A guide for How to pack car for camping for 2023

How to pack car for camping

Have you ever packed anything before? You might’ve probably packed your lunchbox or your school bag, but then again, those aren’t that hard. Ever tried packing a suitcase before going on a holiday? If you did, then you know exactly how tricky and cerebral the process is. Now try to imagine that you need to pack your items in a car before you head out in the wild for camping.

Now before you pass out, stand back up as we will now be your guide in this journey and help you pack your precious items in your car properly without causing any harm.

If you are interested in learning to camp a car, we suggest you read how to camp in your car, as well as the ultimate guide to car camping.

How to pack car for camping

To pack your car properly, you just need to know how to pack a car for camping. So please make sure you are doing the following steps correctly and organized otherwise you will be messed up. These steps will ensure your journey is more comfortable and meaningful. Now let’s dive into the steps of how to pack a car for camping :

Packing car for car camping

Step #1: Don’t build a random empire on the back:

When arranging items on what to put where on the back, people tend to just randomly throw stuff in the back and shut the door without properly arranging them. However, I must advise you not to do that. To make you understand how important is to pack the car for camping, now I am sharing a true story with you here

Once, my cousin was going on a camping trip with his friends and while packing up, he just randomly threw everything in the back and shut the door. So, after they reached the destination, he went back to open the door and when he did, all the items fell on him resulting in several cuts and injuries and goods getting damaged due to improper placement. That was really huge mess.

Therefore, before packing gets all the items that you will be taking for your camping trip, bring them outside and put them all on the ground, and then decide which item goes where and set it up according to that plan. I would suggest putting heavier items at first so that they are not close to the gate because sometimes a car might need to brake suddenly or go over rough roads, and if the heavy items are with the car backdoor, then they might hit the door and open the door.

Now, while you are putting everything on the back of your car, you might want to leave some tiny holes and spaces in between the big items. Why you might ask? I’ll tell you why. It’s so that for keeping some other small stuff in those spaces just in case you forgot earlier.

For example, after you packed up everything on the back of your car, you realized that you forgot to pack the camping chair. Now, if you didn’t keep small spaces in between, then you will need to take out everything and put them all back again, but if you did keep some space in between, then you can just easily fit the camping chair there without needing to take everything out.

Step #2: Arranging everything according to its proper layer:

Sometimes you will just place everything randomly and think it’s all good cause they all seem to have fit in there. And that is where you are wrong, mister. When putting everything in the back, make sure you know what you are keeping and where you are keeping them. Putting everything precisely and properly is very important or else you will lose your goods for good.

For example, if you keep the ice packs bags under your hot foil-wrapped food box, then your food will get cold really fast while also melting out most of the ice, which is a lose-lose situation.

Therefore, make sure you know where to keep what and keep them properly, such as keeping food at one side and other items at another spot.

Step #3: Open up your sleeping bag:

Usually, when we go camping, we will definitely pack up a sleeping bag with us for sleeping out in the wild. Therefore, we often take them in their packed form, which is rolled up in a roll form. However, we can use our brains and do it differently from next time onwards. Instead of taking it in a rolled form, we can just open it up and lay it down on the back of the car.

This way you will save some space and use that space to take other valuable items whilst keeping the bottom part of your car clean as the sleeping bag is now serving as a mat, which might get slightly dirty but worry not as you can always just give it a small splash of water to clean it up.

Step #4: Calculate your arrival time:

When leaving for a journey, we usually get an estimated time at what time we might reach if we leave at this time. Now, you might ask how is this relevant to packing your car before camping? And I will tell you how. Depending on your journey time, you will leave at a specific time so for example if you leave at 3 pm and your journey will take 6 hours, that means you will reach around 9 pm.

Therefore, you can cook food at home before leaving and take it with you. This will prevent you from spending any extra effort on cooking at late night and will also prevent you from taking out all your cooking items by removing most of the items from the back of your car.

By doing this, you won’t need to bring extra uncooked food and cook them late at night after a long journey, which is bound to make you exhausted. You can just eat the pre-cooked food and easily set up your tent so that you can sleep earlier and regenerate energy for the next day.

Here are some additional tips that you can follow while packing up your car:

1. Don’t leave everything for the last minute:

When packing up your car, many of us will tend to pack right before leaving, which is a huge mistake. Packing from earlier on, like at least a day earlier will give you an idea of how much your car can carry and will let you shop for any missing items. The only thing you can pack last-minute is food to make sure it’s still fresh because if you pack them earlier and keep them closed inside a car for a long time, they will start to get stale and smell really bad.

2. Watch the weight:

You might think you have a big car, so you can pack whatever you want, but that is a huge mistake. No matter how big or small your car is, it can only carry a certain amount of weight, so stacking a lot of heavy items on it will harm your car badly such as slowing down your car and affecting the tires and suspension. You might not notice it at that moment, but as time goes on, you will feel the effect. You also need to consider the fact that there will be passengers in your car, which also adds weight. Therefore, only pack your essentials needs and not your wants.

3. Pack up in bags:

When we have a lot of items, we will just put them all in the back without even properly arranging them, which might lead to a mess in the back after the whole car ride. So what can we do in this case? Well, we can take several plastic bags and group similar items, and pack them up. For example, instead of putting separate bags of carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce in separate spots, we can just put them in separate bags and then put them in a bigger bag for all three and label them as fresh vegetables.

That way, you will know where your fresh vegetables are at. Another example would be, instead of putting your shoes in separate bags and then separate spots, you can just put them in separate bags and then in a bigger bag and just label them as “Shoes”. If you are eco-friendly and care about the environment, then you can just use one big plastic bag instead of using several small plastic bags.

4. Pack your essentials first:

When it comes to packing orders, you must pack those that come first and are crucial for camping such as a camping tent, sleeping bag, your camping clothes and gears, and a few other important items. Packing your swimsuit and your laptop won’t matter at all if you forget to pack the camping tent. Food comes last as it is better to put them in the car later to prevent stale food, but make sure you know how much food you will be taking and that you have an idea of where to keep it in the car.


Q1. How do you fit everything in your car when camping?

Ans. When packing for a car camping trip, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to bring everything you need with you. This can be a challenge when you have a small car, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips for packing everything in your car:

  1. Start by sorting through your belongings and deciding what you really need for the trip. This might include things like clothes, food, camping gear, and entertainment.
  2. Pack the essentials first. This might include things like tents, sleeping bags, cooking supplies, and first-aid kits.
  3. Try to pack light. You don’t want to overload your car and make it difficult to drive. If possible, pack only what you require and leave the rest at home.
  4. Use packing organizers to help you organize your belongings and save space.

Q2. What should you not bring on a camping trip?

Ans: There are a few things that you should definitely not bring with you on your camping trip;

  1. First and foremost, do not bring any food that will go bad quickly or attract bugs. This means no open cans of food, no fresh fruits or vegetables, and no dairy products.
  2. You should also avoid bringing any scented items, such as perfumes, colognes, or lotions. These items will only attract bugs and other pests.
  3. Finally, do not bring any weapons or fireworks.

Q3. How can I make my car more comfortable when camping?

Ans: When you go camping, there are a few things you can do to make your car more comfortable:

  • One thing is to bring an air mattress or a sleeping pad. This will make it more comfortable to sleep in the car.
  • You can also bring a blanket or a sleeping bag to keep you warm.
  • Another thing you can do is to bring a pillow. This will make it more comfortable to sleep in the car.
  • Finally, you can bring some snacks and drinks so that you don’t get hungry or thirsty while you’re driving.

To learn more about how to make car camping comfortable, then read our comprehensive article on a complete guide on how to make car camping comfortable.

Q4. How should I pack my car for a family road trip?

Ans: When packing for a road trip with your family, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • First, you’ll want to make sure you have enough room for everyone and everything.
  • Second, you’ll need to pack efficiently, so you don’t waste space. And finally, you’ll want to pack smartly so that you can easily access what you need while on the road.
  • To start, make sure to take an inventory of what everyone will need during the trip. This includes items like clothes, toiletries, food and drinks, entertainment, and anything else you might need. Once you have a good idea of what you’ll need, start packing by category. For example, put all the clothes in one bag, the toiletries in another bag, etc.
  • Then think about how you can best use the space in your car.

Q5. Are small cars good for long trips?

Ans: The idea of taking a long road trip in a small car can be intimidating to some drivers. However, there are many advantages to taking a road trip in a small car.

  • One of the biggest advantages is fuel efficiency. A small car will get better gas mileage than a larger car, which means you will spend less money on gas.
  • Additionally, small cars are often easier to maneuver and can be more fun to drive on curvy roads.
  • Another advantage of taking a road trip in a small car is that they are often cheaper to buy and maintain than larger cars.
  • Small cars also take up less space when parked, which can be helpful if you are traveling to a city where parking is limited.
  • Finally, small cars generally have better safety ratings than larger cars, which can give you peace of mind while on your road trip.

Q6. Why must we dry food items properly before storing them?

Ans: If you don’t dry food items properly before storing them, you’ll end up with moldy, rotten food.

  • Mold spores can cause respiratory problems, and they can also contaminate other foods in your pantry. So, it’s important to make sure that all of your food is completely dry before putting it away.
  • One way to make sure your food is fully dried is to use a food dehydrator. This appliance uses low heat to remove the water from your food, making it safe for storage. You can also use an oven or a microwave to dry your food, but you’ll need to be careful not to burn it.
  • Once your food is dried, be sure to store it in airtight containers. This will help keep out moisture and prevent the growth of mold spores.

Q7. How long can dry food be stored?

Ans: Dry food can be stored for a long time as long as it is stored in a cool, dark place. The food will last indefinitely if it is stored at a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and has very little humidity. If the food is stored in a place that has high humidity, it will only last for about six months.


In light of all these facts, we can all pretty much agree that when it comes to packing your car during camping, there are bound to be obstacles. But again, it’s not like world-ending obstacles that cannot be prevented at all. All we need to do is just take a deep breath, relax and use that cerebrum structure in our heads while we are packing our car before camping. You need to make sure that you always and always pack your essentials before your secondary items, and keep the time-passing items as the third option when it comes to packing. It always seems impossible until it’s done. Happy Camping!

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