15 Road Trip Essentials to Pack for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024

Keep these road trip essentials in the car and you're sure to have the best trip ever!

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15 Road Trip Essentials To Pack For Your Next Outdoor AdventureVIA MERCHANT

Hitting the open road in search of adventure? Make sure you’re prepared for any situation with these road trip essentials. Whether traveling with kids, pets or going solo, ensure you’re well-equipped before heading out to make life in your car much easier.

In addition to clothing, swimsuits and everything else on your packing list, you’ll need road trip essentials like snacks, entertainment and safety gear. Here are 15 things that should be in your car for your next exciting adventure.

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Universal Backseat Electronics Mount
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Universal Backseat Electronics Mount

This road trip essential will save the day when traveling with kids. Attach this adjustable universal mount to a front-seat headrest and keep your passengers entertained with a smartphone or tablet for hours. Then position your device at the perfect angle for comfortable viewing with the mount’s sturdy, adjustable arm that keeps things firmly in place. It’s compatible with most popular devices of varying sizes, like the iPad mini, iPad Pro, Kindle Fire, Nintendo Switch and smartphones as small as 4.5 inches in length.

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Gentleman's Hardware Road Trip Trivia
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Gentleman’s Hardware Road Trip Trivia

Long road trips can become tedious, but with the Gentlemen’s Hardware American Road Trip Trivia Game, there are hours of fun and entertainment to be had. This game has 1000 trivia questions designed to be engaging and challenging. Questions cover a wide range of topics like history, geography and pop culture. Learn a few facts and have some fun at the same time!

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Triptips Portable Toilet
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TripTips Portable Toilet

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the TripTips Portable Toilet is definitely a road trip essential. This lightweight, compact poop shoot is only two inches thick when stored in its handy carrying bag, making it easy to stash in the trunk and carry along into the woods. Simply unfold the toilet, attach a plastic bag and do your business. Lastly, tie up the bag and trash it when you’re done. Find more of our top picks for the best portable toilets.

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W&p Reusable Food Storage Containers
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W&P Reusable Food Storage Containers

A high-quality reusable storage container like this outstanding set from W&P is a must for any road trip. Pack your favorite foods without worry of torn bags, leaky containers or accidental spills with this road-trip essential. Two extra-large reusable silicone storage bags are perfect for holding homemade treats and can be continually refilled with snacks whenever you stop to refuel. The tight-sealed bowls are fantastic for packing BBQ items and storing leftovers. A ceramic-coated insulated bottle keeps your beverages at optimal temperatures, and a flip-top lid prevents spills and sloshing.

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Dot&dot Twist Memory Foam Pillow
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Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Pillow

Of all the road trip essentials you’ll pack for your trip, a comfortable travel pillow should be at the top of the list. The Dot&Dot Twist is made of high-quality memory foam that conforms to your body, providing the perfect amount of support to relieve any discomfort or pain. Use its customizable design as a neck pillow or backrest. Its flexibility means you’ll always find the perfect position to make your ride as comfortable as possible. This travel pillow includes a removable and washable cover for easy cleaning on the road.

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Gerber Gear Multi Tool
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Gerber Gear Multi Tool

Having a multi-tool on hand during a road trip is always a smart idea, especially if you’re traveling long stretches in desolate areas. The Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Pro Scout is about as good as it gets, with superior quality that you can trust. It cuts, crimps, saws and acts as a screwdriver, so you can easily handle any unexpected situations. Made from heavy-duty stainless steel, Gerber Gear’s multi-tool won’t bend or break, getting you through any emergency and keeping you well-equipped for a lifetime of adventures.

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Survivewear Comprehensive First Aid Kit
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Survivewear Comprehensive First Aid Kit

Always have a first aid kit in your car in case of emergencies. The Survivewear Comprehensive First Aid Kit has over 100 medical essentials organized in labeled compartments. It includes clear instructions and diagrams to walk you through medical emergencies, even if you’re not a trained professional. Easily stash this lightweight and compact kit in your backpack, trunk or under the seat of a car. It’s also durable, water-resistant and made of high-quality materials that can withstand harsh conditions.

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Dakine Split Roller Gear Bag
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Dakine Split Roller Gear Bag

Get ready to take on any adventure with the Dakine Split Roller Gear Bag. With a whopping 5,500 cubic inches of storage space, this bag is built to accommodate everything you need. The unique split-level design provides easy access to all your gear, while the multiple compartments and pockets allow for effortless organization. The gear bag has durable construction and a rugged exterior but still easily fits into a crowded trunk. Easily move it around with its heavy-duty wheels and retractable handle.

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Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle
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Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle

Staying hydrated when locked in a car for hours on end is important. This insulated wide-mouth bottle from Hydro Flask holds up to 32 fluid ounces (one quart). Most importantly, the stainless steel flask with double-wall vacuum insulation keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours or hot beverages warm for 12 hours. Keep one hand on the wheel and another on the signature flex straw cap.

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Righteous Felon Craft Jerky
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Righteous Felon Craft Jerky

Beef jerky is a high-protein snack that will help keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. Righteous Felon’s Craft Jerky Sampler Pack comes with 12 different savory and spicy flavorful jerky varieties like Teriyaki Balboa and Maryland Monroe and classic meat stick favorites like OG Hickory. Stay satiated with the jerky’s all-natural ingredients and no added preservatives.

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Hontry Compact Binoculars
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Hontry Compact Binoculars

This pair of compact binoculars is perfect for sightseeing and exploring new destinations. It features a 25mm objective lens with powerful 12x magnification, giving you sharp and clear images full of bright, vivid colors. These binoculars are easy to adjust and focus yet are lightweight and compact. Bring them when bird watching, visiting a national park or exploring a new city. Oh, and if you’re looking for more options, consider these waterproof binoculars by Nocs Provisions, too.

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Multiport Usb Charger
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Multiport USB Charger

A USB car charger adapter with multiple ports is a must-have accessory for any road trip. Compatible with a wide variety of devices, this multiport car charger keeps your smartphones, tablets, GPS and other USB-powered devices running. Plug it into the car’s 12V port and it’s ready to go. There are three USB ports for the front seats and a long double-port extension for passengers in the back.

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Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
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Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler

A cooler is great for storing snacks and drinks on the road. The Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler has a 50-quart capacity and keeps ice cold for up to five days. This cooler’s rust-resistant exterior and UV inhibitor coating protects it from harsh outdoor conditions. Its durable insulated walls and lid keep it safe while stashed in the trunk. Use the large wheels to move the cooler around easily when it’s time to pull over for a picnic.

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High Road Carhop Bench Seat Organizer
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High Road CarHop Bench Seat Organizer

Amazon’s bestselling bench seat organizer keeps all your road trip essentials in place. The multiple compartments and pockets are perfect for storing snacks, drinks, books, toys and more. An insulated vinyl-lined bin keeps drinks and snacks cold for up to eight hours. It fits in the middle of the backseat and is easy to reach. This car organizer installs quickly, and once it’s in place, it stays securely fastened.

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Lifeline Aaa Premium Road Kit
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Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit

A roadside emergency kit is the most important item of all road trip essentials. This kit is designed with safety in mind and contains tools and supplies needed to handle any roadside emergency, from flat tires to dead batteries. Get everything you need in this kit, including a carry case, jumper cables, a durable aluminum flashlight, a screwdriver, duct tape, an emergency poncho, a shop cloth, cable ties, bandages, towelettes and a reusable zipper-lock bag.

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