It’s starting to look a lot like car camping season. Whether you’re headed for the Sierra or camping in a nearby forest preserve or national park, you’ll need to prepare yourself and your car for the trip. Here is a list of essential car camping gear you must have.
Pick Your Shelter
The first essential car camping gear you must have is shelter. Make sure you have a tent that will keep you warm and dry. This can include an overhead tent or one that you could put in the back of your pickup truck. Or, if you prefer sleeping right in nature, consider a hammock to hang from the trees. Also, get some camping chairs and a lantern to help you see at night.
Prepare a Tool Kit
Tools are essential for any situation, especially if you are camping in the Sierra. Make sure to pack these items to ensure a safe journey. Pack duct tape for quick fixes, a lighter for fires, a good knife to cut with, and a multi-tool to use for miscellaneous things. Also, you could shop locally for firewood or even bring an ax with you to cut your wood. Bring a water filter and paracords to keep things together as well.
Bring Your Kitchen Outdoors
We have all seen those videos of professional outdoor cooks cooking in the wild. Why not experience that for yourself? Go grocery shopping before hitting the road and grab snacks, foods that’ll be easy to cook using minimal electricity, and plenty of containers for leftovers. Don’t forget the silverware or plastic ware and other essential cooking, eating, and drinking utensils.
Pack Your Clothes and Toiletries
Before going on your trip, make sure you bring suitable clothing and enough long-sleeved options, as the mountains do get cold at night. If you can, splurge a little on wool socks, as they will keep you warm during the night, especially after your campfire has died down. Also, pack good hiking boots. If you want to avoid getting your clothing dirty, pack them away in plastic bags to keep them safe from sudden downpours and treks through mud.
The last thing you don’t want to forget is your toiletries. This consists of more than toilet paper and other essentials. Make sure to pack hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and bug repellent. You can also pick these up along the way to your destination.
Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff
When packing for any excursion, you want to make sure you have several items to keep you entertained. In the case of bad phone service, you’ll be left in the company of nature, so bring a camera or journal along with you. You can also bring a guitar, books, board games, and many other items to keep everyone entertained.
While there are many important items to have for your next trip, these are the most important that you’ll want to have while car camping in the Sierra Mountain Range.