


The time spent away from computers, television, and wi-fi gives you an excellent opportunity to have some good old fashioned fun. Cards are a no-brainer, but there are all sorts of other games and toys you should consider packing. Frisbees and footballs are great for athletic types, while board games offer a more sedentary option.


#7: Firewood


Nothing caps off a day in the outdoors like a cozy campfire under the stars. Something about the cackling flames, natural warmth, and alluring glow fills a camper with a supreme sense of satisfaction. When you’re car camping, you don’t have to rely on finding scraps of wood around your tent. You can take advantage of the space in your vehicle to bring store-bought bundles of wood. This saves you lots of time since lots of campsites have long since been picked clean of any usable logs. With your own load of wood, you can get right down to the fun part, which is, of course, the fire itself.


#8: S’mores Supplies


Nothing says “camping” like delicious s’mores. If you go camping without the necessary supplies, you’ll likely wind up kicking yourself. The ambiance of a fire out in nature simply begs for some gooey, marshmallow-filled accompaniment. Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers are the essentials, but you should also consider bringing your own sticks. There’s nothing more frustrating than readying your other supplies only to find the campsite lacks the narrow twigs you so desperately need.


Whether you are a family with kids or a rugged outdoor enthusiast, car camping is a fantastic way to explore the wonders of nature. In order to make the most of the experience, you need to bring along all the camping essentials. These eight items are things you won’t want to do without.

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