A handy checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip

As we are getting ready for our next Road Trip, I thought I should share with you a handy checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip. These items will enable you to camp wherever you want or need to! You will also be able to cook in case you are in a remote area.


Going on a Road Trip? Here is a handy Checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip - Learn more on roadtripsaroundstheworld.com


As you know, Mr A and I are road trip enthusiasts! Driving around essentially means more freedom. Freedom to stop where and when you want to. Freedom to change plans, routes, and even destination! When road tripping, you pretty much go wherever you want to go, at your own pace.

But road trips takes practice! And some organisation is required to make the most of them. Stopping in the middle of the desert and sleeping in the car is fun, the first time, but gets old very quickly. Spending hours looking for a restaurant in remote areas because you have no way to cook and nothing to cook anyway, is aggravating. Basic necessity can become burdensome if you are not prepared.


So let’s get prepared with this handy checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip! 

 A useful Checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip - Learn more on roadtripsaroundstheworld.com

Sleeping comfortably


Going on a road trip doesn’t necessarily mean going camping. We often sleep in hotels or B&B on our road trips and especially in big cities. But even if you’re planning to move from hotel to hotel, you should consider bringing the minimum gear required to sleep outside. Just in case! When we arrived in Flam in Norway, all the hotels were full, and if we didn’t have these gears with us, we would have had to either sleep in the car or drive a long drive to find another place to stay. Not cool…

The bare minimum should be:

  • A tent (with stakes, guy lines and possibly a hammer)
  • Sleeping bags (with optional liners)
  • Sleeping pads / Air mattresses (inc Pad/mattress repair kit)
  • Pillows (I tend to bring my own pillow. I use it in the car for little snoozes on the road anyway!)

You should probably also have:

  • Flashlight or Lanterns (save your phone battery!)
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Extra blanket

These are useful tools which you should keep in your car anyway.

Other Useful Items to have at hand

  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-aid kit

Again, those are items you should keep in your car at all time. If you need more tips on what you should keep in your car, check this post out:

Let’s talk about Road Trips and what you need to plan before hitting the road!



Coffee first!! I need coffee before anything else, I’ll probably die, or kill someone if I don’t get coffee first thing in the morning. OK not really but I’ll be very annoying!!! 😉 Yes, you can hit the road and look for a place that serves coffee. I can’t, I need it know!!!

There are several ways to handle such issue. A little boiler or coffee maker that you plug into your car is one. However, I think the best think you can do is get a little stove that you will be able to also use for cooking. Cooking on the road is part of the fun and a necessity in some areas. Better be prepared than starve!


What you will need:

  • Stove (eventually a windscreen)
  • Fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Frying pan
  • Cook pots & Pot grabber
  • Strainer
  • Portable coffee maker (of course!)
  • Mugs/cups
  • Cutting board
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls, cutting board…
  • Cutlery, Utensils, Paring knife, Spatula…

Other Useful cooking tools to have at hand: 

  • Food-storage containers
  • Trash bags
  • Bottle opener/corkscrew, can opener
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Pot scrubber/sponge
  • Towel
  • Foil


OK I know this looks like a long list but first of all these items do not have to be big and second they do not necessarily have to be ‘camping’ specific gear.

Our stove fits in one hand. I bring cutlery and lots of other stuff I have at home and use daily.

Do I need to mention that you need to have some basic food supply with you?? 😉

Some further tips on how to best chose which items to bring: 

Items you bring should be light and small. If stackable, easy to pack, foldable…that’s even better.

They shouldn’t be too fragile. I used to bring ‘normal’ mugs on the road. But after breaking a few handle, I did invest in some enamel mugs which are pretty much unbreakable and actually, much lighter than the ones I used to bring. Win win!

Try to bring items that have multiple use. For ex, my Swiss Army knife includes a corkscrew and can opener as well as other tools. The food container I bought can be used to store food of course, but also fit perfectly in the little cooler I have which we’re taking when going on a hike. Double usage.

Bring things you are going to use. Open fires are prohibited in lots of areas, especially in summer, so forget about roasting marshmallows or baking potatoes in one. Instead focus on ‘responsible means’ to cook. Don’t bring the ‘just in case’ items. Plan ahead!!

Make sure the items you bring are adequate. The lid should fit on your pot! But not only!! For ex, I have a little strainer with tiny holes because rice is going to be on the menu. If I was only to cook pasta, I would only bring the lid I have which has holes. But I can’t use that lid for rice, and certainly not for quinoa.

Bring reusable items. It might tempting to you to bring plastic plates, cups, cutlery… but in the long term, it’s not even a space saver.


Water management! 

Water is probably the most difficult thing to handle when road tripping. Not only it’s heavy to carry, although you have a car so you’re not doing much of the work, but it’s also hard to know how much you will need. The other issue is that it can get hot pretty quickly. Not so much of an issue for cooking, but a real issue for drinking!

Our way to handle?

Water for drinking is kept in metal water bottle in a cooler. Filled up at every possible occasions!

Water for cooking and washing kept in collapsible containers. Also filled up as often as possible!!

So here is what you will need:

  • A cooler with cold pack
  • Water bottles
  • Collapsible water container(s)

And maybe:

  • Portable or standing camp sink
  • Portable shower

And possibly: a Lifestraw.


Would you like a printable version of the checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip? 


A useful Checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip - Learn more on roadtripsaroundstheworld.com
Just chose which version you would like and click on the link below. A new page will open and you all you need to do is print and enjoy!

Checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip – A4 format

Checklist of gears to bring on a Road Trip – Letter US format


Notice that there are some blank spaces? These are for you to complete!



If you need more tips on how to plan and organise your next Road Trip, just browse around! or go to the Essentials section to find some resources you may like. 



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