Suburban en route to Laguna Brava Yalambojoch

Car Camping Pack List

Headed to the woods on a car camping adventure? Here’s an exhaustive list of things you can take to be prepared (or over-prepared).

Obviously, you can get by with much less, but taking all of these items kept my parents more comfortable and happy, so it was worth it. Can you tell there are some Enneagram sixes in the house?

Car Camping Pack List

Personal Items

Clothes (sleeping, hiking, warm clothes, light clothes, socks, underwear)
Jacket/sweater, Rain jacket
Hiking shoes, Sandals
Swimsuit and Towel, Hat, Sunscreen, Aloe Vera, Insect Repellant
Toiletries (brush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, floss, hair products if needed)
Water bottle and/or hydra pack 
Camera and batteries
Phone, charger, car charger
Books to read, a journal, pencils, games, etc.

Camping Supplies

Camping at the Cenotes de Candelaria
Camping at the Cenotes de Candelaria

Tent/s with drop sheets, stakes, rainfly, taut lines (Pre-treat tent seams and fabric to repel water — use all stake loops and guy loops with taut lines in high winds)
Sleeping bag and mat, plus a straight sheet (for warm nights)
Headlamps and camping lanterns
Small brush and dustpan for sweeping out tent
Clothesline and clothespins
toilet paper

Car Camping Cooking Gear & Essentials

Morning Coffee while Camping at Cenotes de Candelaria
Photo by Rick McArthur

salt, cooking oil (I like olive & coconut), spices* (we only used spices for the fish fry, take according to menu or amount of food you’re planning to make from scratch)
Coffee, Tea and/or Hot Chocolate, Sugar, whole milk powder (what some in our group use with their coffee)
Pour-over, French press, stovetop percolator, or Malita Cone, Filters if needed
Camp stove and enough fuel for your trip plus matches/lighter
1 folding table
1 frypan (ex: medium cast iron)
1 large pot for stews and soups (6-quart for a group of 5~7 people)
1 medium pot (optional)
1 stovetop kettle to heat water for hot drinks
2 small bamboo cutting boards
1 Santoku knife or Chef knife
1 Paring knife)
1 small or medium-sized stainless steel bowl
1 metal spatula 
1 rubber spatula
1 large spoon
2 potholders
1 grater
Cold box with frozen water jugs
1 veggie peeler
1 can opener
1 Ladle
1 plastic pitcher for transferring water from 5-gal. garafón to smaller containers & water bottles
1 dinner plate and one bowl per person (unbreakable, nesting bowls saves space, a different color for each person is helpful)
1 travel mug per person
1 fork, spoon, and table knife for each person in the group
Aluminum foil for cooking items in coals

Cleanup Supplies

green scrubby for greasy items
Axión for greasy items and organic dish soap
several different sized plastic palangana (basin)
5-gal container for holding water (a used 5-gal paint bucket works great and a garafón fits inside for less space used)
dish towels (several)
roll of paper towels
Ziplock bags
Bags for trash

For Campfires

Enjoying the campfire during overnight hike 2021
Enjoying the campfire at Acatenango Volcano base camp

Pitch pine and/or Fire starter
good wooden matches and/or a Lighter
metal skewers for cooking sausages/hot dogs (Optional)

Misc. Stuff

Duct tape or Gorilla tape
disposable cups for drinks while on the road
Dual Spray Disinfecting system: 1 spray bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and 1 of white vinegar to clean fruit purchased on the trip
Hand sanitizer  
1st aid kit
Water filter for an emergency (we use a Sawyer filter with a 1-gallon bag, but there are lots of options on the market)
Yoga mat and Foam Roller for sore muscles
Picnic blanket
Fishing Gear

Car Camping Pack List Conclusion

And there you have it! If you take most of the things on this list, you are guaranteed to have everything you need for a wonderful car camping trip. Just remember to pack food as well!