When you don’t have to carry all of the necessities on your back when going camping, you have a lot more versatility in what you can pack. Campervan and car camping are popular throughout Europe, New Zealand and Australia. If you’re renting a campervan, check with the rental company beforehand to see what is provided and what you’ll need to supply yourself. Whether you’re attending a music festival or just plain road tripping, here are the must-haves for campervan and car camping.
Tent– Unless you plan on sleeping in your car, bring a tent to sleep in so you can keep any valuables in your car. Don’t forget a waterproof cover for your tent.
Air Mattress– Since you’re going by car, you can bring an air mattress to make you sleep more comfortably. Just plug into an adapter in your car to inflate or even use the electricity in your campground.
Sleeping bag– Whether or not you bring an air mattress, you will need a sleeping bag.
Toilet paper– You’ll always be glad to have your own, just in case you stop somewhere that doesn’t have any.
Trash bags– Whatever you bring into a campsite has to be thrown away properly, so bring enough trash bags for your entire trip.
Jumper cables– If you accidentally run the battery for too long while you’re charging your electronics or using the generator on your campervan, you should have jumper cables so that someone can help you start your car.
Spare tire and wrench– All rental cars should be equipped with these, so double check before leaving.
Flashlight, lantern or headlamp– There are infinite uses for flashlights and headlamps, namely if you’re changing a tire or walking to the bathhouse in the dark.
Map or book of campsites– While winging it is perfectly acceptable, it’s not a bad idea to have a book or map of area campsites just in case. You might arrive at one and find that it’s full or that you’re not welcome on private property.
Gas canister– In case you run out of gas, you’ll be able to go fill up and return to the car.
Water jug– If you’re driving through a desolate area like Australia‘s Nullabor Plain, bring a large container of water for emergencies like car overheating or extreme thirst.
We’ve discussed what to pack if you plan on cooking when you travel and many of these items are the same.
Camp stove– This isn’t something I would recommend bringing unless you absolutely have to. Most campervans have some sort of stove included. Don’t forget extra fuel and matches.
Cooler– Fill your cooler with the items that may go bad like milk and cheese as well as at least two bottles of water.
Food– Whatever you decide to cook, make sure you have a way to store and reheat leftovers.
Water bottles– Have extra water bottles on hand to fill up as needed.
Pocket knife and utensils– You’ll need utensils to cut up food.
Tupperware, bowls, plates– Campervans should also include these but if you’re bringing your own car, pack some.
ENO hammock– This can be an easy addition to your packing list as long as you can find somewhere to tie it up.
Chairs– It’s nice to have somewhere to sit other than inside of your tent or car.
Flip flops– If you’re staying at a campsite with a bath house, bring flip flops to wear in the communal showers.
Clothesline and detergent– You’ll want to wash your clothes while on the road, so wash in the bath house sink and line dry.
Sarong and towel– You’ll need something to wear after getting out of the shower.
- The Road Tripper’s Guide to Cooking Like a Champ, Heels and Wheels