2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (2024)

Travel/Destinations

Written By Andrea Ference

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (1)

As someone who did not grow up in the outdoors, I ended up jumping straight from day hiking into backcountry camping. Skipping a somewhat pivotal step of the luxuries that are car camping.

From being able to bring comfortable mattresses, to all of the food you can possibly imagine and maybe most importantly the safety of being inside of a vehicle instead of a thin nylon tent. Car camping has become one of my favourite ways to explore the outdoors.

I have had the privilege of being able to test out a plethora of gear over the years and this is everything I bring to have a fun safe and relaxing solo car camping trip… plus a few of my easy, delicious and almost clean up free camp meals.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (2)

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (3)

REI Co-op Trailgate Gear Bin and Gear Cubes

I purchased the gigantic 140L version of this in 2022 and love it when I am capping with friends. But this year with so much solo camping I sized down and picked the 100L. They fold flat when empty if you are concerned about its footprint but I tend to keep all of my gear packed up in them and ready to go. In the 100L I have four packing cubes (one 25L with dividers for everything coffee related, one 10L for a paired down set of my pots, pans and dishes, one 10L for slippers, my camp chair and camp pillows and one 10L for my non-perishable food items). It still has space left for my camp stove, small table and two camp blankets.

REI Co-op Pack-Away 12 Soft Cooler

This folds flat when packed away and pops up really easily when I need it. On long road trips this is what I use for my in-car cold snacks and drinks. When camping I will use it as my fridge.

REI Co-op Cool Haul 24 Soft Cooler

This one is a little bit bigger and if you pack it properly will keep things cold or frozen for days. Just try your best not to open it and let the cold air out. I opt’ed for this one over a bulkier hard sided cooler because it is really compact (my car isn’t that big) and seems to suit my needs.

Pro-tip: instead of freezer packs freeze Nalgene bottles the night before for a very long lasting ice pack in your cooler (and bonus water when it melts).

Water Container + spout - to minimize the chances of running out of water pre coffee.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (4)

REI Co-op Trailgate Gear Bin

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (5)

REI Co-op Trailgate Gear Cubes

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (6)

REI Co-op Trailgate Adjustable Cube

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (7)

REI Co-op Pack-Away 12 Soft Cooler

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (8)

REI Co-op Cool Haul 24 Soft Cooler

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (9)

Sceptre 10L Water Container

In my coffee pod:

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (10)

REI Co-op Solid Graphic Camp Mug

Coffee Beans (I try to find a local coffee shop and have them ground to save on time and mess - this time I did bring my favourite beans from home and my small hand grinder)

Aeropress Go Go Travel Coffee Press

Chemex Coffee Maker - I wrap this either in a down blanket or more recently in my REI Co-op Camp Wrap to stay safe

Chemex Filters

Fellow Goose Neck Kettle (I like that this one is smaller but also has the thermometer on the lid with the ideal coffee temperature marked)

Coffee scale (I use 50g of beans : 650g water for two cups of camp coffee)

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (11)

REI Co-op Solid Graphic Camp Mug

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (12)

Aeropress Go Go Travel Coffee Press

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (13)

Instant coffee (just in case)

In my cooking pod:

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (14)

StanleyEven-Heat Camp Pro Cookset

Eureka Griddle - knew this trip and SO worth it. it makes amazing pancakes, grilled veg and quesadillas. No mess, easy to wipe down.

Hydroflask Camp Plate

Hydroflask Camp Bowl

Hydroflask Flatware Set

GSI Outdoors Rakau Knife Set - this includes a cutting board, knife sharpener and small cloth.

Tiny Cast Iron pan (this was from my grandmother but you can find a smilier one here)

Olive oil, honey and open spices in a half gallon Stasher bag to minimize the chances of a spill + extra bags for leftovers.

Biodegradable dish soap and a small cleaning cloth and drying cloth (although honestly I will typically just wipe them clean-ish when out and do a full clean when back home)

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (15)

Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (16)

Eureka Griddle

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (17)

Hydroflask Camp Plate

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (18)

Hydroflask Camp Bowl

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (19)

GSI Outdoors Rakau Knife Set

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (20)

Stasher Bags

In my pantry pod:

Non-perishable food items and spices. I use these mostly as a backup when I forget a meal when planning, extend the trip a few days or don’t have time to run to the store. Pasta + sauce, brown rice, Annie’s Mac and Cheese + tuna, Pancake Mix (I also do have a teeny tiny waffle maker) and Trader Joe’s Indian Fare meals.. As well as the entire Patagonia Provisions line of dried soups, chilis, grains and smoked and canned fish products.

Also remember to check the best before dates before your first trip of the season. I made this mistake so that you don’t have to!

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (21)

In my cozy pod:

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (22)

Helinox Chair Zero (I will typically bring two just because you never know who will want to pop by for dinner)

Camp Slippers - I love these because they have a no slip grippy bottom and can be worn as a slide or a slipper.

This is also where I keep other miscellaneous small items like a full canister of propane for my stove, lights, a small seat pad...

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (23)

Helinox Chair Zero

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (24)

Camp Slippers

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (25)

Big Agnes mtnGLO Camp Lights

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (26)

Therm-a-rest Z-Seat Pad

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (27)

Black Diamond Moji R+ Lantern

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (28)

Headlamp

Loose in the pack-away bin:

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (29)

EurekaIgnite 2-Burner Camp Stove + fuel

REI Co-op Outward Side Table

Helinox Table One Camping Table - Hard Top - Large

Down Blanket - or if you’re not one for sharing, they also come in a 1 Person size too that can be worn as a cape (I typically bring one big and one little)

REI Co-op Shower Roll - perfect for keeping toiletries organized and even has a small mirror

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (30)

EurekaIgnite 2-Burner Camp Stove

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (31)

REI Co-op Outward Side Table

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (32)

Helinox Table One Camping Table

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (33)

Rumpl Blanket

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (34)

Rumpl Blanket

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (35)

REI Co-op Shower Roll

Unless there is food within a short walking distance, it is very rare that I will want to leave after I have unpacked my camping set up. The thought of either packing it all up or leaving it alone… not so appealing. I try to pick up all of my non-perishables (and keep my staples + spices in my car camping bin) before I leave home but for fresh fruit, veggies and meat I will pop into the last grocery store before leaving town with the same basic list. Everything for tacos, palomas to drink and either pancakes or a breakfast scramble in the morning.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (36)

the best (slightly neurotic) camp coffee 1

you will need:

  • Stove + small pot

  • Kettle (preferably goose neck)

  • Coffee Beans (optional : grinder but you can just ask your coffee shop to grind your beans for a chemex)

  • Scale

  • Chemex

  • Mugs

directions:

  1. Heat your water - I boil water in a small pot and then transfer it to the kettle which tends to cool it down just enough for coffee

  2. Grind your coffee beans - if you had your beans pre-ground at the coffee shop you can skip this step!

  3. Add a little bit of hot water to your cups to pre-heat them.

  4. Wet your filter and discard that water (this gets rid of any paper-y taste and create a better cup of coffee.

  5. Weight out 22g of ground beans and pop those in your filter.

  6. Tear your filter and add 35g of water (in the 200-205°F range) and let it bloom for 30-60 seconds

  7. Slowly add more water until your scale reads 333g

  8. Empty the warming water from your mugs and once the water has all drained through - fill your cup up and enjoy your camp coffee!

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (37)

avocado toast (or croissants, or any carbohydrate base)

you will need:

  • Stove

  • Frying Pan

  • Knife and cutting board

  • Butter or Oil

  • Eggs (we bought ours form a little farm stand along the road)

  • Avocado

  • Carb of choice (we went with croissants this time but this is great on any form of bread)

  • Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch

  • Trader Joe’s EBTB spice

  • Tomatoes (optional)

  • Plate

directions:

  1. Make your egg per usual (adding the EBTB space on top)

  2. Prepare your base and ingredients (I have found that mashing avocados makes for the most easy to eat toast).

  3. Assemble, I like to go:

    • Bread

    • Chile Onion Crunch

    • Avocado

    • Tomato

    • Egg

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (38)

taco night

you will need:

  • Stove

  • Frying Pan and griddle

  • Oil

  • Spices (I like this one from Patagonia Provisions)

  • Protein of choice (I have made veggie with tofu, chicken breast (which takes a little bit more planning when camping) or beef)

  • Onion

  • Red and Yellow Bell Peppers

  • Cheese

  • Guacamole or Avocados

  • Cilantro

  • Pico de Gallo

  • Hot Sauce

  • Small tortillas (or hard shells if you prefer)

directions:

  1. For veggie tacos, skip this step. If you are making beef or chicken (or any meat of your choice) this is where you cook your meat - a lot of times I will also cook it before I leave home and keep it in the cooler to make my life a little easier. I use a little but of olive oil (the garlic one from Trader Joe’s adds a little something something if you’re in the neighbourhood) and half of my spice packet. Ensure your meat is cooked! Then remove from heat.

  2. Carmalize your onions. Low and slow in a little bit of olive oil. When they are almost translucent - add in your chopped veggies (I always end up just using one red and one yellow bell pepper) and the rest of your seasoning packet.

  3. Prep your avocados. Add a squeeze of lime juice (or a lime packet).

  4. Assemble your tacos with toppings of choice.

  5. Don’t forget the hot sauce!

  6. Enjoy!

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (39)

car-cuterie baord

you will need:

  • Snow Peak Titanium Bowl

  • Snow Peak Titanium Plate

  • Snow Peak Charcuterie Plate (double duty as a cutting board)

  • Bee's Wrap Honeycomb Print Wraps - for cheese

  • Cheese: 1 soft, 1 firm, 1 hard (aim for each to have its own unique texture)

  • Meat : 1 small salami, 1 large salami, 1 whole-muscle meat

  • Extras: aim for as much variety as possible: salty, sweet, spicy, acidic, savoury; pickled, dried, fresh, soft, crunchy

  • Note: aim for 4oz of meat and cheese per person (but know your audience, I eat a lot more than that) and remember to check for allergies and dietary preferences.

directions:

  1. Lay your cheese down (for this trip I did Marin French Cheese Petite Breakfast Fresh Brie, Iberico, Cabra Al Vino, and Manchego) they are your anchors.

  2. Meats go in next (Calabrese Salame, Prosciutto,Capocollo and sausage this time) - hug them close to your cheeses.

  3. Fill the gaps with your extras. I didn’t come from home where I would normally grab a handful of 101 things from the pantry/fridge - a quick stop at Trader Joes left me with cashews, smoked almonds, fresh blueberries, marinated olives and dried mangos and pineapples)

  4. I try to keep my crackers separate - this way they don’t get soggy and are easier to pack up any extras. The breadsticks where a hit! But I also grabbed some rosemary and fig crackers and thinly sliced a sourdough baguette(I used the rest for avocado toast the following morning). Crunchy, sweet and soft was my thought process.

  5. Side salad. I picked a tabbouleh salad but a greek salad or something light and fresh adds brightness to an evening of meat and cheese.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (40)

palomas

you will need:

  • Tequila

  • Mezcal (do not skip this - it adds an amazing smoky flavour)

  • Grapefruit juice

  • Sparkling water (I use either lime or grapefruit Spindrift when its available)

  • Lime juice

  • Agave nectar or simple syrup

  • Salt (if you want to rum your glasses)

  • Ice

directions:

  1. Salt the rim of the glass by rubbing a grapefruit wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of salt.

  2. Mix the tequila, mezcal, grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and agave nectar into the glass.

  3. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice.

  4. Adjust sweetness to taste.

  5. Garnish with grapefruit and lime wedge.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (41)

camp pancakes

you will need:

  • A griddle (a pan will also work but I LOVE this griddle)

  • Whipped Cream

  • Berries

  • Maple Syrup

  • Pancake Mix ( I love the Use Mochi from Trader Joe’s when it is in season) + ingredients per label

    OR

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • 1 ¼ cups milk

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 egg

directions:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together

  2. Make a well, then add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.

  3. Scoop the batter onto a hot griddle or pan

  4. Cook for two to three minutes, then flip (wait for bubbles)

  5. Continue cooking until brown on both sides.

  6. Remove from griddle, top with maple syrup, whipped cream and fresh berries. Accompany with hot coffee.

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (42)

*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made - at no additional cost to you. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Thank you for your support!

2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (43)

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2024 Outdoorsy Women’s Summer Gear Guide - Part three : Solo Car Camping — Andrea Ference (2024)
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