Let me first say that the reason for this post is mainly to remind myself what I need to pack so that my travel partner doesn’t give me a look that says, “Really? You forgot to pack it? Anything else that you forgot?” ever again. Mostly because it’s an annoyed one I’d rather avoid and also because I should have been more prepared.

Who are we and where do we go?

We are people: hikers, climbers, explorers, and everything between! I’m a teacher who’s able to work remotely. He’s an engineer looking for a way into the world of self-employment. We go wherever we want, mostly whenever we want.

The purpose of this checklist is to avoid any catastrophes we endured during our most recent trip: both to Chicago and Devils Lake in Wisconsin. We have just remodeling the inside of our 4Runner so we can live out of it more comfortably. With that being said, everything that I used to store in the car was no longer within arm’s reach! I had to repack everything that we used to have in there on top of the regular things I usually pack…

I forgot some stuff… a lot of stuff… It is my hope that with this checklist (I’ve written this more for myself than my audience) that we never find ourselves without the essentials again.

Without further adieu, I present to you my essential packing checklist. Click on the links to items which interest you. All links are in fact to the same items I have purchased and put to good use on our long-term and short-term adventures!

Camping/Climbing Gear



Cooking Stuff

Dish Box
(bowls, plates, eating utensils, strainer, pot, pan, spatula, can opener, cups, peeler, knife)



  • Chargers
    • phone, computer, headphones, hand-held vacuum
  • Electronics
  • Baby wipes
  • Eye-ware
    • Contacts, contact solution, glasses, sunglasses
  • Trash bags (Kroger bags work wonders, and they’re free)
  • Dental Hygiene
    • Tooth brushes, toothpaste, mouth wash, floss
  • Hair brush, hair ties, feminine products
  • Journal
  • Two towels, to be stored in our netting by our feet

Whew! Time to Pack!


  1. If you pack it, use it.
  2. Allow plenty of time for packing and organizing.
  3. Use a trusty go-to checklist during the packing process.
  4. HAVE FUN.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found at least part of my checklist to be helpful to you and your future endeavors. Comment below to let me know what items are on your essential packing list! I’m excited to hear from you.

6 Comments on Checklist for a Road Trip

6 Replies to “Checklist for a Road Trip”

  1. I use an app called Anylist on my phone to make a camping list that I can use anytime we get ready to camp. I add items as needed but helps prevent me from having to make a list everytime. Here is an example of what is currently on my list.

    Sleeping bags
    Shower stuff
    Kids games
    Beach towels
    Head lamps
    Pot and pan (no kettle)
    Big spoons
    Ground coffee
    Frech press
    Water bottles
    Trash bags
    Kitchen towel
    Bug spray

    1. Thank you, Laura! I’m interested in the app you recommended. Maybe it’ll save me some time. I love how you have cash on your list! I should have added that to mine, too.

    1. We use our phones as cameras. But this last trip we took, we did take a camera. We really didn’t use it except when we were in Chicago. Hiking and stuff, we just usually use our phones. Less to carry!

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