HomeHikingPacking Guidelines (with Printable PDF) – Bearfoot Principle

Packing Guidelines (with Printable PDF) – Bearfoot Principle

Packing Guidelines (with Printable PDF) – Bearfoot Principle

Tenting outdoors may be simply as comfy as being at dwelling – besides you get the added bonus of having fun with the good outside! Nonetheless, I understand how straightforward it may be to overlook little objects that make a giant distinction in your tenting journey. Forgetting a can opener, bug spray, or a heat jacket is usually a big bummer if you’re already arrange at your campsite and much away from a retailer.

That can assist you (and myself) keep organized, I created this automotive tenting packing guidelines. It’s useful whether or not you’re a novices who’s studying the best way to automotive camp or in the event you’ve been tenting for years and simply want a guidelines that can assist you pack effectively and keep organized. This contains all my automotive tenting must-haves (each important objects and a few consolation items I by no means camp with out).

I maintain a printable model of this guidelines on my cellphone so I can maintain tabs whereas I pack and always remember something.

Obtain a PDF model of my automotive tenting necessities checklist!

On this submit, I’m excited to share all the small print of what I deliver automotive tenting, together with sleeping necessities, kitchen objects, tenting furnishings, clothes, meals, and different gear.

Sleeping Gear

I like to recommend bringing the gear listed under that can assist you get a superb night time’s relaxation. Learn my submit about the best way to sleep comfortably in a tent for extra suggestions.

Be aware: This weblog submit comprises affiliate hyperlinks. Should you make a purchase order, I get a small fee without charge to you. I stand by the merchandise I like to recommend and drastically admire your help.

  • Tent: For automotive tenting, get a spacious tent with sufficient room to sleep comfortably and alter garments in. Even when there’ll solely be one or two folks sleeping in it, a 3 or four-person tent is sweet to have. I’ve the MSR Habitude 4 and like how this 4-person tent provides sufficient room to face up and stretch in. In comparison with related sized tents, it weighs much less and packs down smaller, and I discover it fast and simple to arrange.
  • Sleeping pad: Sleeping pads are rated on an R-scale between 0 – 6. The upper the R-rating, the hotter the sleeping pad will probably be. For automotive tenting through the summer time and shoulder season months, an R-rating between 2-4 ought to be good. Try my evaluation on the NEMO Roamer Sleeping Pad which is available in one and two-person variations.
  • Sleeping bag: The 2 predominant issues you wish to take into consideration when selecting a sleeping bag are temperature score and form. A temperate score of 20-40° is normally satisfactory for summer time automotive tenting relying on when and the place you propose on tenting. The form is extra of a private desire. Rectangular baggage will mean you can transfer round extra whereas a mummy bag will probably be hotter and extra light-weight. Should you want suggestions, head to my roundup of the greatest girls’s sleeping baggage for backpacking or the greatest 2-person sleeping baggage in the event you’re tenting with a associate.
  • Pillow: I normally identical to to deliver my pillow from dwelling. However in the event you’re brief on area, you may pack a compact tenting pillow.
Two people sitting in high-backed camp chairs in front of tent at campsite in Yosemite National ParkTwo people sitting in high-backed camp chairs in front of tent at campsite in Yosemite National Park
For automotive tenting, get a tent that’s spacious so you’ve got room to face up, transfer round, and alter

Camp Kitchen

I like to recommend beginning an out of doors cooking bin to make it straightforward to seize when it’s time to hit the highway. In fact, you may deliver no matter cookware you’ve got in your house kitchen, however in order for you a devoted camp cooking setup, that is what I like to recommend:

  • Camp range: I take advantage of the Eureka Ignite Plus range once I go automotive tenting. It’s environment friendly with propane, will get highly regarded and has nice simmer management
  • Cooler: The RTIC 45 QT Exhausting Cooler is my automotive tenting cooler of selection. It’s the right dimension for comfortably protecting a weekend’s value of meals and drinks chilly.
  • Cookset: You’ll want one thing to prepare dinner out of, together with a pot (for boiling pasta or making chili), a frying pan, and a few cooking utensils. The Stanley Even-Warmth Camp Professional Cookset comes with every little thing you want and nests collectively for simple packing and storing.
  • Dinnerware: Pack plates and bowls so you’ve got one thing to eat out of. For two folks, I like to recommend a set of 4 so you’ve got a pair additional plates and bowls that are useful if you end up prepping meals. I just lately upgraded my plastic tenting dinnerware to this Snowpeak Stainless Metal Tableware Set. It’s light-weight, stacks effectively and cleans up simply.
  • Cooking utensils and cutlery: In your bin of camp cooking provides, you’ll need some sturdy, easy-to-use, easy-to-clean cooking utensils. The GSI Outdoor Vacation spot Kitchen Set comes with 24 utensils together with a spatula, a big spoon, a knife, cutlery for 4, a small reducing board, a bottle for cooking oil and dish cleaning soap, and extra.
  • Dish bucket: Convey a collapsible bucket or two to make doing dishes straightforward. I prefer to deliver one for wash water and one for rinse water.
  • Insulated mug: Preserve drinks heat whenever you’re tenting in cool climate or chilly when tenting within the warmth of summer time with an insulated mug.
  • Espresso maker: Though I don’t drink espresso anymore, my favourite technique for making it once I did was the AeroPress Go. Learn extra about it in my evaluation of the Aeropress Go and the best way to use it.
  • Clear-up towels: I’ve a number of hand-sized quick-dry towels in my van for drying dishes and wiping off surfaces. Cotton towels don’t work nicely on the highway as a result of they dry slowly and get heavy and smelly when moist. Fast-dry towels are nice for cleansing up after camp meals.
  • Tablecloth: Campground tables is usually a little soiled so it’s good to have a picnic desk cowl to placed on high, each for cleanliness and ambiance.
  • Reusable water bottle: A reusable insulated water bottle is essential for staying hydrated, protecting your water chilly, and eliminating single-use plastics when tenting.
  • Water jug: Even when the campground has potable water, you’ll desire a water jug so that you don’t should make numerous journeys backwards and forwards to the spigot. I take advantage of mine to refill water bottles, wash my arms, and do dishes at camp.
  • Gasoline: Relying on how you propose to prepare dinner, you’ll want propane for a gasoline range or charcoal if you’re grilling.
  • System for laundry dishes: for doing dishes, you’ll want biodegradable dish cleaning soap, a dish brush, and two buckets. Put soapy water and the soiled dishes within the first bucket and rinse the dishes within the
  • Miscellaneous objects: can opener, lighter, paper towels, trash baggage, and tupperware for leftovers
Stanley water jugStanley water jug
Having a big water jug makes it lots simpler to prepare dinner and do dishes with out having to run to the spigot

Camp Furnishings

Under are a number of of my favourite automotive tenting gear necessities to make stress-free at camp an fulfilling expertise.

  • Hammock: Should you’re like me, you prefer to arrange a snug hammock at camp to take a nap in, learn a e-book, or hearken to a podcast. The ENO SingleNest Hammock is one in every of my automotive tenting necessities as a result of it packs down small, it’s straightforward to arrange, and it’s tremendous comfy.
  • Automobile tenting chairs: Whether or not you’re sitting across the hearth or watching the sundown out of your campsite, collapsable chairs are a automotive tenting should. Try my roundup of the greatest tenting chairs.
  • Camp desk: A camp desk can assist maintain gear organized and velocity up dish responsibility on the finish of the day. I really like whipping up scrumptious camp meals, so a sturdy and dependable camp kitchen desk is a should. These are the greatest tenting tables I’ve discovered.
A woman's feet in hiking boots laying in a green hammock at a campsite while man cooks meal on camp stoveA woman's feet in hiking boots laying in a green hammock at a campsite while man cooks meal on camp stove
Camp furnishings like a hammock makes my campsite really feel a lot extra cozy


  • Headlamp: A headlamp is important for automotive tenting. I prefer to maintain mine within the aspect pocket of my tent and use it if I must get up and pee in the midst of the night time. Try my favourite headlamps for climbing and tenting.
  • String lights: I really like utilizing string lights ambient lighting, plus they make your campsite look cozy and festive.
  • Lantern: A lantern can present ample gentle for cooking, enjoying playing cards, or organizing gear at nighttime.
  • Transportable energy financial institution: I take advantage of a transportable energy financial institution just like the EcoFlow RIVER Transportable Energy Station to maintain my units charged, particularly once I’m camped in a single place for a number of days and don’t wish to run my automotive.
  • Speaker: Should you’re a music-lover and wish to hearken to some tunes across the campsite, this JBL Flip 5 Eco Transportable Waterproof Speaker is small, compact, and places out nice sound. Simply make sure you apply good campsite etiquette by respecting quiet hours and neighbors tenting round you by protecting the amount low.
These are among the electronics I’ve with me in my tent once I’m automotive tenting – an influence financial institution, a headlamp, and string lights


What clothes you determine to deliver in your automotive tenting journey will depend on the place you’re going, the climate, and what outside actions you’ll be doing.

  • Fast-dry tees: I favor quick-dry tees as a result of they don’t maintain onto odors to allow them to be worn a number of occasions, dry rapidly, and don’t cling to me once I get sweaty on the path.
  • Lengthy-sleeve base layer: Even when the forecast predicts honest climate and heat temps, I at all times pack a long-sleeve base layer.
  • Fleece: Nights can get chilly whereas automotive tenting, so a heat fleece is unquestionably a automotive tenting important for me.
  • Insulated puffy: For chilly nights, I deliver a heat insulated jacket (see my evaluation of the Patagonia Nano Puff). Simply make sure you keep far sufficient away from the fireplace to keep away from flying embers from burning small holes in your jacket!
  • Rain jacket: A rain jacket is one other merchandise I at all times pack “simply in case” – you by no means know what the climate may do – plus a rain jacket can double as a windbreaker!
  • Leggings: I really like leggings as a result of they’re cozy on these lengthy drives to the campsite and function purposeful athletic put on on the path. I even put on them to mattress!
  • Fast-dry underwear: Moisture-wicking underwear are a should for automotive tenting journeys, particularly in the event you’ll be climbing. Listed here are the greatest underwear that keep put and wick sweat.
  • Sports activities bra: For my part, sports activities bras are extra comfy and sensible for automotive tenting than regular bras as a result of you may also put on them whereas climbing or doing different outside actions.
  • Mountain climbing boots or footwear: Should you plan on hitting the paths whilst you camp, take a look at the greatest climbing and path footwear.
  • Camp footwear: I like to recommend a camp shoe that’s supportive, but comfy and can permit your ft to breathe and calm down whilst you’re driving and hanging out within the evenings. In my evaluation of the Teva Common Path Sandals, I clarify why they’re my go-to camp footwear.
  • Beanie: I prefer to put on a beanie at night time to maintain me heat in my tent and across the campfire.
  • Solar hat: I put on a solar hat through the day whereas tenting to guard my scalp from the solar.
Woman's feet in hiking boots propped on a rock around a campfire with two dogs behind itWoman's feet in hiking boots propped on a rock around a campfire with two dogs behind it
I at all times pack heat layers to throw on at night time time whereas tenting


Whereas the purpose of many automotive tenting journeys is to get outdoors and luxuriate in nature with out worrying about what you seem like, it’s additionally good to really feel considerably clear whereas tenting. Listed here are my suggestions for staying recent and clear on the highway, together with my favourite toiletries under.

  • First assist equipment: It’s at all times a good suggestion to have a first-aid equipment in your automotive, particularly on a automotive tenting journey. It’s higher to be over-prepared than under-prepared! Should you don’t have one, right here’s my information on the best way to construct your personal climbing first assist equipment.
  • Biodegradable cleaning soap: I at all times pack biodegradable cleaning soap and ensure I’m no less than 200 ft away from lakes and water sources earlier than utilizing it.
  • Sunscreen: I take advantage of sunscreen together with different solar safety for climbing and tenting to guard my pores and skin from solar injury.
  • Moist wipes: Moist wipes are tremendous useful for rapidly cleansing your physique or face after a sweaty hike or dusty drive.
  • Journey-size toiletries: Full-size toiletries like toothpaste and lotion take up lots of pointless room, so I top off on travel-size toiletries for tenting.
  • Bug spray: I at all times deliver objects like bug spray to repel mosquitos whereas climbing, backpacking, and tenting.
  • Toiletry bag: To maintain all of my toiletries organized and contained, I stash them in a light-weight toiletry bag and cling it from the roof of my tent or a tree department.
  • Poop equipment: Should you’re tenting someplace the place there are not any rest room amenities, you must know the best way to poop outdoors and depart no hint and convey a poop equipment with a trowel, rest room paper, and plastic bag to pack out TP.
  • Fast-dry towel: Regular towels aren’t nice for automotive tenting as a result of they take a very long time to dry and infrequently get smelly after a number of makes use of. I take advantage of quick-dry towels as a result of they dry quick, plus they’re gentle and packable.
Group of women sitting in a circle in camp chairs at campsite with tents set up behind themGroup of women sitting in a circle in camp chairs at campsite with tents set up behind them
When tenting with a bunch, you all get to be soiled collectively!

Often Requested Questions

Is it okay to sleep in your automotive whereas tenting?

Should you’d reasonably sleep in your automotive than a tent, that’s undoubtedly okay to do. I sometimes sleep in my van when tenting. It finally will depend on the climate circumstances and private desire. Relying in your automobile, it may also be onerous to suit all your automotive tenting necessities inside and have sufficient room to sleep comfortably. Meaning you’ll should be shuffling your stuff from the again to the entrance and even storing a few of your stuff outdoors at night time. Should you do this, ensure to retailer your meals inside your automobile.

What do you want for automotive tenting?

This guidelines is a good start line for bringing what you want automotive tenting. A number of objects you’ll undoubtedly must deliver embrace meals, water, shelter, heat layers, toiletries, and sleeping requirements like a sleeping bag. Relying on how a lot area you’ve got, you could must slender down this tenting guidelines and convey the naked minimal.

How you can keep heat when automotive tenting?

To maintain heat whereas automotive tenting, ensure you deliver an insulated sleeping pad with a excessive R-Worth, a sleeping bag with the suitable temperature score, and heat layers together with a beanie, gloves, and thick socks. I’ve discovered that having a campfire and consuming a small snack earlier than mattress additionally helps me keep heat whereas automotive tenting. One other trick is to boil water, pour it right into a Nalgene water bottle, and maintain it within the backside of your sleeping bag to heat your ft.

How do I manage my automotive tenting gear?

I favor to have completely different tubs or baggage with classes of tenting objects. For instance, I’ve a bath devoted to my tenting kitchen provides. Should you manage your objects into completely different baggage forward of time, you may rapidly discover what you’re searching for as a substitute of losing time rummaging.

In search of extra automotive tenting suggestions and kit? Try these associated weblog posts:

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Do you’ve got favourite automotive tenting necessities not listed above? What’s in your automotive tenting packing checklist? Share within the feedback under!