Beginner Car Camping List: Get Outside!
It is time to turn quarantine into camping isolation and if you are new to car camping, the Lifers have created a gear list for you.
Car camping doesn't mean you have to sleep in your car, although you are welcome to.
What it really means is that you can bring along whatever will fit, meaning all of your creature comforts.
Sounds pretty nice huh? In fact, it is delightful, taking the time to breathe some fresh air and inhale some wood smoke is good for the soul.
But first, here is some gear you'll need to make the trip memorable.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature. He finds it attached to the rest of the world."
Car Camping List: Sleeping Gear
To be honest, it seems silly to start with sleeping. After all, you came outside to play but without a warm place to rest, your' trip will be incredibly uncomfortable. So decide based upon the time of year and weather forecast of where you'll be staying.
Car Camping Tents:
Limitless options here, they are generally broken down by number of seasons. Let's have a look...
Are built for year round use, but if you're not planning on winter camping they are overkill. Not to mention they will hold in moisture in warmer months making them rather muggy. Not really a beginners car camping list need. But hey, maybe you are going to climb Rainier this year.
These are essentially just a burlier version of a 3 season tent. If you camp in early spring or late fall and expect bad weather occasionally it's a reasonable choice. Still manages in summer but will also hold in moisture and you might wake up real sweaty and stinky. Which may or may not matter, depending on your tent mate.
These are by far the most common and for good reason. They are the most well-rounded, especially for car camping. We're not dog sledding in Alaska in this article. These tents will provide enough protection from the elements while also having good ventilation. You can find them at all sorts of price points. Just remember you get what you pay for.
Down vs. Synthetic: If you are in the Pacific Northwest, I wouldn't bring along a down sleeping bag, if they get wet they are basically useless. Stick with synthetic there. But if I was headed out to the desert in early spring a down bag would be my go to.
Sleeping Pads for Car Camping
There's a lot of options when it comes to pads. I like the self inflating thin pads myself. But since you have the full capacity of your car, you can get the biggest inflatable mattress you can find, so long as it fits in your tent. Test that first! These are great for couples and can even be fitted with sheets and blankets from home. If you are a little more dirtbag-ish like me, you'll be fine with even a foam mat in most cases.
Car Camping Sleeping Comforts for Beginners: The Extras
Car Camp Cooking List For Newbies and Non Chefs
World's Best Camping Plate: Tortillas!
LIFER TIP: Tortillas are plates and the best vessel to fill a hungry after-hike belly. I love eating my dirty dishes this way.
New Car Camper Gear List Conclusion
Car camping for beginners, while we haven't covered every single thing you'll need for a beginner's car camping trip. Here are some miscellaneous categories of items you should consider and tailor to your trip, the weather and how much space you have in the car. A full printable list will be along shortly.