Sometimes we want the comforts of home while we’re on outdoor adventures, whether it’s a movie projector and a pile of cozy blankets or a kitchen setup fit for a chef. This is especially easy with car camping, which allows the freedom to haul the stuff you love to personalize your campsite without having to hike it all in. With a little imagination (and a little help from the trunk of your car), the possibilities are endless.
To get you started, we’ve gathered our favorite gear that will make your campsite so cozy, you may not want to return home.
When the sun goes down, keep the good vibes flowing with the glow of LED string lights. These lights from REVEL GEAR have eight brightness levels for softer or brighter illumination and six different modes, including a fire-crackle setting. Suspend them from your car to your tent to light a path through your campsite (this is great for late-night bathroom runs) or drape them near your camp chairs to give every camper a gentle glow. Charging is easy—just plug them into a power source using the attached USB cable. $24.95
Speaking of camp chairs, cozy seats are essential to a comfortable campsite. No need to sit in the dirt when you have the Dometic GO Compact Camp Chair. After you’ve set up your tent, designate a space for your camp “family room,” then add a seat for everyone in your crew. These full-size chairs pack down small enough to fit in your vehicle’s trunk year-round, so you’ll always be ready to kick back on the fly. If you’re a snuggler, try seating for two with the Dometic GO Camp Bench. Chair: $149.95, Bench: $99.95
Elevate your outdoor setup with the NEMO Victory Patio Blanket. Use it as a colorful rug in your tent, a picnic blanket for campsite dinners, a welcome mat or a beach towel. You can also stow small items in its modest stash pocket. Once your adventure is over, give it a shake (a waterproof bottom resists sand and dirt), then pop it in the washing machine for easy cleanup. $99.95–$139.95
It wouldn’t be a cozy campsite without a blanket for snuggling too. Cocoon yourself in this warm, soft blanket made from recycled fabrics like wool, polyester and polycotton. Naiomi Glasses, a 7th-generation Diné textile artist, designed the namesake blanket using a wedge weave technique that creates natural zigzags. Your purchase will warm others too: For each one sold, Sackcloth & Ashes donates a blanket to a local homeless shelter. $140
Entertaining friends and family while camping is easier with the RovR Products KeepR + IceR Insulated Tote. The bag can work as a picnic basket or cocktail caddy. The stainless-steel IceR holds up to 3 pounds of ice. Just nest it inside the KeepR to keep it from melting. The flat base allows the tote to sit on varied surfaces, which will be handy not only while camping but for tailgating and boating too. $150
Camping doesn’t have to take you off the grid. Those who enjoy their gadgets will appreciate the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern + Power Hub. Use it as a light or as a portable charger—plug in your device using an included USB cable. To charge Luci Inflatable, let it sit in the sun or hook it up to an outlet. The lantern provides a warm glow for up to 50 hours. Hang it inside your tent to illuminate game night or position several outside for easy navigation in the dark. $49.95
The Kelty Waypoint Car Tarp is a great addition to vehicle-assisted camping. The waterproof tarp creates a shady area for dining, tailgating or waiting for an afternoon rain shower to pass. This versatile tarp attaches to most vehicles, and some campers even report using it in their backyards too. $144.95
An organized campsite is a pleasant campsite. This waterproof, dustproof storage bin from Dometic will keep all your gear together and accessible throughout the day. For additional organization, you can nest these smaller, soft storage bins (not included) inside the 50-liter bin. Once you’re back home, store your most important camping gear in the bin to make prepping for your next adventure a breeze. $149.95
Good food is part and parcel of cozy camping. Keep your kitchen tools organized with the Kelty Chef Roll Bag. Stow utensils and other small items in its four zippered pockets, then hang it on your roof rack to keep your tools handy. Campers can also use the roll bag to store toiletries. Just remember to place it in a vehicle or bear box at night, so the wildlife doesn’t swipe it when you’re not looking. $39.95
This is the one time you won’t lose camp-partner points for packing everything and the kitchen sink. Use this collapsible sink from SOL to carry small items while you’re setting up camp. When you need to clean gear or utensils, fill it with water, add some biodegradable soap and wash everything that’ll fit in its 16-liter basin. Simply collapse it down (and follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles principles for disposing the water) when it’s time to pack up camp. $23
Top off your campsite kitchen with this portable water faucet from Dometic. This gadget is especially convenient when you have younger campers in tow. Use the faucet to fill your collapsible sink, refill water bottles or wash sticky hands. The LED light on the faucet makes it easy to use at night and an automatic shut-off feature helps prevent wasting water. $99.95