Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @
Camping | Family Camping

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Car Camping Checklist

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I love family camping. It’s one of the best ways to spend time with your family exploring and enjoying God’s beautiful creation. Car camping is a simple way to have a lot of fun any time of the year. Plus, be sure to download my free printable Car Camping Checklist!

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated. 

I know I’ve said this before, but I love camping! Camping, backpacking, hiking… if it involves being out in nature I’m a sucker for it!

For me, waking up in a tent, breathing the fresh air, cooking over a campfire…. it doesn’t get much better than that! What better, more wholesome way to spend time with your family than camping?

My Top 5 Car Camping Essentials

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

So today I wanted to share with you my absolute essentials for a great camp out! Plus, my free printable Car Camping Checklist below has everything you need to remember to pack!

1. Good Food

I talked about my desire for good food while camping a few days ago when I shared 25 of the Best Camping Recipes with you.

But seriously. Who wants to eat bad food? Some of my personal all-time favorites?

While there are times when I prepare our camp food on the propane stove, there’s just something about cooking over a campfire that makes everything taste better. Even if a little ash does get in the food!

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

Just remember, if you are planning to cook over a campfire, bring a grate to set across the fire {unlike me} and use designated cookware – it won’t be the same after using it over a fire. Cast iron works well and you can also find great pots and pans for camping at Wal-Mart or your favorite camping supply store.

2. Wet-Nap Hand Wipes

When you are camping… well, let’s just put it this way… camping can get pretty messy. Whenever I’m camping it just seems like my hands get dirty so fast!

And I’m the grown up. The problem comes mostly from having limited {or no} access to running water. Which is where Wet-Nap Hand Wipes come in sooo handy!

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

And then there’s the kids. Roasted, gooey marshmallows? Someone is bound to get all sticky! {By the way, my girls went crazy over the citrus scented Wet-Nap Wipes. I mean, they really went crazy over it!}

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

Swimming in the lake before dinner? Wet-Nap! 

Playing with the dog who was also playing in the lake… and decided to roll around in the sand before tackling you for a belly rub? Wet-Nap, please.

No joke, I love Wet-Nap Hand Wipes – not only do they moisturize with aloe but they’re soft like cloth! So, they are gentle on faces and hands… perfect for moms who like clean kids. Not to mention they smell soooo good!

They also may or may not be good for wiping off the sticky crud on your table cloth from the last time you went camping. Ooops.

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

Whenever we go on a hike {camping or no camping} I always take Wet-Nap packets along because they are easy to carry and sometimes you just want clean hands before you dive into that trail mix! {By the way, be sure to check out my tips for hiking with kids.}

I also keep a supply of these packets in our first-aid kit because, well, you just never know! 

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

3. A Book to Read and Games to Play

Camping is a great way to disconnect from the outside world {i.e. the internet and cell phones} and really connect with your family. It’s also the perfect time to sit back and relax and enjoy a good book while the kids splash in the lake {or creek}.

My current read: Susan May Warren’s When I Fall in Love. It’s the perfect read for summer time – it’s set in Hawaii after all and while camping and relaxing, why not curl up with a fun book?

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

When we’re camping I always pack a few games for us to play. Our family loves to play games! It’s such an easy way to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Some of our favorites:

4. My Dog

Camping isn’t the same unless I get to bring my sweet Caroline with me. She’s so much fun to camp with! We rescued Caroline from the pound almost two years ago. She went on a 24 mile backpacking trip with me and the girls when we’d only had her three weeks and she was UH-MAZING! She even wore her own backpack and carried her own food and water.

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

She loves camping. She loves playing in the lake. She loves to hike. She’s the perfect dog. She’s soooo obedient. Caroline always comes right back to me when I call her.

I love her. 

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

5. A Hat

Last but definitely not least. I always bring a good hat with me. I pack hats for the kids. A hat is essential to ensuring I have a good camp out.

Not only does a nice cap keep the sun off my face, but it hides my hair. Because, for us at least, we often camp where there is NO running water. Which means my hair doesn’t look so great. But you’d never know it when I wear a hat! Which means I’m not so self-conscious about my appearance.

I also like for my hats to be dark colored {brown or black} so they don’t show the dirt so bad – see #2.

In the winter when we go camping, I always pack winter hats to help us stay warm and I insist that everyone sleep with their winter hats on to hold in that body heat!

Free Printable Car Camping Checklist

Now, for the free printable Car Camping Checklist. I know you’ve been dying to download your own copy!

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @

I laminated my copy of the checklist so I can use it over and over again. I printed it onto card stock to make it sturdier too. Did you know that if you use a Sharpie {or any other permanent marker} on your laminated page it won’t rub off – but then you can erase it use a cotton ball and nail polish remover to take it off!

Free Printable Car Camping Checklist

Car Camping Essentials + Free Printable Checklist @
Car Camping Packing List

How to Download

  1. Click here to get instant access to my free printable Car Camping Checklist to download and print!
  2. You’ll receive a .pdf with 4 pages to print!
  3. Laminate checklist if desired – makes reusing the Car Camping Checklist over and over again so easy!

What is on your Car Camping “Must Haves” List?

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