Spending the time and money to prepare your Baja packing list will pay dividends when it comes to enjoying your time on the peninsula. Find out what gear we recommend you pack for your Baja adventure!
Although you likely have many of the items that we recommend for your Baja adventure, we do want to highlight specific items that we believe are essential Baja travel gear. We’ve broken our list into three parts based on the priority of importance of each section.
- Items You Should Not Cross The Border Without (consider these items “required” for a safe journey)
- Gear That Makes Life A Little More Comfortable In Baja (not required but definitely worth considering)
- Our Specific Packing List (items that we’ve found make our lives in Baja the best that they can be!)
Although there are plenty of big retail stores throughout Baja and you can also find many common things by visiting markets in small towns and large cities, we come across people all the time who find themselves wanting something they can only find back across the US border. And in some cases, these people flew home or made a quick trip to San Diego to restock due to their oversight!
Don’t let a failure to include key items on your packing list ruin an otherwise awesome adventure camping Mexico’s Baja peninsula!
Aside from the items we’ll cover in more detail below in our Baja packing list, make sure that you have the following items accounted for before your border crossing.
- Tourist Card (FMM, available online or at each border crossing)
- Mexican Auto Insurance (required and can be purchased online – SEE BELOW)
- Passport (required for international travel, even to Mexico)
- Health Insurance/Traveler Insurance (for added security when visiting Mexico)
Now let’s get into the details of each list!
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase items through these links we receive a small commission at no cost to you. The proceeds support this site and allow us to continue to be the premier source for all things related to RVing and camping in Baja.
Baja Essential Gear – The Basic Items You Should Not Cross The Border Without
Be sure you have these items on hand and packed away before you head south of the border!
RVing and Camping Baja Guide Book
This is the first place you should start when planning camping Mexico’s Baja peninsula. With nearly 250 pages of valuable information on planning and logistics, the book also features detailed information on over 20 of the top destinations including what to do and where to camp. Don’t leave home without a copy on hand!
Mexican Auto Insurance
Mexican auto insurance is required for travel both in Baja and in mainland Mexico. We don’t look anywhere other than Baja Bound for our RV and car insurance policy coverage when we cross the border.
You likely won’t need to use these. But if you find yourself stuck in the sand then these are your first best friends. Plus they’re incredibly handy to have to help others.
Having a collapsible shovel is handy in a variety of circumstances. We recommend bringing it with you to help if you get stuck in the sand as well as to scoop dog poop, dig fire pits and other uses along the way!
Unless your RV is also a solar power factory, you’re going to plug into shore power in a campground at some point in your travels. This is a MUST-have to protect your valuable electronics and power system.
Whether you opt to use a surge protector or not is up to you. But having a handy multimeter allows you to test the voltage from shore power. You want to see a range between 110-125V before plugging in. Of course, combining this with the surge protector is added insurance.
20/30 Amp Power Adapter
You may come across 30 amp power service in some campgrounds in Baja. But most are going to offer only 15-20 amps. So having the property power adapters for your RV will be necessary if and when you want to plug in.
A dash camera is a great item not only to capture any footage prior to an accident but also to serve as added security in the event you are pulled over and when crossing through military checkpoints.
Collapsible Water Containers
Regardless of how large your freshwater tank is, having collapsible water containers will extend your stay anywhere you travel. We can’t tell you the number of times 2 or 3 days turned into a week or more camping in places we fell in love with!
Although you are safe in Baja California for the most part, having a few extra locks like these allow you to quickly secure items like SUPs, bikes, spare propane tanks and other personal items that you don’t want to go missing.
Solar Power System
Baja is the perfect place to perfect the art of boondocking. So a basic solar power system like this is the minimum we recommend for trips of any length. While not life-and-death, you’ll appreciate long days of sunshine powering everything in your rig.
Regardless of how much solar power you desire, we can offer you a 10% DISCOUNT on your purchase when shopping directly through the Renogy website using the discount code: CALLEDTOWANDER.
Don’t look at the price. Look at the value. Lithium batteries extend your power system and reduce your worry during your travels. We love that our favorite lithium batteries are part of a Baja series offered by Enduro Power Batteries!
If you’re interested in these and other great lithium battery options from Enduro Power Batteries, use our discount code CTW when shopping directly through their website for a 5% DISCOUNT!
Unlocked Mobile Device
An unlocked mobile device allows you to insert a TelCel SIM card to access the fastest and highest quality cellular and WiFi service in Bajaj California. Whether you have an old device lying around or pick up a cheap one like this, an unlocked device is a game changer for staying connected during your trip.
OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER ESSENTIAL
In addition to these, you’ll want to have the following items customized to your specific RV, auto or other vehicles you may bring with you.
- Full-Size Mounted Spare Tire – Although tires are numerous across the border in most small towns and larger cities like La Paz and Cabo San Lucas, you should never travel without a spare tire for each vehicle and/or trailer with you. We’ve actually carried extras across the border for other travelers who found no luck in sourcing the exact size they needed to match their other tires.
- Specific Engine Parts – You can find all sorts of auto parts stores in most towns in Baja California. But if you have any specific parts or a more unique engine then don’t forget to pack these parts with you.
- Basic Tool Kit + Spare Nuts/Bolts/Etc – It is always good practice to carry a basic tool kit with you wherever you travel. However, Baja is notorious for shaking and rattling things loose so there is no doubt that you will have to make small repairs at some point in your adventure.
Other No-Brainer Clothing Essentials Include:
- Bathing suit(s)
- Tennis Shoes
- Flip Flops
- Hiking Boots (loads of great hiking to do all across Baja)
- Warm Clothes (yes, it gets chilly in Baja at night in winter!)
- Long Pants & Shorts (a few pairs of each as you can wash clothes regularly)
- Jacket (not necessarily a rain jacket, unless you travel in Spring and Summer)
Gear That Makes Life A Little More Comfortable In Baja
Although not essential, we find that an adventure to Baja California is not the same without these items. Whether or not you need them will depend on your style of travel – whether you plan to stay in one area for an extended period of time or if you’ll plan on moving along regularly.
These items are not available in big box stores in Baja, so it is a great idea to consider whether or not you’ll want them prior to your border crossing.
If you plan on spending any amount of time on the Sea of Cortez (which you will!) then you’ll want to have a quick inflatable SUP or kayak to enjoy the flat water in places like the Bay of Concepcion or the beaches of La Paz.
If kayaking is more your thing, check out this inflatable kayak that we brought down our first year in Baja and made a huge difference in being able to enjoy beach life in Baja,
Propane Extend-A-Stay Kit
If you plan to stay in one spot for an extended period of time, having this kit will allow you to use a portable propane tank to fuel your RV appliances. It will also allow you to fuel a grill or portable fire pit using your RV propane tank – making this a great addition!
Sand-Free Outdoor Mat
Baja is a desert. So having a sand-free outdoor mat is a great first layer of defense against the sand that will ultimately track its way into your RV. There are so many options on the market – get one you can easily pack and unpack because you’ll use it often!
Propane Fire Pit
Firewood (“lena”) is hard to come by in the desert of Baja California. Having a portable propane fire pit makes all the difference in whether you’ll host informal campfires or spend cool nights indoors. We love our Camp Chef combined with our extend-a-stay.
Zero Gravity Chair
Add some comfort to your Baja beach life and include a comfy zero-gravity chair in your outdoor gear. Although they take up more space, these chairs are game-changers when it comes to comfort.
OTHER EXTRA GEAR TO CONSIDER
In addition to the above items to make life in Baja a little more comfortable, we recommend bringing most – if not all – of the following items:
- Fishing Tackle/Boat – Whether you want to fish from shore, on someone else’s boat or have your own boat, fishing is popular and can be done all throughout the Baja peninsula.
- Starlink – Starlink is a game changer for staying connected when traveling anywhere. Baja is notorious for having large swaths of the peninsula without cellular service. Whether you consider cell phone/wifi access necessary or not, Starlink is a game changer for traveling in Baja and you’ll see more RVs than not these days with it.
- Towed Vehicle/ATV – Baja is ripe for adventure and if you have a towed vehicle capable of offroad travel or an ATV then you’ll get to see parts of Baja that many visitors do not. Make sure that you bring the original vehicle registration and have proper Mexican auto insurance for any additional vehicles you bring with you.
- Dry bag – If you plan to enjoy water sports, either on your own or on a whale sharks tour or other water activities, a dry bag is a great way to protect your electronic devices and keep things like a towel and change of clothes dry.
- Water shoes – For some, flip flops are the ultimate multi-purpose water shoes. But it is a good idea to pack water shoes if you plan to paddle around the shoreline of the many great beaches along the Baja peninsula.
Other Specific Items We Recommend Bringing
There are loads of personal items you can add to your packing list without our assistance. However, we have also found that there are quite a few things that we have found we cannot find, or that are subpar to the quality that we prefer when traveling in Baja.
If you have the room, we recommend that you consider the following items:
- Vitamins and Supplements – We take loads of vitamins and supplements and carry more than enough for our adventure in Baja each time we cross the border.
- Paper Products – Mexican paper towels are all but worthless in Baja. It seems like you need a whole roll to soak up a small spill. And you can’t find proper paper plates in even the largest cities like Los Cabos and La Paz. So we carry extras of our favorite paper towels and paper plates. Toilet paper is ample in Baja. But, again, it may not be up to your standards and could be worthwhile to carry an extra pack of toilet paper too.
- Personal Toiletries – You can find most items you would need in Baja. But having things like contact solution, lip balm and any specific personal items you use regularly (or need in specific instances) it is a safer bet to pack it into your toiletry bag from the start.
- Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer – We require dairy-free coffee creamer and this is all but impossible to find in Baja. So we load up and pack plenty of creamers to drink through the months we spend in Baja each year.
- Dog Food – There are loads of dogs in Baja. And you’ll find plenty of places that sell dog food by the bag. However, we provide our dogs the best food we can afford in the US and so we pack a bag for each month of our trip. The quality of dog food you’ll find in Baja is suspect.