How To Camp In Your Car

  • By: Mike
  • Date: May 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Camping in your car can be a fun, affordable way to get out and explore nature. Planning your route and making sure you’re prepared for the trip are essential steps for camping in your car. Make sure to pack the essentials – food, water, camping gear, and first-aid kit – before hitting the open road. Safety should be a top priority while camping in your car, so be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. And most importantly, have fun!

So you’re thinking of camping in your car – but why? Here are some reasons why car camping might be a great option for you.

1. You want to save money on camping fees.

2. You want to be able to camp closer to nature.

3. You want the convenience of not having to set up a tent.

4. You want to be able to camp in a more remote location.

5. You want to try something new!

If any of these reasons resonate with you, then car camping might be the perfect option for your next camping trip. Here are some tips on how to get started.

Choose the right vehicle

Not all cars are created equal when it comes to camping. You’ll want to make sure you have a car that’s comfortable to sleep in, has enough space for all your gear, and is reliable. Before you set off on your camping trip, give your car a thorough inspection to ensure it’s up for the journey.

Pack light and smart

One of the great things about car camping is that you don’t have to worry about packing everything you need on your back. That being said, you’ll still want to be strategic about what you bring. Make a list of all the essentials – food, water, shelter, clothing, first-aid kit – and then pare it down from there. Don’t forget to leave some space in the car for things like firewood and your cooler.

Find the perfect spot

When you’re car camping, you have the luxury of being able to camp in some pretty remote locations. Take advantage of this and do some research to find the perfect spot for your trip. Make sure to check things like fire bans and road closures before you go.

Sleep with your head forwards

This one is for all you backseat campers out there. When you’re sleeping in your car, it’s important to sleep with your head towards the front of the car. This will help prevent neck pain and keep you more comfortable throughout the night. Your head should also be higher than your feet to help circulation.

Keep food in the car

Make sure to store all your food and drinks in a cool, dry place in your car. A cooler or cool box is ideal. You don’t want to leave any food out in the open as it will attract animals. Also, make sure to dispose of all your food waste properly.

Pack a first-aid kit

No matter where you’re camping, it’s always a good idea to pack a first-aid kit. This is especially important when car camping, as you might be miles from help if something goes wrong. Make sure your first-aid kit is well-stocked with items like bandages, painkillers, and antiseptic cream.

Use a comfortable bed

One of the best things about car camping is that you don’t have to sleep on the ground. Make sure to bring a comfortable bed or mattress for sleeping in your car. An air mattress is a great option, as it can be inflated and deflated as needed. Remember it can get cold at night, so make sure to bring some blankets to keep warm.

Bring a flashlight or headlamp

A flashlight or headlamp is an essential item for any camping trip. Not only will it help you find your way around in the dark, but it can also be used as an emergency signal if needed. Make sure to pack extra batteries just in case.

Open a window

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s a good idea to open a window when you’re car camping. This will help keep the air circulating and prevent condensation from building up inside the car.

Keep your gadgets charged

If you’re car camping with your family, there’s a good chance everyone will have some sort of gadget with them. Whether it’s a phone, camera, or laptop, make sure to bring along a charger and keep your devices charged. A power bank is also a good idea in case you’re camping in an area with limited or no cell service.

Car camping alone

If you’re car camping by yourself, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. If your smartphone has a tracking feature, make sure it’s turned on. It’s also a good idea to bring along a personal locator beacon (PLB) in case of an emergency.

Be safe

Even though you’re camping in your car, you still need to take the same safety precautions as you would if you were backpacking or car camping. Bring a first-aid kit, familiarize yourself with the area, and make sure you have a plan in case of an emergency.

Conclusion

Car camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to backpack or camp in a remote location. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to have a fun and safe trip.

FAQs

How do I keep my food from going bad?

One of the best ways to keep your food from going bad is to store it in a cool, dry place. A cooler or cool box is ideal. You can also pack items like canned goods and dried fruit, which have a longer shelf life.

How do I stay warm at night?

An air mattress is a great option for car camping, as it can be inflated and deflated as needed. Remember it can get cold at night, so make sure to bring some blankets to keep warm. You can also wear layers of clothing to bed and use a hot water bottle to stay cozy.

What are some other essential items I should bring?

In addition to a first-aid kit and flashlight, some other essential items for car camping include a map of the area, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a camp stove. If you’re car camping with children, don’t forget to bring along some toys and games to keep them entertained.

How do I stay clean?

If you’re car camping, there’s no need to rough it. You can bring along some basic hygiene items like soap, shampoo, and a toothbrush. A small towel is also handy for cleaning up. If you’re really looking to pamper yourself, you can even bring along a portable shower. Baby wipes are also great for a quick clean-up.

Can I sleep in my car on a campsite?

Most campsites will allow you to sleep in your car, but it’s always a good idea to check with the campground beforehand. Some campgrounds may have specific rules or regulations regarding car camping.

Do I need a permit to car camp?

Generally speaking, you don’t need a permit to car camp. However, there may be some exceptions depending on where you’re camping. For example, if you’re planning to camp in a national park, you may need to obtain a permit beforehand.

Is sleeping in a car warmer than a tent?

Sleeping in a car is generally warmer than sleeping in a tent, as the car will provide some insulation from the cold ground. However, it’s still a good idea to bring along some blankets to stay cozy.

Should you crack a window when sleeping in your car?

It’s always a good idea to crack a window when sleeping in your car, as it will help to circulate the air and prevent the car from getting too stuffy.

Do I need a special sleeping bag for car camping?

You don’t necessarily need a special sleeping bag for car camping, but it’s important to choose one that will be comfortable for you. If you tend to get cold at night, opt for a bag with a higher temperature rating. Likewise, if you sleep hot, choose a bag that’s rated for warmer temperatures.

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