Woman Car Camping

5 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR CAR CAMPING

Adventure lovers are always looking for the next new experience to try out. And if you’ve tried regular camping, there’s a good chance you’re going to like car camping as well. Here are my essential tips for car camping to get your planning started.

PLAN AHEAD OF TIME

You might be the spontaneous type, but car camping will go terribly wrong if you get up one day and decide to drive off without a plan. Do some research before your trip. What are the places you want to see? Where will you stop each night to set up camp? More importantly, which car are you going to use?

These are all important questions you must answer. On paper, you can use any car for the job. However, if you plan to bring a lot of friends and equipment, you’re going to need a bigger vehicle. Setting a budget for your trip is also a smart idea, so you don’t end up spending your entire life’s savings in one fell swoop. I personally think car camping is best with two people in a car that you can both sleep in.

The best thing to do before you start packing anything is to make a checklist. Simulate the scenario in your head. What needs come to mind? And, before you turn on your engine, recheck your list to make sure everything’s already in the car.

BRING ENOUGH RESOURCES

This goes without saying, but you must have enough food and water. Granted, you can make stops for food along the way, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll come across any stores. It’s best to have all your food packed with you. Think of how much water you’ll need and then bring more than that. It’s always good to have more water than necessary. Store your food items in a tightly sealed container to keep any bugs or wildlife away. Keeping perishables or drinks in a cooler is also an option.

Of course, you may also require a stove for cooking. There are portable ones available in both retail stores and online so choose the one that best suits your needs. Another one of the tips for car camping is to bring sources of light with you. Flashlights and headlamps are good choices.

Lastly, think of your sleeping arrangements. Will you be sleeping in the car or a tent? Portable, foldable mattresses are good investments to put in your car. If you’re sleeping in a tent, make sure to pack sleeping bags as well.

PACK FOR SAFETY

When you’re out in the wilderness, safety is extremely important. For this reason, it’s wise to bring a first-aid kit with you. The kit should include all the essentials: plasters, gauze dressings, bandages, sticky tape, disposable sterile gloves, scissors, tweezers, cleansing wipes, various creams and medicine.

MAKE SURE EVERYTHING FITS

The main hurdle you must get through when going car camping is organising everything to fit inside your vehicle. Don’t just randomly put stuff in the back of your car and hope it goes well. You’ve got to be a little more strategic than that. Make sure the things you’ll be needing first are the ones to go in the car last. This way, you’ll be able to get to them much quicker. If you lack space, consider strapping items on the top of your car.

KEEP IT CLEAN

Always clean as you go and make sure not to litter. Your car must be the epitome of cleanliness to prevent clutter from accumulating. As you go along, food and drinks are consumed, giving you more space inside the car. However, don’t just leave your trash lying around at your campsite. Look for the proper bin to throw them in. If bins are not available, take your rubbish with you until you can dispose of it.

As for personal cleanliness, you don’t always have to shower, but it’s definitely preferable – especially if you have company. Swimming in lakes or rivers is one option. You can also take a portable shower that warms in the sun.

These simple tips for car camping are just what you need to get started on a new adventure. The next time you go on a road trip, consider sleeping in your car. Car camping is certainly not as glamorous as staying in hotels, but it gets the job done, and it gives you a great story to boot. I love it and I love having somewhere to sleep without having to set up a campsite.

 


 

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Jake Taylor
jake.taylor@dinga.com.au

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.