my car camping essentials

Last week, I posted about mine and hubby’s trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I got lots of questions on Instagram about where we got some of our gear, so I thought I would share some of my car camping essentials + where to find them.

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car camping essentials

Once upon a time, I took a much more primitive approach to camping. AKA, I packed a sleeping bag and clothes and hoped for the best. This was not really the best approach, I found out, as water crept into my sleeping bag and my back stiffened against the ground. Thankfully, my husband is very much a planner and an experienced camper, so I’ve learned some things from him in our five plus years of togetherness. So, here they are, my MUST HAVE car camping essentials:

MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Chair
These camping chairs are so light, portable and SO comfy. Perfect for backpacking, beaching, or bonfiring.

CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent
Okay, I’ll be honest. I thought my husband was being ridiculous when he told me he ordered this. I was like, “why do we need a tent that fits nine people?? We are only two people!!” and he explained that it was a good investment because we could stand up in it and it would fit the air mattress and our backpacks and clothes all comfortably. I was still skeptical and thought he was going a little overboard. And then we set up camp and I understood. A very worthy investment indeed.

what to pack for car camping

Remington 82 Quart WEATHERTIGHT Storage Box
This thing was SO HANDY, even though I definitely rolled my eyes at my husband when he said we needed it. We stored all of our camp kitchen items and accessories in it and it doubled as a nice, fireside card table and dinner table. Plus, when it rained (like it always does when I camp), it kept everything nice and dry.

Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
A wonderful resource to have when you need eggs and bacon in the morning and it’s raining. Or even when it’s not raining, it’s just very convenient.

Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag
One of the last times we went camping, we only brought one single sleeping bag and that was a very cold mistake. So, we got this double sleeping bag and it is perfect and kept us warm and cuddly all night. 10/10 recommend for couples ;)

YETI Tundra 35 Cooler
Pricey, but sooo worth it. Our YETI keeps all our cold items at the proper temperature for several days + it is approved as a bear-proof storage container. We will never camp without it!

best hiking boots

Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat
BEST. HAT. EVER. The perfect companion for boating, beaching, hiking, or a safari. This thing can float, doesn’t wrinkle, and has a convenient chin strap in case of quick winds. I am fortunate that my BFF gifted my Tilley to me, but it’s a great investment if you’re an outdoor enthusiast.

Eagles Nest Outfitters ENO DoubleNest Hammock
We have two of these, but we only brought one along with us because we can both fit in it. These hammocks are so easy to put up, take down, and pack back up. Just add trees + chill.

Mens Outdoor Trail Socks Merino Wool 4 Pairs + Ariat Women's Terrain Work Boot
My dynamic duo for hiking! I love these boots because they are supportive (a necessity when you’re not so graceful), stylish, and even when they’re dirty, it’s very hard to tell.

Matador Pocket Blanket
I got this for J for the holidays last year, and it is AWESOME. It packs away so tiny, but it’s a sand and water resistant blanket with STAKES and sand pockets * praise hands *! A perfect companion for backpacking or beaching.

Evecase Canvas DSLR Camera Travel Backpack
I was sooo pleasantly surprised by how awesome this backpack is. It has ample room, protects my camera well, and wasn’t a pain to carry. DSLR backpacks can be veryyy expensive, but this one is affordable and it looks great!

BONUS: Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan
If you are camping in a warmer climate, you need these. You know us southerners can’t live without a ceiling fan. Such a great investment!

What are your camping essentials? Let me know in the comments below!