Car Camping Essentials

Stephanie found a last minute camping spot at Mount Diablo State Park this weekend (pictures forthcoming), which was particularly unusual because every other campsite in the state of California appears to be booked solid on the weekends through mid-September (when the kids go back to school I guess).

Anyway, we hadn’t been camping in a while, and we really didn’t want to stress ourselves out packing for it, so we just threw some things together Saturday morning and took off. Well, we had everything we really needed, but we forgot a few things that would have been nice, had we remembered. So I decided to make a list of the essentials, outside of clothes and food, just to jog our memories for next time.

The Obvious Stuff

Cooking and Eating Stuff

Bathroom and Health Stuff

Optional Stuff


sleeping pills :-O ??- i prefer to drink enough beer for a blissful sleep ;-)


Geli, the problem with drinking enough beer for blissful sleep is waking up at 3am with a full bladder. A gatorade-like bottle is one in-tent solution I’ve come to rely on, but then I’m a boy. I suppose a wide-mouth bottle might work for a girl as well ;)


earplugs? why are these a must?

I keep a “go bag” for outings, too. Funny how similar: foulweather gear and boots, sleeping bag & sheet, extra socks, coffee and tea, coffeepot, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, stove and fuel, salt, pepper, lemon, vegetable knife, corkscrew, chocolate bar, tp, lighter, med kit, flashlight, portable VHF. Because, really, there’s essential and then there’s “I’m-enjoying-this.”

Allison, because nature is freaking loud. Birds and bugs and raccoons and neighboring campers (the occasional car door closing, baby crying) all making a racket.

Mostly because I sleep with earplugs in my apartment in San Francisco, so I’m just used to sleeping with them, even more so in unfamiliar situations.

Csg, yeah we have an old ratty REI bag with most of the smaller camping gear in it that we just filter through and throw what we want to bring into another bag. Thinking about printing out this list and stapling it to that bag.

Wow, I felt extravagant putting “tea, cocoa” on the list, even though I’d mostly left out food. Love that you include “olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon” :)

;-))))) Justin, that problem we’ve got on camping too .. because, we are owners of a similar small tent than yours. – But when you are married such a long time – you will be able to find the same – “bladder-rythhm” with your tent-partner ;-)) – The outher way is – drinking german bear with more alkohol concentration. For a nice sleep, you need only the half liquid …;-)) *greatings*

Ha, bladder-rhythm! We’ll have to get some of that German beer. Oh, I should also mention that Stephanie picked up a Sani-Fem Freshette F.U.D. (feminine urinary device). Though she has not “christened” it in the tent yet.

I will add to the list, under bathroom/health, the Freshette!

Done. Also added two things I forgot: a mug and a pee bottle for the tent.


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