Residing among the realm of nature is the main point of camping, but car camping – the same concept but driving straight to the campsite without the hiking – provides a balance between civilization and enjoying the great outdoors.
For the perfect car camping experience, follow these tips and enjoy!
Bring some extras
One of the most important things for regular camping is to bring only essentials to keep the weight you carry in your backpack to a minimum. But with car camping, there’s room for a few items that are nice to have – your car can easily handle that extra weight.
You can always walk back and forth between the campsite and your car in case there’s something you need without having to transport everything out of the trunk.
Get a good night’s sleep
Remember, you don’t have to worry about lugging a tent on a long hike. Think comfort. You can fit the larger tent kits inside your vehicle with ease, some of which include true luxury tents with more than one room and other bonuses. Or you can go with the four-person tent while still providing plenty of space at night.
This also provides a chance to use the car’s power supply to sleep on a comfortable, power-inflatable air mattress rather than settling for a sleeping bag or mat in the tent. Alternatively, you could look at buying one of the camper trailers now available as they provide an extra level of comfort.
With any kind of camping, you should be prepared to expect the unexpected, especially when you’re still new to being outdoors. Having the car gives you the flexibility to bring first-aid kits that are fully stocked with bandages, ointments and other necessary items, along with other products that can be bulky like toilet paper, paper towels, and bottles of bug spray, sunscreen and hand sanitizer.
But water is essential because it might not be readily available, depending on your campsite. When it comes to camping, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared. So, fill up any extra cargo space with small water bottles, gallon jugs, and any other type of container you can fit in.
Usually, campers try to cook their meals by campfire. While you can still do that with car camping, you have the option to bring along all of the necessary tools to create a quality meal, or you could even bring already-prepared meals with you in the car.
Your food also doesn’t have to be dried to be portable for the trip – you just need to time everything right with transporting the food to your campsite, and a quality cooler in the car. Plan ahead and freeze steaks or chicken so that they’ll keep longer in the cooler.
Do not feed the bears
If your camp-sight is in, or on the edge of, a forest, take it for granted that there will be bears nearby. This means the biggest rule is to not leave open food packages, or bits of a meal, anywhere – even in your car. Bears have a very good sense of smell, and any open food container will tempt a bear to the point that they may wreck your car to get at whatever smells so delicious inside.
Stay on the grid
Things can go south and it’s good to have an escape plan in dire circumstances in the wilderness. You’ll never know if you may need to make an emergency phone call, especially if you’re in a campsite that is secluded from a good portion of normal civilization.