Camping stove

Travel Guide: Best Camping and Road Trip Gear Essentials

Everyone should go on a road trip atleast once in their lives! A road trip is not only exhilarating but also refreshing. However, you need the best road trip essentials to make an unforgettable road trip.

It is mandatory to carry the following must-haves care essentials:

  • Driver’s License
  • Car Registration and Insurance Information
  • Spare Tire

Essential Travel Gear

Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is preparation for a bad day or more, like a precaution that is required before you hit the road. Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with everything you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable trip. Here’s an emergency kit off Amazon that has all the essentials.

Emergency Kit

EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit Molle System Compatible Survival Emergency Kit Bag for Camping Hunting Car Earthquake

Water Bottles

You may not have access to drinking water at every stop on a road trip, so bring one or two water bottles with you and refill them whenever you do. It is critical to stay hydrated while travelling. It will also come in handy in case of an emergency for cleaning or even washing anything.

Top rated water bottle on Amazon:
Hydroflask Water Bottle

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Straw Lid – Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle – Vacuum Insulated, Dishwasher Safe, BPA-Free, Non-Toxic

First aid kits

Keep every available help on hand. You never know what you’ll need at any given time. Keep all required medications, bandages, antiseptic creams, and solutions on hand. When it comes to road trip necessities, this is a must. Not only should you retain it, but you should also learn a little bit about first-aid, so you know what to use when, when, and how.

Top rated first aid kit on Amazon:
First aid kit

First Aid Only All-Purpose Essentials Soft-Sided First Aid Kit, Blue, 298 Pieces

Flashlights

Going on a road trip means you’re aware that there will be occasions when you don’t have access to the resources you’ll require. Flashlights aren’t something you’d find in the middle of nowhere. If your car battery fails in the middle of the road, you’ll need to use a flashlight to get to help. Extras and additional batteries are vital for road journeys and must be included on your road trip packing list. Solar or auto-powered torches are preferable since they can last longer or are self-powered.

Top rated flashlight on Amazon:
Flashlight
Streamlight 75458 Stinger DS LED HL 800-Lumen Rechargeable Dual Switch Flashlight with 120-Volt AC/12-Volt DC Smart Charge Piggyback Charger (NiMH), Black

Phone chargers/ USB

It is a non-negotiable entity without which no travel anywhere is conceivable. So whether you’re going on a trip or not, keep this with you. Keep a few nice songs on your USB drive and listen to them while singing along. Also, keep a power bank on hand if you lose your charger or USB.

Top rated USB Wall Charger Adapter on Amazon:
USB charger

USB Wall Charger, Charger Adapter, AILKIN 2-Pack 2.1Amp Dual Port Quick Charger Plug Cube for iPhone 13 12 11 Pro Max 10 SE X XS XR 8 Plus 7, Samsung Galaxy S21 S20 Power Block Fast Charging Box Brick

Top rated USB Cable for Fast Sharing on Amazon:
USB cable

USB Type C Cable 3A Fast Charging [2-Pack 6.6ft], JSAUX USB-A to USB-C Charge Braided Cord Compatible with Samsung Galaxy S10 S9 S8 S20 Plus A51 A11,Note 10 9 8, PS5 Controller, USB C Charger-Red

Wet wipes/Tissue papers

Wet wipes or tissues will be a simple remedy for any spills that occur, as water will not be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Always keep a backup plan on hand. Old rags can also be used as handy wipes for your car.

Top rated wet wipes on Amazon:
Wet wipes
Cottonelle FreshFeel Flushable Wet Wipes for Adults and Kids, 8 Flip-Top Packs, 42 Wipes per Pack (336 Wipes Total)

Sleeping Bag

You never know when you’ll have to pull over in the middle of the road and spend the night in your car due to poor sight or a pitch a tent at a campsite. It is only one of many possible explanations, and you will want to try to get a good night’s sleep as much as you can. Always pack a sleeping bag so that if something like this happens, you’ll be prepared.

Top rated sleeping bag and blanket on Amazon:
Sleeping bag
Coleman Big Basin 15 Big and Tall Adult Sleeping Bag

Map

Despite how much we rely on technology, we occasionally lose mobile coverage when it fails. So one of the most crucial long-distance driving needs is a backup map, particularly if you’re on a lonely road with no one to ask for directions. A paper map can assist you in orienting yourself in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. It allows us to take the scenic path that your all-too-efficient GPS may not have advised.

If a paper map is too old-school for you, consider installing map apps. Download a map of the nation or area you’ll be driving through and experience navigation and comprehensive maps without the need for an internet connection while on the road.

Dashboard Cell Phone Holder

We do not advocate texting or glancing at your phone while driving. Instead, consider a dashboard mobile phone holder if you use your phone as a GPS or can’t resist the urge to grab your phone when you hear a “ding.” It is one of the vehicle necessities for a road trip.

Top rated dashboard cell phone holder on Amazon:
Top rated dashboard cell phone holder on Amazon
TORRAS [Ultra-Durable] Cell Phone Holder for Car, Universal Car Phone Holder Mount Dashboard Windshield Vent Compatible with iPhone 13 12 11 Pro Max XS X XR, Samsung Galaxy S20+Ultra S10 Note 10 Plus

Coffee/Tea Mug

You may believe that your coffee cup is recyclable, but most of them contain a thin plastic covering that makes recycling difficult. Add a reusable mug to your road trip packing list to help keep coffee cups out of landfills. Then, fill it up at a drive-through or home before you start on the road. My favorite coffee mug is the Yeti Rambler below. I still have the same one today and has lasted through many road trips over the years.

Top rated coffee mug on Amazon:
Stainless steal Yeti Coffee mug
YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with MagSlider Lid, Sandstone Pink

Bug Spray

With a decent insect spray, you can keep pesky mosquitos, flies, and ticks at bay. It’s a must-have! Bug spray can also help you avoid infections caused by mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Here’s a good bug spray on Amazon with some decent reviews.

Bug spray for camping

Sawyer Products SP6572 Twin Pack Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Trigger Spray, 24 oz,Yellow

Travel Pillow

In the same vein as the blanket, make yourself as comfy as possible for the car journey. A pillow and a blanket can assist you in getting a good night’s sleep and getting ready for the next day. Make your life easier when you’re on the road; travel can be taxing on your back. Add this to your list of must-haves for road trips.

Top rated travel pillow on Amazon:
Travel Pillow

MLVOC Travel Pillow 100% Pure Memory Foam Neck Pillow, Comfortable & Breathable Cover, Machine Washable, Airplane Travel Kit with 3D Contoured Eye Masks, Earplugs, and Luxury Bag, Standard (Black)

Hand Sanitizer

Always keep your hands clean, since you will have to eat with them and maybe without washing them. Keep a hand sanitizer on hand. It contains alcohol, which will help eliminate the microorganisms in your hand. On a road trip, washing your hands will not always be possible. Here’s a something you can get off Amazon to keep your hands clean on your road trip!

Hand sanitizer

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel, Clean Scent, 1 Fl Oz Travel Size Flip-Cap Bottle with Display Bowl (Pack of 36) – 3901-36-BWL

Sunglasses

The sun might be brutal on the day you travel. Wear or have sunglasses on hand. It will protect your eyes from UV radiation and make driving easier for you. However, the sun in your eyes is bad for your retinas and your voyage. Here are some cool folding sunglasses that you can take with you anywhere you go.

Folding sunglasses for travel

Classic Vintage Folding Sunglasses for Men and Women UV400 With Case HP2001C3

Cooler and Personal Care

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, face wash, and wipes are just a few of the products you should have in your toiletry. Maintain your access to them. It will come in handy if you experience a car accident on the road. A towel will come in handy for cleaning yourself up and be useful if your hotel or resort does not supply toiletries. Keep mouthwash on hand if you do not have access to water to brush your teeth.

Throughout the ride, keep yourself hydrated with cold liquids. But, of course, you’ll need a cooler for that. So purchase a rubber cooler instead. In this cooler, drinks keep chilled and fresh for a longer period. So put this on your list of must-haves for a road trip.

Top rated cooler on Amazon:
Yeti cooler
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

Trash Bag

Let us make the planet a better place by not littering the roadways. Keep a trash bag in your car, fill it with rubbish, then dispose of it when you discover a trash can. Throwing rubbish on the street will not make you a better person. These bags can also be useful if someone becomes vehicle sick and there isn’t enough time or space to pull over. Also, separate the waste.

If the garbage is organic, such as banana peels or other fruit or vegetable waste, it can be disposed of in areas with soil and plants. So it is because they will provide nutrients for the trees and plants. However, dumping other types of rubbish is a strict no.

GPS

We no longer live in a time when paper maps and the pole star are used to get to a location; instead, we rely on technology. For instructions, use GPS. It not only provides you with the instructions, but it also shows you the route with the least amount of traffic.

However, if you use GPS on your phone, you occasionally depend on a decent network connection. As a precaution, download or save your destination’s route offline. You may also buy a GPS system for your automobiles, such as Garmin or TomTom.

GPS Transmitter

If you want to travel off the beaten path for an extended period, this is a must-have piece of equipment. A GPS transmitter allows a significant other, a friend, or a family member to log in and see where you are at all times. The GPS transmitter also allows you to send pre-scripted messages and, if necessary, make an SOS call.

Camera

Don’t simply build memories; photograph them so you may look back on them years later and remember the time you spent on the road and how that journey influenced your life in many ways. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; make the most of it and create memories. You can use your mobile smart phone, but if you want really nice quality photos to capture your trip, look into the following camera. It’s the one I have and use to this day for road trips, and it works perfectly for road trips.

Top rated camera on Amazon:
Cannon camera
Canon EOS Rebel T7 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens + 58mm Wide Angle Lens + 2X Telephoto Lens + Flash + 2X 32GB SD Cards + 3 Piece Filter Kit + Tripod + Full Accessory Bundle

Hiking Boots/Shoes

Even the most sedentary of us have to stretch our legs now and then, and with the amazing scenery, a road trip provides, you’d be crazy not to trek the hills. When buying hiking boots and shoes, you should consider their water resistance, support, breathability, comfort, weight, and, of course, appearance.

Top rated hiking boots on Amazon:
Men's Hiking Boots
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 10.5 M US

Women's hiking boots

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Granite, 8.5 M US

Tent

Tents are, of course, important road trip equipment for those overnight stays and camping. However, make careful to strike a balance between space and tent quality. With your pillow, sleeping bag, and blankets, you should have no issue establishing a warm, comforting atmosphere in which to sleep every night. Here is the tent I used in Big Bend during a storm! This tent held up well in the wind and rain.

Top rated tent on Amazon:
Camping tent
Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent, Navy

Jack

While we can’t all be technicians when anything goes wrong with our cars, everyone can learn how to change a tyre quickly. A jack helps you lift the automobile off the ground and remove the tyre by unscrewing the lug nuts. Usually your car has OEM parts or jack that came with the car. Make sure to check if you have one already.

Top rated jack on Amazon:
Pro lift jack
Pro-LifT F-2315PE Grey Hydraulic Trolley Jack Car Lift with Blow Molded Case-3000 LBS Capacity

Lug Wrench

You’ll need to screw the lug nuts back on once you’ve removed the lug nuts, removed the flat tyre, and replaced it with the new tyre. As such, you’ll need a lug wrench to screw them back on and tighten them properly.

Membership in Roadside Assistance

Many things might go wrong with your automobile, and you won’t be able to do anything about it. A roadside help subscription will provide you with a piece of mind, knowing that you can contact someone to come and fetch you and fix your automobile. Just be cautious if you’re venturing off the usual path for an extended amount of time. You might not arrive if you don’t have reception or data.

Multi-tools

You never know when you’ll need to cut open a container, remove a splinter, or extract a nail. Multi-tools are small, lightweight tools that are useful to have on hand. They come in various forms and sizes and serve a variety of purposes. They are a must-have road trip item that you will never travel without again. Make sure to have a Swiss knife, compass, and firestarter with you. Many of these tools come in one.

Top rated multi-tools on Amazon:
Swiss knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Hiker, Red,One Size

Compass and firestarter

X-Plore Gear Firestarter – 3-in-1 Survival Multifunction Tool – Magnesium Fire Starter Rod, Magnetic Compass & Emergency Whistle – Ideal for Outdoor Camping & Disaster Supply Kits

Tire Sealant

Always note that automobile tyre sealant is just a temporary solution for a flat tyre. Once the seal is broken, it’s recommended to find the nearest mechanic and get the tyre replaced. However, it’s a good idea to keep some in your car in case of a tyre emergency. Any necessities for your tyres are crucial for solo road trip needs.

Portable Cooking Stove and Bunsen Burner

If you want to cook, a canister stove should be your first purchase. Canister stoves are a lightweight and low-cost option to prepare food when parked for the night. Models vary, but most will last around two hours on high heat and four hours on low heat. As a result, you should also pack several spare fuel canisters.

Once you’ve got your stove, you’ll need a pot that will fit on top of it. Many canister stoves are available in pairs with a specified cooking pot. So if you’re going on a solo road trip, you won’t need anything too large. Here’s the exact cooking stove that I have used and it works great for warming up canned beans and other foods.

Top rated portable cooking travel gear on Amazon:
Portable camping stove
AOTU Portable Camping Stoves Backpacking Stove with Piezo Ignition Stable Support Wind-Resistance Camp Stove for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cooking

Stanley Portable Camping Cookware
Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set – 24oz Kettle with 2 Cups – Stainless Steel Camping Cookware with Vented Lids & Foldable + Locking Handle – Lightweight Cook Pot for Backpacking/Hiking/Camping

GasOne Camping Fuel

GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister 100g (2 Pack)

Solar Portable Charger Power Bank Wireless

I would have to say on my 3-month-long road trip around the US, the most important item on the list would be a solar-powered charger. There were countless times that I ran out of battery on my laptop or phone and the solar-powered charger saved the day. I would even tie the solar power charger to the outside of my tent while camping and let it hang out in the sunlight. It took only a few hours to fully charge. I even tied it to the outside of my car to charge it while driving (becareful doing this as you could lose your charger easily. I ended up losing my charger somewhere in Salt Lake City, Utah because I forgot I accidentally left it on the roof of my car!). Below is the exact solar powered charger I used.

Top rated solar charger off Amazon:
Solar powered wireless charger
Solar Charger 30000mAh Solar Power Bank Wireless Portable Charger Quick Charge 3.0 Type C Input Port with 6 Outputs, Dual Flashlight External Battery Portable Charger Power Bank for iOS and Android

Duffel bag

A large enough duffel bag to carry all your road trip gear will make it really easy for you to mobilize and transfer items to your campsite or to and from your vehicle when needed. Make sure your duffel bag has straps for easy carry.

Top rated duffel bags from Amazon:
Duffel bag
Deluxe Duffel Bag w/Zipper, Black – 42″X15″X15″

Camelbak Hydration Backpack

Another super important road trip is a Camelbak hydration backpack to stay hydrated wherever and whenever. You never know when you’ll want to stop, camp, or do some hiking off the beaten path and you want to make sure you have enough water on you. This came in clutch in Big Bend and Rio Grand, especially in the 110 plus degree weather in the Rio Grande. Trust me, a Camelbak is essential. You can thank me later.

Top rated Camelbak on Amazon:
Camelbak Hydration Backpack
CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Biking Hydration Backpack – Easy Refilling Hydration Backpack – Magnetic Tube Trap – 100 oz., Black

Cooling Vest

If you’re traveling through hot desert areas such as the Grand Canyon, it’s smart to take a cooling vest incase. The last thing you want is having an emergency due to a heat exhaustion or dehydration. The cooling vest is just a supplement to being well hydrated. So make sure to drink plenty of water in warm climates, but this cooling vest can definitely help you keep cool for a longer amount of time. The one I used was the Ergodyne cooling vest.

Top rated cooling vest on Amazon:
Cooling Vest
Ergodyne – 12544 Chill-Its 6665 Evaporative Cooling Vest – Gray, Large

Cash

Money can practically buy you anything. So carry cash, credit cards, debit cards, and meal cards with you. Also, carry some cash on hand if your cards don’t work — for example, in toll booths. There are certain areas where cards are unacceptable, so keep cash on hand. However, don’t bring too much cash with you so that it could become a liability if it gets stolen. Things happen while you’re on the road, like car break-ins at a rest area, it’s better not to carry too much cash on you with just enough.

Canned Food

Snacking will not be good for you in the long term, so get some rich canned food that you can cook on your stove. Snacks should be enough if you’re only going for a day or two. But if you’re going to be gone for an extended period, make sure you’re eating properly to keep your energy levels up and your mood constant.

Snacks

The only thing that can make you joyful after a long journey is a food. Keep snacks in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. And, if you’re going on a long trip, bring a lot of it with you. And if you’re a gourmet, set everything aside and bring only the food with you. You may either consume the meal right away or spend some time cooking snacks. But, always bring it with you to keep your stomach happy and thriving. If you don’t have or want a cooler, bring food such as energy bars and fruit with you. If you choose, you can also eat chips and other prepared snacks.

Sunscreen

Packing sunscreen is usually a good idea, especially if you’re in arid, desert terrain. Road travel frequently includes diversions and unplanned pauses. If you decide to go out in the heat, sunscreen will help protect your skin.

Travel Clothes

We can’t talk about road trip packing without mentioning the necessity of road trip-tested apparel. Pack clothing that is light, multi-functional, comfortable, and, most importantly, easy to care for. After all, you want to look and smell good while not having to worry about keeping your clothes wrinkle-free and clean for the duration of the trip. To prevent the hassle of daily washing while on the road, we recommend packing a smart capsule wardrobe comprised of natural materials that can be easily layered, mixed, and matched. Here are some of our favourite brands for road trips! Bring enough clothing for the number of days you’ll be gone. Make careful to pack and organize your clothing ahead of time, and don’t bring too much. Because of the limited space in your automobile, you may be a little more flexible in your selections. For example, you can store items in your trunk.

Here’s a fun shirt to wear to start your road trip:
Road Trip Warrior
Road Trip Warrior T-Shirt | Family Shirt for Family Vacation

Conclusion

Packing the above essential goods will ensure that your next road trip is a success, no matter where it takes you. You’ll pack light yet be ready for everything. Good luck!

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