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Home Away from Home: Family Car Camping

nemo tent

Car camping with the family is a chance to escape the daily grind—but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on comfort. These key gear items will keep the whole crew happy in the great outdoors.

Aurora Highrise 

With plenty of standing room, Nemo’s new family camping tent impressed us with its Tardis-like power of being much bigger on the inside than we thought possible, thanks to steep sidewalls that don’t sacrifice stability. That’s clutch when everyone is scrambling for gear when getting ready for bed or waking up in the morning. Easy to set up, it’s available in four- and six-person models. $400 (four-person), $500 (six-person);

Combar FoldaXe Pro

You’ll want to keep it away from the little kids, but this gadget for grownups packs a lot of potentially dangerous but useful tools in one compact package. Light and sleek, it morphs from a safe carry position to ax to hammer for use around camp. But wait. There’s more. Stored inside the shaft, you’ll find a fixed-blade survival knife and saw to complete the package. $349;


Pooping requires some forethought when you don’t have plumbing. Dispose of your waste wrong and you degrade the environment and the experience for everyone. This clever, all-in-one kit gives you all you need to relieve and clean up after yourself responsibly outside—including a shovel that can dig into tough soils, hand sanitizer, and mycelium tablets that help break down your waste. $50;

Rambler One Gallon Jug

Sure, it seems boring—it’s a big metal jug—but this one-gallon, stainless steel beast has become one of the most important pieces in our car-camping gear stash. It keeps water colder and safer than bigger plastic containers and pours easier in camp. Plus, the near-indestructible urn keeps soup hot for an instant warm meal when you roll into camp at a late hour. $130;


Swedish brand Primus won a coveted Scandinavian Outdoor Award for this double burner with a removable lid that allows access from all sides for easier cooking with a busy group. It’s easy to transport, easy to clean, and provides the space and power to cook big meals for hungry families. $300;

Decathlon Quechua 
Portable Folding Kitchen Unit

We can’t stress how much having a kitchen unit makes life simpler, cleaner, and more organized when you are settled into that perfect camp spot. Sturdy and simple to set up, this model offers counter space for stove and food preparation as well as plenty of storage space for crockery and supplies (just be aware of food storage regulations). When you are done, it packs away into its own carrying case. $119;

Be Smart Get Prepared
Happy Explorer First Aid Kit

Stocked with 256 items, this all-encompassing kit, which comes in a sturdy plastic carrying case, is mandatory for any trip into the woods. It includes treatment for everything from bee stings to burns and includes Silvex Wound Gel to prevent infections. Best of all, it’s intuitively organized and easy to find what you need in the middle of a crisis. $25;

Devour Ti

This trusty (and recently upgraded) titanium utensil is far more than a spork. It includes a can opener, bottle opener, two screwdrivers, and more, making it mandatory gear whether you are car camping or backpacking. $25; 

Cover photo courtesy of Nemo

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