Minimalist Car Camping Checklist (Printable)

This Minimalist Car Camping checklist was originally written in 2008 following a ten day tour of England with a tiny car. This is how to travel when you want to take a camping trip but still keep things pretty lightweight. “Minimalist car camping” is particularly great if you’re changing locations every day or every other day. You don’t want a mass of stuff to have to pack and unpack all the time.
The other bonus to Minimalist Car Camping is that it makes it easy to just GET OUT THERE. I recommend buying a couple plastic bins with lids, and have most of your kit pre-prepped – store all your gear in such a way so that you can efficiently load up the car and go. Think of it as a Car Camping Go Bag. Make it easy for yourself to take an impromptu adventure at the drop of a hat!
This list is not too dissimilar from what I’d take wild camping (see my wild camping checklist). There are just a few bonus extras (e.g. folding chairs) that are easy to pack, add that extra level of comfort, and are well worth taking if you have a car.
Download your printable Minimalist Car Camping Checklist here: PDF | WORD

Minimalist Car Camping Checklist

Cooking Supplies

  • Knife
  • Pots and pans
  • Cup
  • Plates
  • Cutting board
  • Veggie peeler
  • Cutlery
  • Baggies
  • Wet wipes
  • Sponge and soap for washing up
  • Dish towels
  • Camp stove
  • Gas for camp stove
  • Lighter
  • Trash bags


  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Thermal underwear
  • Wool socks (plus spares)
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf
  • Warm fleece / midlayer
  • Underwear
  • Sunhat
  • Hiking Boots
  • Shoes for camp
  • Gaiters

Camping Gear

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Air mattress

Campsite Accoutrements

  • Folding chairs
  • Picnic blanket (preferably with a waterproof bottom)

Personal Items

  • Toilet Paper
  • Tissues
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Lip balm
  • Face wash
  • Hand/body soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Vitamins
  • Medication
  • Diary/pen
  • Reading material


  • Mobile phone
  • Headlamp / flashlight
  • Battery pack for charging USB devices
  • Spare batteries for flashlights, etc

Extra stuff for off-campsite activities

  • Daypack
  • GPS and extra batteries (or mobile phone with a battery pack)
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Travel guides / walking books
  • OS Maps

Car Stuff

  • Sat Nav
  • Road atlas

Download the Minimalist Car Camping Checklist here: PDF | WORD
If you spot any commissions, or have any suggestions for other must-have items in your Minimalist Car Camping kit, please let me know in the comments!