Car Camping Checklist


Yesterday evening we got a text from our friend Heather asking us to join her and some friends who were camping up in Carlsbad. The sun was setting and we had no plans for the evening so within about an hour we were dressed, packed and on the road with the dogs. Nights like these are part of why I moved to California: last minute adventures outdoors, winter bonfires on the beach...

I also was looking for an excuse to really put my new favorite tote bag, the Santa Fe Gold Tote from Fresco Towels, to good use. I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to travel, so a giant tote is all I really need to pack for a night or two away. Here are my go-to essentials for an impromptu car camping trip:

-Pillows and blankets
-3-4 large pashminas to hang as curtains for privacy
-Phone charger
-Water bottle
-Toothbrush and toothpaste
-Dry shampoo (I love Sachajuan Volume Powder) and a brush 
-Toilet paper
-Hand sanitizer
-Food / snacks
-Wine and/or beer
-Wine key / corkscrew / bottle opener
-Fireball whiskey
-Solo cups
-Duct tape
-Lighter / matches
-Book or eReader
-Plastic bags for trash
-Dog food and bowls

It was actually my first time camping in Carlsbad and it was dark when we finally got to the campsite, so waking up next to these gorgeous coastal views was a bit of a surprise for me. But it was also a perfect start to the out-of-nowhere arrival of December (December?!), all snuggled up in the Versa with Ryan, Brewer and Banjo. 

As we were driving home early this morning, I thought about how grateful I am that we can do stuff like this. It's days like these that I remember you should never take your health or your lifestyle or your circumstances for granted. If you can, while you can... take advantage of your ability to drop everything and have a last minute adventure. Pack a bag, hop in the car and just go. Sometimes waking up with the person (and animals) you love somewhere new in the great outdoors is a necessary reminder of how beautiful things can be.