Car Camping 101: Tips to Make Your Car Camping Easier

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The summer is here. A perfect time to blow off some steam especially now that we have had such a stressful run the past couple of months. What better way to do so than camping? Of all the different types of outdoor expeditions, car camping ranks quite highly. Here’s why. It is simple and most of the things you need to get going are easily available and can be set up with simple DIY skills.
In this article, we are excited to share with you some of the most genius hacks that can make your car camping adventure a memorable one. By the time you’re done reading this piece, you will be the closest you can get to a car camping expert. This is because we are going to share with you tips and tricks that can turn your car camping into an extraordinary experience.

car camping 101

Car Camping Tips You Need to Know

The car camping tips that we shall be sharing will fall under the following four broad categories:

  • Preparation
  • Selection of a camping site
  • Setting up
  • Camping

Now let us look at each of the car camping tips and tricks that you can apply to make your car camping more than just a four-wheeled backcountry trip.

  1. Preparation

    Needless to say, this is the most important part of the trip. A lot of the outcome of your weekend backcountry trip depends on the seriousness you are going to put into the preparation part. Here are the three main things you will need to remember when preparing for a camping trip.

    • Fueling and servicing your car

      As obvious as it might sound, it is still possible to forget something as basic as fueling your car before going on a weekend trip. And we’re not just talking about the regular fueling that you do from time to time. Here, we mean filling the tank. Besides filling the tank, it is also important to inspect the general condition of the vehicle. Here, regular servicing will suffice. This is a routine check to make sure the mechanical aspects of the car are in good condition. Remember, you will be somewhere in the woods in the middle of nowhere and finding a gas station could be a challenge. Whatever you do, make it a priority to fuel and service your car.

    • Having lots of water on Board

      If you have been camping outdoors for a while, then you don’t need to be reminded of how challenging access to freshwater is in the woods. Unless you are going to be car camping in an established campground, then you will have to bring water with you. Whether you are going out just for a day or the entire weekend, it is always advisable to bring lots of water. And, you do not have to worry about weight and space since your car will have enough space to stock as many water bottles as possible. Apart from carrying water from home, gas stations along the way can provide a perfect opportunity for you to refill your water supplies. So, you might want to check them out whenever you can.

    • Packing all the essentials

      Essentials in car camping comprise just about everything that you will need while you’re out and about in the woods. These include bedding, cookware, and general furniture like seats and tables. The best thing about car camping is that it does not present the weight and space constraints. This means you cannot leave behind an essential camping gear just because it is bulky or weighty. For this reason, you can go all-in when packing your camping gear. Throw in that cozy 4-inch air mattress, that fluffy pillow, that camping kitchen set, bathroom set, and furniture and hit the road. The bigger the car the better.

    car camping preparation tips

  2. Selection of a camping site

    Your choice of a camping ground will really go a long way in contributing to the overall car camping experience. For this reason, you need to take it seriously and make sure you put a lot of thought into the kind of site you choose for your outdoor car camping.

    • Take advantage of natural land

      High expenses are the last thing you’d want stressing while you’re out there car camping. To avoid them, you can stay away from established campgrounds if you can. A camping establishment is a campsite with already constructed facilities like washrooms, kitchens, and sometimes even bedrooms. For a diehard outdoor camper, these would be lacking the touch of nature in so many ways. So, to experience nature in its rawest form, you could opt for the natural forest as your camping site. It has its advantages apart from saving you the charges associated with camping establishments.

    • Follow the guidelines

      Just because it is natural land doesn’t mean rules don’t apply here. If you are opting to camp in the woods, then you might as well consider consulting with the local authorities just to make sure whatever you indulge yourselves in does not end up being against the law. For instance, of utmost importance would be to obtain a fire permit. This is if you intend to light a fire in the woods, which is quite likely. Bonfires are the ultimate standard of outdoor camps and it would be almost impossible to resist the urge to light one.

  3. Setting Up

    This is the first thing to do upon arrival at the selected campsite. It is quite a simple task but it gets complex on certain occasions. And that is why our tips will come in handy to help you with the setup. The following tips will help with setting up your campsite.

    • Switching off the car

      First things first, your car is the center of everything you will be doing. Therefore, treat it like a powerhouse. Be sure to turn off all the lights in the car. This will help to preserve the battery. Also, remember to have jumpers around just in case the battery runs out.

    • Do not unpack everything

      It is advisable to let some of your supplies remain in the car. This will help you with the organization as it keeps you from throwing things everywhere. Things like extra food and clothes can be left in the car.

    • Identify a safe spot for the tent

      When selecting a spot to erect your car camping tent, pay attention to the type of ground and the drainage. You might want to set up your tent in a spot that at a safe distance from wild animals especially if you have picked natural land as your campground. Clear the area getting rid of small thickets and tree branches.

    • Set up your kitchen

      Once your tent is in place, the next thing is to set up your kitchen. First, identify a spot, at least 150 feet away from the tent, and set up your camping stove. You can pitch a tarp to act as your kitchen although this wouldn’t be necessary unless you’re expecting some rainfall. Make use of other items to complete your kitchen set up. For instance, you could use the cooler as the kitchen table.

    tips for camping with car

  4. Camping

    Now that you have arrived at your campsite and set up everything, the only remaining thing is to sit back and savor the moment! Here are some tips you can utilize to make sure your camping goes as planned, if not better.

    • Hygiene

      Maintaining high, or simply acceptable levels of hygiene while car camping can be a pain in the neck. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can start by making sure your garbage is always thrown out. Do not let garbage overstay in your car. Otherwise, it will leave the inside of your car smelling rancid, which is hard to get rid of.

    • Store food safely

      It is important to remember that you could be sharing the campground with wild animals. And, if not dangerous, these creatures could be ravenously hungry. So, keep your food out of the way. The best way to do this is by storing it in the car packed inside coolers and sealed containers.

    • Organize everything

      You have no idea how time-consuming it can be to find something that you misplaced in your car. And, wasting precious time rummaging around your car instead of enjoying the outdoor is the last thing you want to do while car camping. To avoid this, how about you just keep everything organized from the onset? Beans do a great job of keeping heaps of stuff organized in your car, especially the rectangular and/or square ones.

    • Leave the place clean

      After you have had your fun the entire weekend and it is time to go back home, do not forget to tidy up the place for other campers. Even if you feel that you might not be responsible for all the mess at the campsite, it is always advisable to leave the place cleaner than you found it.

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