My 9 Favorite Roadtrip Essentials (That I Bring on EVERY Trip)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Waterl<ss. All opinions are 100% mine.


This one is so much easier than a flashlight in my opinion! Headlamps have been an absolute necessity for loading or unloading the car in the dark, as well as hiking before sunrise or after sunset. It allows you to have both hands free which I find ideal.

I’ve been on countless hikes where my friends and I have used headlamps. I always find myself wanting to stay for sunset, and it’s never a hassle getting down in the dark with a headlamp. My fave has been the Petzl Tikkina headlamp because it has three levels of brightness, is water resistant and super affordable.

Pro tip: I carry two headlamps and additional batteries in case either light dies. It’s nice to have an extra light in case you’re road-tripping or hiking with a friend who may not have one!

Dry Shampoo & Dry Conditioner

Let’s be real — showers can be few and far between on the road. Dry shampoo has been incredibly handy for prolonging my hair washes. I’ve gone 10+ days without washing my hair before thanks to dry shampoo. It saves so much water and keeps my hair so fresh.

Sometimes my ends get dry when I don’t wash them for a few days, and that’s where the dry conditioner comes in! I spray it on my ends and comb it through, and it leaves my hair softer and smoother. I’ve been using Waterl<ss Haircare dry shampoo and dry conditioner because they have a line specially formulated for my fine hair.

I also love their story! In January of 2018, Cape Town announced it was 3 months away from running out of water for their city of 4 million people. Waterl<ss provided the people of Cape Town with an option when they had no choice but to not wash their hair.

They have created a wide range of products for many different hair types to give you clean, conditioned, and great smelling hair without using a single drop of water. So rad! It’s now available in the U.S. and being sold at your local Sally Beauty.

Multipurpose Shovel

This Yeacool shovel I found on Amazon might be the holy grail shovel. I love being prepared for anything, and having a shovel handy is always convenient for roadtripping or camping.

This particular shovel is made of sturdy steel yet it can fold down to fit into a small, lightweight pouch convenient for backpacking or storing in your car. It contains a compass, pick-axe, hunting knife and a saw blade. You can use it to cut small branches, dig your car out, or even for gardening!

Wool Blanket

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been freezing cold in my car, or at a campsite, or even in a hotel room! Sometimes you just need to snuggle up with your own blanket.

I love Pendleton blankets because they’re warm, they’re durable, they come with a convenient leather carrying strap AND they’re absolutely beautiful. Wool is known to resist mold and overall smell so you don’t necessarily have to wash it as much as a normal blanket.

On my last roadtrip I even used my Pendleton blanket as a towel. SO convenient. Keep one in your trunk at all times and you will not regret it.


This has been one of my favorite purchases of 2019. The Jetboil can boil water within 100 seconds! It’s so nice to have the ability to make boiling water literally anywhere.

It’s lightweight and compact so you can take it on backpacking trips or just keep it in your car without taking up much space. I’ve packed it with me on colder hikes and it’s so nice to enjoy a fresh, hot beverage at the end of your trek!

It also comes with a lid that you can sip from and has an additional cup that latches onto the bottom so you can share. I purchased the french press kit for my Jetboil as well so I have an easy way to brew coffee when I’m on the go. Don’t forget to pack extra fuel and your favorite coffee grounds too!

Insulated Mug

I have my own coffee mug for many reasons.

First — I truly hate styrofoam, and it’s shocking how many gas stations only offer styrofoam cups for their coffee. Using an insulated coffee mug saves single-use waste like styrofoam, plastic or cardboard from going into landfills or our oceans.

Second — I’ve found many coffee shops and gas stations offer discounts when you use your own cup, or they only charge you for a refill.

Third — an insulated coffee cup can keep your hot beverage around the same temperature for several hours! I drink my coffee and tea relatively slow, so an insulated mug is super enjoyable for me to use.

My favorite has been this one by Ello, it’s BPA free and it’s lasted me three years! This particular mug can also keep chilled beverages cold for up to 10 hours.

Reusable Water Bottle

Similar to my coffee mug, I love using a reusable water bottle to cut back on my single-use plastic. When I’m on the road I usually refill it at campsites, gas stations, restaurants, etc.

My personal favorite has been my 32oz Nalgene (shown above with my go-to coffee mug). It’s a super lightweight bottle meant for backpacking or hiking, and I love that you can clip a carabiner to it and attach it to your backpack for easy access.

Pro tip: You can put boiling water in a Nalgene and stow it in your sleeping bag to keep you warm at night! Almost every time I’ve camped in temps below 50, my feet get so uncomfortably cold that I wake up multiple times a night. I’ve tried thick wool socks, down booties, wrapping blankets around them… but nothing works like this Nalgene trick!

Down Camp Pillow

I’ve been using this Exped down pillow for camping and it’s incredible. It’s very lightweight and packs down into a tiny drawstring bag, great for backpacking or just keeping in your car.

I also find it to be quite cozy since the top part is stuffed with down. The bottom part you blow up with your mouth, which I think is genius! It allows you to choose how firm or soft it is by how much air you blow into it. I personally blow mine up a little over half way and it’s so comfortable!

Durable & Comfy Backpack

I love having a day pack just to throw my wallet, phone, water bottle and keys in. I’m obsessed with my Fjallraven Kanken backpack! It fits my 13inch MacBook like a glove and leaves plenty of room for other essentials.

I’ve even taken this on longer day hikes holding my heavy camera and I find it to be quite comfortable. I’ve put this bag through so many travels and hikes and I’m shocked at how well it’s held up. The fabric doesn’t snag or get too dirty because it’s so durable.

I’ve been a huge fan of Fjallraven for years because they’ve somehow managed to create stylish, durable, comfortable pieces that are made from recycled materials. All of my Fjallraven pieces have lasted me years!

What are your favorite roadtrip essentials? Drop a comment below!


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