Whether it’s your first time camping or haven’t been camping in a while, car camping is the perfect, approachable way to try out sleeping in the great outdoors without a lot of risk. In-fact, in most cities you can rent gear, making the car camping a no-regrets, low storage commitment sorta thing (how many pieces of sports gear do you have that you don’t often use?).
For every person on earth that has camped, there are at least five pieces of advice for how to do it. From what to bring to what to eat, there are plenty of ideas out there. The truth is, you can eat whatever you want while camping, and sleep as luxuriously as you’d like — just follow a camping gear list and these 5 tips, and you’ll have a great time.
5 tips for having a great time car camping
Over-prepare for your trip
From repackaging food to looking for the lightest containers and gear, hardcore backpackers go through a rigorous preparation process. When car camping, you don’t have to worry about gear weight or packing out trash, just make sure you have a plan. What are you going to do if it thunderstorms? Do you need to reserve your campsite beforehand or do you reserve when you get to the campground? Some places only accept exact cash, so keep that in mind as you set out. Checklists are your friend. 🙂
Don’t worry about over packing
Car camping isn’t meant to be minimalistic. Feel free to bring whatever you think you’ll need. You can ditch it the next time if you don’t use it.
Prep recipes before you set out
It’s super cool to cook in the wilderness, but consider prepping recipes at home. Do eggs need to be cracked for breakfast? Bring them pre-cracked in a reusable container. Need cut veggies for foil packs? Do it in the comfort of your kitchen. What about pre-mixing pancake mix? Buy it premixed, or make your favorite gourmet mix before venturing into the wild. The enjoyment of cooking over a camping stove or fire is much greater when there’s minimal prep time.
Most people overpack when they go car camping, and that’s totally cool… just remember to organize everything you bring with you. From sleeping bags to plates and flatware, make sure everything has a spot. That way it’ll be much easier to find things and pull them out of the trunk when you need them.
Bring modern comforts, but leave the screen at home
Want to sleep on a cot? Do it. Want a battery operated fan? Awesome. Bluetooth speaker? Why not! Kindle? Totally. iPad? Boooo! Part of being in nature is, well, being in nature. There are plenty of epic things to do while car camping without having to call in the Netflix reinforcements. Leave the laptop and iPad at home, and experience camping the way it’s meant to be experienced.
Have you been car camping? Leave a tip or two in the comments!