What is Car Camping?

People who’ve never camped in their life or are camping after a long time are the first ones to ask, what is car camping? Car camping means driving into a campground and parking nearby to a designated campsite where you can set up your tent for the night.

What is Car Camping?

One of the most significant benefits of car camping is that you can now bring all the essentials you might need without worrying about having to carry it all up a mountain, as you would if you were backpacking.

From cooking dinner to staying cozy and entertained till the sun goes down, this ultimate guide will provide you with everything you need to know and pack for a successful car camping trip. It is usually the best type of camping for beginners.

What Is Car Camping

What You’ll Need

Here is a list of the seven most helpful camping essentials you should carry on your car camping trip to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience.

Camping tent

Camping sleeping bag

Camping first aid kit

Camping kitchen utensils

Camping toiletry bag

Camping flashlight

Camping bug repellent

Finding a Place to Stay

The first step when going car camping should be to decide where to stay. If you have no idea where you want to go, you can look up a list of state or municipal parks near you. Your activities will help decide where you want to go better, so think about what you’re hoping to do during the day – do you wish to swim in the lake or hike with beautiful views?

Once you’ve settled on where you want to go, you need to figure out where you’re going to sleep. Consider your needs and priorities. Taken into consideration the following: is it important to have bathrooms and trash cans at your campsite? Will the terrain be accessible to you? Are you looking for a shaded site? These will help you plan better.

Gear Up for Anything

If this is a spontaneous trip and you don’t wish to buy your gear right away, you can always borrow from resale shops or friends and family who camp often. Wherever you get your gear from, you can quickly bring it all along. The best thing about going car camping is that you never need to worry about over-packing as a car is the most oversized bag you can get to fill in all your supplies.

While you can fill up your car’s backside with all that you like, here are the essential things to think about when planning your car camping adventure.


As mentioned earlier, car camping involves driving into a campground and parking nearby to a designated campground where you can set up your tent for the night. It’s best to buy a tent intended for two to three people so you can use it for years to come and have extra space to sleep comfortably and play games.

Sleeping Bag

Besides having someplace to sleep, you’re going to want to have something to sleep in. It is easy to opt for some comforters and blankets in the backseat, but using a sleeping bag is gets you in the spirit and gives you utmost comfort.


A flashlight is essential if you wish to explore at night or use the washroom in the unfamiliar campground. Stray rocks, roots, and even unsuspecting animals might make it difficult for you to cross the area at night. So, a flashlight will come in handy.

First Aid Kit

When you’re out in the woods, you’re prone to cuts and scratches. Your access to medical resources there will be limited, so you must get your stock. Make an entire kit so that you have all that you need in a safe place.

Warm Clothing

You should always have extra clothing to be comfortable at all times. It can get a little chilly in most places at night, so it’s best to carry layering pieces in your car. You don’t want to be stuck shivering in your tent.

Bug Spray

There is no way to can escape bugs in the outdoors so it is best to keep a bug repellant with you at all times to avoid unwanted burns or bites. You can keep with you a bottle of fresh aloe or sunscreen along with.

Food Supplies

It is best to keep a portable charcoal grill, kitchen utensils, plates, bowls, and cups with you when heading into the woods. Take advantage of the large space in your car and carry with you the grill you’ve wanted to cook in for a while. Winter campers should include carbohydrates in their diet to keep their body warm and provide energy.

Fun Extras

Now that you’re clear on ‘what is car camping’ and know of all the packing essentials, use the extra space to pack all the fun stuff! These will ensure you have a great time on your trip.

Pack with you:

  • Outdoor games
  • Cards and books
  • Camera
  • Musical instruments
  • Journal
  • Books

It’s Time to Hit the Road!

We hope this guide on ‘what is car camping’ has cleared out all your misconceptions and has pumped you up to take a trip down into the mountains or the woods with your friends and family. You are now all set to have a successful camping trip!

Scroll to Top