Car Camping Essentials 2020
Car Camping Essentials 2020

Car Camping Essentials 2020

Last update by Oliver
May 23, 2023

Car camping is a brilliant way to enjoy camping all year long in comfort and style as you can camp in even the most remote of places. One of the greatest benefits of car camping is that you can take as much camping essentials that you can fit into your car as much of your bedding stays in your car roof tent and you don’t need to worry about carrying all your essentials from your car to a campsite. But what are the car camping essentials that you need the most?

Our List of Essential Car Camping Items

Sleeping Bag and Duvets

The beauty about car camping is that you can park your car up at the campsite (or wild camping if you prefer) and sleep where your car is (or on your car), so you don’t need to worry about hiking with your camping gear. With car roof tents, you can keep your sleeping gear inside the tent when it’s packed up, meaning you don’t have to worry about bringing compact sleeping gear to fit into your car.

Top Tip: Try to bring two duvets or a sleeping bag and one duvet for the ultimate comfort.


Gone are the days when you wake up with a sore neck as your head has been on the ground all night long. With car camping, be sure to bring a pillow with you that can stay in your car top tent as it’s packed up, ensuring that it will even stay dry on rainy days!

Top Tip – Bring a pillow that bounces back into shape after it compacts in your car roof tent.


If you’re at a campsite, you should have plenty of access to water, however, if you’re wild camping, you never know when you might find your next water source, therefore, it’s essential that you bring plenty of water and bottles with you and fill them up at every opportunity you get!

Top Tip – Bring a one squeeze on the go carry juice bottle to enhance the flavour of your water.


You’re likely to want to explore your surroundings, so it’s nice to have a small backpack on hand to carry your essentials with you; on a hot day, it’s an lovely experience to have a picnic in the middle of a field.

Top Tip – Find a bag that has great support to take the weight off your back.


Make sure to bring a whole range of food including hot food and snacks for when you’re on the go. It’s amazing to wake up to bacon and eggs in the morning and then have a cereal bar when you’re out and about for your mid-morning snack.

Top Tip – Bring more food than you intend to eat as you never know when you might feel peckish.

Stove and Cookware

To ensure that your hot food is cooked throughout, bring a portable stove with you on your travels, so you can safely cook your bacon and eggs without having to worry about going hunting for sticks and trying to create your own fire.

Top Tip – Don’t forget to bring spare gas bottles with you!

First Aid Supplies

In almost all camping experiences, you will be fine. However, you never know when an animal might bite or you take a trip and need to bandage up a wound, so always take a first aid box in case of emergencies.

Top Tip – Refill your first aid supplies every time you go car camping.


When darkness falls, most accidents occur (your first aid box will come in handy here). You realise you need the toilet in the middle of the night but who knows what you might trip over as you can’t see a thing! In these situations, it’s always best to have a light source with you so you can safely navigate the darkness or even read a book at night if you can’t get to sleep.

Top Tip – Try and find a solar powered light source, so you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries.

Table and Chairs

Even though you’ll have your car with you, you don’t want to spend all your time in your car, especially if it’s nice weather. That being said, you also don’t want to be sitting on the floor. Bringing foldable tables and chairs are essential when you go car camping as it gives you the opportunity to all sit down and eat together.

Top Tip – Invest in ultra-lightweight camping chairs so you don’t have any issues with them.

Insulated Flasks

Hot chocolate, coffee or tea can make all the difference when the temperatures start to cool. Hot drinks are always a great way to just sit back, relax and feel the weight of your stress being lifted off your shoulders. When you get caught up in something, it’s all too easy to forget about drink and realise it’s stone cold when you come back to it. During car camping, hot drinks get cooler much faster and you don’t have access to a microwave to heat it back up, resulting in a wasted drink. Insulated flasks are fantastic inventions as you can keep your hot drink hot and even be able to enjoy a hot drink after hours of hiking.

Top Tip – If you want to slowly sip your drink, leave the lid off your flask and it will gently cool down.

So, there we have it, our list of top ten essentials that you absolutely must take with you when you go car camping. Of course, there is another essential that you need… a TentBox! Our TentBox is a fantastic car roof tent that will enhance your car camping experience and once you’ve spent a night in our TentBox, there will be no looking back. Not that we’re biased or anything, but we’re avid adventurers, so we know the best ways to enjoy the wilderness.

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