65 Should-Have Highway Journey Necessities: Your Full Packing Guidelines

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There may be an simple magic to a superb highway journey: the liberty of the open highway, the chance to go to unparalleled sights, and the distinctive experiences that you simply come upon alongside the way in which. Nonetheless, creating these unforgettable moments requires efficient planning and sensible packing of the suitable highway journey necessities.

At Bearfoot Concept, we’ve gone on our justifiable share of highway journeys and experimented with a plethora of drugs – some gadgets have labored nicely and others not a lot. We all know that packing for a highway journey can simply flip right into a demanding a part of your journey if group isn’t your forte – there’s nothing fairly as disheartening as realizing you’ve left one thing essential behind.

On this submit, we’re excited to share our high choice of highway journey gear that may show you how to optimize your highway journey to its fullest. You received’t want a tricked-out van or battle with a every day sport of Tetris making an attempt to suit all the pieces into your trunk. Hold scrolling for our highway journey packing listing that covers the gear necessities for guaranteeing a secure and superb time on the highway.

Highway Journey Navigational Instruments

Whereas a part of the enjoyable of a superb highway journey could be getting misplaced and exploring distant again roads, it’s essential to have dependable navigational instruments so that you don’t find yourself totally misplaced.

Listed below are our suggestions for highway journey maps and apps:

Paper Map or Atlas

Though everyone knows Google Maps is important for instructions, I persoanlly like carrying a paper map too. Plus, hopefully a few of your itinerary will take you off the grid and out of mobile phone service.

For that cause, you’ll wish to carry a paper map or highway atlas. Paper maps are additionally higher than cellphone apps for telling the distinction between a well-graded gravel highway and a gnarly 4×4 highway.

My favourite paper maps are the Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlases which additionally element public lands, tenting areas, Nationwide Parks, and extra.

Store Benchmark Highway and Recreation Atlases at:

a person holds a Benchmark Road Atlas in the driver's seat
A paper map is all the time helpful for highway journeys. I’ve discovered a few of my favourite roads and campsites utilizing the Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas.


A GPS is helpful for navigation once you don’t have cell service. If you happen to don’t wish to buy a GPS, obtain Google Maps for offline use or use the app maps.me as an alternative. It is a useful free app that you need to use to navigate and discover sights and facilities even with out cell service.

Simply you should definitely obtain the maps.me map for the area you’re going to be touring in forward of time so that it’ll work offline.

Nonetheless within the planning section of your journey? Take a look at our highway journey vacation spot concepts right here! And if you happen to’re in search of a automobile tenting guidelines, head to our Automobile Tenting Necessities weblog submit.

Highway Journey Apps

Downloading a few apps earlier than you head out will make highway journey planning simpler and can show you how to discover belongings you’re in search of on the highway like campsites, relaxation stops, facilities, and extra.

AllTrails is nice for locating close by mountain climbing trails on the go. AllTrails+ means that you can save hikes and obtain maps for offline use once you’re out of cell service, navigate on the path so that you don’t get misplaced, and extra.

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The Roadtrippers App is a helpful one too. It enables you to save places on the go, discover vacation spot factors alongside your route, and find lodging, fuel, eating places, and extra.

The iExit App may also help you identify one of the best areas to take a pit cease on main highways when you’re touring.

Gasoline Buddy is a useful highway journey app that may show you how to discover the most affordable fuel costs so that you aren’t losing cash once you replenish.

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Highway Journey Clothes, Footwear, & Equipment

Packing for a highway journey means filling your luggage with versatile, well-fitting, and sturdy garments that enable you to perform a little little bit of all the pieces.

You’ll wish to have clothes, footwear, and equipment that:

  • Gained’t wrinkle
  • Retain their form (suppose a bit little bit of stretch)
  • Wick away moisture
  • Are snug to spend full days in

Whereas loopy patterns may be enjoyable, I choose to pack strong prints that may go along with all the pieces. That manner, you don’t have to essentially take into consideration packing particular outfits.

Listed below are just a few of my favourite highway journey necessities picks for clothes, footwear, and equipment. For extra suggestions, take a look at the hyperlinks beneath.

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Highway Journey Packing Lists

Highway Journey Leisure Packing Record

Highway journeys are all about having a superb time, proper? Proper. Make the drive enjoyable with the next leisure necessities. I additionally suggest preserving your day mountain climbing necessities in your trunk too so that you’re all the time prepared for a spur-of-the-moment hike, do you have to want them.

Music Playlists

What’s a highway journey with out music? A very good playlist will maintain your power up and can assist the miles fly by. Load up your cellphone with loads of tunes forward of time in case you’ll be driving by way of areas with restricted service. I’m a HUGE fan of Spotify.

Podcasts & Audiobooks

If music isn’t your factor otherwise you want a break from rockin’ out, obtain a few audiobooks or a bunch of episodes of your favourite podcasts.

For ideas, take a look at our favourite out of doors podcasts. The Libby App and Audible are additionally nice assets for downloading audiobooks.


A ebook or two is all the time good to have alongside on a highway journey so you’ll be able to learn in your downtime.

We frequently prefer to convey books concerning the locations we’re exploring so we are able to be taught concerning the space whereas touring.

Journey Video games

If you happen to’re touring with youngsters, video games are a good way to maintain everybody joyful and entertained.

However video games aren’t only for youngsters! Bringing alongside a deck of playing cards or your favourite highway journey video games gives enjoyable for everybody.


A set of headphones or AirPods are good to convey on a highway journey in case you want a bit alone time.

Digital camera

Carry a digicam to seize the reminiscences in your journey and take a look at our pictures web page for ideas and tips for taking nice photographs.

A woman bends down to take a photo with a camera with mountains in the background

Pocket book

Not everybody enjoys journaling or sketching, however a pocket book is sweet to convey alongside on a highway journey for individuals who wish to report their journey.

If you happen to prefer to journal or make notes concerning the locations you journey to, pack a small weatherproof notebook.

Store Ceremony within the Rain Pocket book at:

iPad/Laptop computer

An iPad or laptop computer is sweet to have alongside for evenings once you simply wish to Netflix and chill. Obtain just a few motion pictures forward of time for straightforward viewing.

A blue Suburu pulled off the road on a road trip in Utah

Highway Journey Snacks & Kitchen Packing Record

Among the best components a couple of highway journey is tasty highway journey snacks, wouldn’t you agree? Whether or not you’re a salty or candy individual, having fast and (principally) wholesome snack choices could make or break an extended drive.

It’s additionally a good suggestion to pack some kitchen and cooking gear even if you happen to’re not tenting so you’ll be able to whip up that impromptu picnic.

Listed below are our highway journey snack and kitchen necessities:

Wholesome Snacks

Having wholesome snacks simply accessible will cease the hanger from creeping in and show you how to keep away from fuel station temptations like chips and sweet (no judgment although if you wish to indulge!)

A few of our favourite highway journey snacks are:

  • Veggies and dip, like carrots and sugar snap peas with hummus or Bitchin’ Sauce (if you happen to’ve by no means tried it, you gotta discover it, it’s sooo good)
  • Contemporary, easy-to-eat fruit, like apples, bananas, and mandarins
  • Path combine or roasted nuts
  • Higher for you chip alternate options like baked chips, snap pea crisps, and popcorn


A cooler will maintain your fruit, veggies, dips, and different snacks chilly so you’ll be able to eat recent on the highway.

If you happen to’re simply packing just a few chilly drinks and snacks, a small, light-weight cooler like REI’s Cool Haul 24 Soft Cooler is a flexible possibility.

Store REI Cool Haul 23 Gentle Cooler at:

Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is vital for staying hydrated and eliminating single-use plastics.

An insulated Hydro Flask will maintain your water good and chilly on sizzling days. I additionally like their straw lid version which lets you simply drink one-handed when you drive.

Store Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottles at:

Water Jug

Along with saving cash and avoiding plastic bottles, having a water jug with you makes for a fast and simple fill-up of your water bottle whereas on the highway and earlier than heading out on a hike. It’s additionally a sensible factor to have in case you break down or run out of fuel.

The GSI Outdoors Folding Water Cube holds 15 liters of water and has a handy faucet deal with that stops spilling.

Store the GSI Water Dice at:

Espresso Mug

Think about bringing an insulated espresso mug for preserving espresso and tea sizzling on dawn drives or ensuring your beverage stays chilly on sizzling days.

The Hydro Flask 20 oz Tumbler has a splashproof lid and its tapered design permits it to suit into most cup holders.

Store the Hydro Flask 20 oz Tumbler at:

Muli Instrument/ Swiss Military Knife

A multi-tool or versatile knife like this Swiss Army Camper Knife is all the time good to have alongside, whether or not for slicing apples, reducing rope, or opening that good bottle of wine.

Store the Swiss Military Camper Knife at:

Utensil Set

Saying no to single-use plastics is straightforward when you’ve gotten a reusable utensil set with you.

This To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Set is available in a helpful holder and is ideal for on-the-go meals whether or not you’re road-tripping or not. It comes with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, and a bamboo straw.

Store the To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Set at:

Fast-Dry Towels

A set of small quick-dry towels is a superb zero-waste various for wiping your palms and cleansing up messes and spills. A roll of paper towels works too.

Store the REI Fast-Dry Towel Set at:

Reusable Bag

A reusable bag just like the REI Stuff Travel Tote will turn out to be useful for these grocery retailer stops alongside the way in which and when you arrive at your vacation spot.

Store the REI Stuff Journey Tote at:

A person sits in a camp chair next to a lake on a road trip

Packing & Organizing Highway Journey Necessities

Hold your stuff organized and simple to seek out with these highway journey packing necessities.

Suitcase, Backpack, or Duffel Bag

You possible have already got a suitcase, backpack, or duffel bag at house that you need to use to pack to your highway journey, it doesn’t should be something fancy, simply one thing to comfortably maintain your garments and different belongings.

If you happen to don’t personal one already, we love the REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel.

Store the REI Roadtripper Duffel at:


A day pack for hikes and different outings is all the time good to convey on a highway journey. It doesn’t should be massive, simply sufficiently big to carry water, your cellphone, digicam, keys, snacks, and different mountain climbing necessities.

This Osprey Tempest pack has been my go-to for day hikes and adventures for a very long time. The Osprey Talon is the boys’s model.

Store the Osprey Tempest Pack at:

Packing Cubes

If you happen to’re like me, your suitcase (or duffel) generally is a catastrophe. I sort out this downside through the use of packing cubes to maintain all of my clothes organized whereas I’m road-tripping. Underwear in a single. Socks in one other. Pants. Shirts. Every class of clothes will get its personal dice.

Store REI Packing Cubes at:

Toiletry Bag

Having all of your toiletries and smaller necessities in a single bag makes it simple to seek out them once you want them.

This REI Co-op Shower Roll Bag is a favourite that makes it tremendous simple to entry all of your toiletries in a single place.

Store the REI Bathe Roll Bag at:

Highway Journey Packing Record for Private Care

Getting out of your regular routine could make it a bit extra of a problem to maintain up with private care, however with these necessities, you’ll discover your new highway journey routine very quickly.


UV rays can come by way of your home windows so convey a tube or two of fine mineral-based sunscreen, particularly if you happen to’re road-tripping in the summertime.

It’s additionally helpful in case you discover an uncovered viewpoint you wish to picnic at or a sunny hike alongside the way in which.

Store Solar Bum Sunscreen at:

Lip Balm

Lip balm is all the time good to have alongside in case your lips get additional dry. We choose lip balm with SPF for solar safety, like this one.

Store Solar Bum Lip Balm at:

Toothpaste & Toothbrush

Any outdated toothpaste you’ve gotten at house will do, however if you need an eco-friendly, travel-size possibility, Hello toothpaste bites are an amazing choose.

Store Howdy Toothpaste Bites at:


Carry the toiletries you want from house, like cleaning soap or face wash, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant.

If you wish to save house, attempt these refillable 2.5 oz humangear GoToob+ Medium Squeeze Bottles

Merely fill them up together with your favourite merchandise and pack them in your toiletry bag.

Store Humangear GoToob+ Bottles at:

Tissues or Bathroom Paper

Tissues or a roll of bathroom paper are all the time helpful to have within the automobile on a highway journey in case relaxation stops are under-equipped or you need to pee within the wild.

Simply keep in mind to pack out and get rid of your rest room paper within the trash.

Hair Brush

You’ll need a option to tame that windswept hair after an extended drive, so throw your hairbrush in together with your different private gadgets.

A small, travel-size model like this one is all the time good to have for journeys.

Store travel-sized hairbrush at:


Bandanas can be utilized in some ways and is certain to turn out to be useful, whether or not as a serviette or as a scarf t maintain your hair from blowing within the wind once you’ve received the home windows down.

The Nomadix Bandana Towel provides much more versatility with its absorbent microsuede materials, SPF 50 safety, and anti-odor properties.

Store the Nomadix Bandana Towel at:

Physique Wipes

Typically it’s good to clean up after an extended drive, or possibly you’re mountain climbing and tenting in your highway journey as nicely. A pack of wipes is all the time on our highway journey packing listing so we’ve got the choice to wash up a bit in a pinch.

The Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes are our favourite as a result of they’re light on the pores and skin and they’re compostable (though you continue to have to get rid of them correctly within the trash).

Store Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes at:

Vitamin C/Immune Boosting Tablets

We prefer to pack hydration tablets on any journey, and in the event that they’re immunity-boosting that’s even higher.

These NUUN Immunity Hydration tablets are simple to throw into your bag and pop into your water bottle once you want an additional increase.

Store Nuun Immunity Hydration Tablets at:

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is all the time good to have available, particularly nowadays. We love this all-natural one from Dr. Bronners.

Store Dr. Bronner’s Hand Sanitizer at:


Whilst you received’t all the time want one thing like Advil or Ibuprofin, we like to incorporate it on each highway journey packing listing since it may be a lifesaver once you get a killer headache and wish it.

A woman takes a selfie out the window from the passenger seat on a road trip

Miscellaneous Highway Journey Necessities

These things are essentially ‘necessities’ however they will make your highway journey extra snug and trouble-free.


I don’t find out about you, however I take into account a pillow a highway journey important (particularly if you happen to’re the passenger)!

Carry a snug pillow from house or an inflatable pillow if you happen to’re brief on house. This NEMO Fillo Pillow is compressible, light-weight, and superior for tenting, backpacking, and napping within the passenger seat.

Store the NEMO Fillo Pillow at:


Whether or not you’re studying in mattress, going to the lavatory in the midst of the night time, or rummaging round your automobile, you’ll need a headlamp close by.

The BioLite Headlamp 325 is a go-to piece of nighttime gear that’s ultralight and rechargeable with a USB cable.

Store the BioLite 325 Headlamp at:


A small blanket is a pleasant merchandise to have alongside in case you discover the right picnic spot or if you happen to simply want a bit additional heat at any level in your highway journey.

We love Rumpl’s cozy, packable blankets – they received’t take up a lot house in your automobile and so they are available in every kind of enjoyable colours and patterns.

Fast-dry towel

Be prepared for these impromptu swimming gap dips with a light-weight, quick-dry towel just like the Nomadix Original Towel. It’s additionally sand resistant, so if you happen to’re heading to the seaside, you don’t have to fret about monitoring a great deal of sand again to your automobile.

First-Assist Package

Keep secure and be ready in case of an emergency by having a automobile first assist equipment that has been personalised to your personal medical wants.

This My Medic MyFAK First Aid Kit is provided with every kind of expert-picked first assist and trauma provides. You possibly can strap it to the again of a headrest for straightforward storage or simply toss it within the again so it’s there once you want it.

We love that it comes with a small tearaway pouch which you can replenish with necessities and tackle day hikes, backpacking journeys, and different brief adventures as nicely.

It’s dearer than another first assist kits, nevertheless it additionally has extra provides and lifesaving gear than most.

Store the My Medic MyFAK at:

Cellphone Charger & USB Twine

You’ll be shocked how shortly your cellphone battery will drain when utilizing navigation mode and quite a lot of apps in your cellphone so it’s good to have the ability to cost out of your car.

In case your headlamp and digicam include car-compatible chargers, convey these alongside too.

GPS Communication Machine

I’d argue that the Garmin InReach is a highway journey important if you happen to plan on exploring distant backroads the place there isn’t any mobile phone service.

If you happen to break down someplace, the Garmin InReach means that you can ship customized textual content messages irrespective of the place you might be or to name for medical assist if you’re in an emergency scenario.

It additionally has a GPS and a few useful navigation instruments for when the navigation apps in your cellphone received’t load.

My boyfriend Ryan is a Sort 1 Diabetic, so after we are within the van or mountain climbing, the Garmin InReach provides me added peace of thoughts.

Store the Garmin inReach Mini at:


It’s all the time helpful to have a bit bit of money available in case you come throughout a farmers market or a roadside stall or if you happen to plan on tenting at extra distant campgrounds, that are usually cash-only.

Automobile Highway Journey Necessities

I received’t go into an excessive amount of element on this part since you ought to actually have these fundamental requirements in your car always, whether or not you’re road-tripping or not.

These embrace:

  • Driver’s License and Registration
  • Proof of Insurance coverage and Contact Data
  • Your Automobile Operation Guide
  • Spare Tire and Jack
  • Roadside Emergency Package
  • Jumper Cables (or a self-starting jumper)
The back of a yellow VW van with 2 bikes near to a "welcome to Oregon" sign

Planning a highway journey? Take a look at our different highway journey ideas, guides, and necessities:

We hope this highway journey necessities guidelines helps simplify packing to your subsequent epic journey. Now inform us: the place are you headed and what’s in your highway journey packing listing?

Bearfoot Theory | Discover your ultimate guide to road trip essentials on our latest blog post! Learn essential packing tips, snack ideas, safety gear, and more to ensure your journey is as smooth as it is memorable. Perfect for first-timers or seasoned road trippers, this post will help you gear up for your next adventure. Pin this for future road trip planning!