Primitive Car Camping Checklist | ROAM


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Primitive Car Camping Checklist

Primitive camping looks different for every camper. The only commonality in primitive camping is that you are sleeping outside the confines of an established campground. Some primitive camping takes place on the side of a highway, and some takes place deep in the woods with no one around for miles. Primitive camping can mean you’re camping with your car, or you’re backpacking with all your equipment on your back. Backpack camping is a bit more strenuous, and requires ultra-light equipment. In this list, we’ve included the essentials for primitive car camping. When you’re not restricted to only bringing the equipment that fits in your backpack, you can have a very comfortable camping experience without needing expensive gear.


  • Portable jug
  • Water bottle
    • Water is the most important item to pack in – remember that 2 gallons per person per day is recommended. You’ll need it for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

Tent Stuff:

  • Tent
  • Rainfly 
    • Make sure you use the one that came with your tent or buy one that fits the tent you’ll be using
  • Tarp
    • Stake this down underneath your tent to avoid taking on rainwater 
  • Tent stakes
  • Pole repair kit
  • Mallet for tent stakes (in a pinch, use a big rock)
  • Folding chair 

Sleeping stuff:


For cooking:


  • Swim suit
  • Warm clothes for night time 
  • Daytime hiking clothes
  • Hiking boots
  • Slides or flip flops
  • Warm socks
  • Hiking socks
  • Towel

Bathroom necessities:

  • Toilet paper
  • Trowel
  • Wet wipes
  • Gallon baggies

Car Safety Equipment:

  • License and registration
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire patch kit
  • Flares
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Paper maps
  • Full size spare tire


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