Camping | Guides

Car Camping – A Simple Guide

When you hear the phrase “car camping” you’re probably thinking of someone pulling up to a site and sleeping in their car overnight. Although that could be possible if you were willing to give up on your comfort, car camping is actually a little more detailed and a lot more luxurious than that.

Car camping refers to the act of driving your vehicle to a camping spot and then setting up there, and using your car as the base camp. This style of camping requires no hiking or long journeys to get there and uses your car as the ideal way to carry all the supplies you need for a comfortable stay.

You can either attach a tent to your car or set one up separately, it all depends on what you prefer.

While some people enjoy the thrill of the hike to get to their camping spot, it’s just not feasible for everyone. Whether you don’t have the physical aptitude, have a lot of things to carry, or just plan on a long term camping adventure, there are many ways that car camping can help you out.

However, it’s not as simple as it sounds, as just with any style of camping there are some must-have accessories to have, a lot of planning to undertake, and some top destinations in mind that can meet your personal needs as a camper.

With all of the planning and equipment, though, this style of camping isn’t without its unique benefits and is the reason why so many people are ditching their hiking boots and making the switch to this style of camping.

Benefits Of Car Camping

A large car camping tent

If you’re not entirely sold on car camping yet, you might want to have a think about why exactly it’s become so popular. When you use your car as a base camp and are able to drive to and from your next camping destination, you can benefit from:

More Energy

When you’re not up at the crack of dawn and hiking your way through the wilderness just to reach base camp, you have more energy for things like setting up tents, exploring the area, and going fishing or swimming.

Space for Equipment 

Compared to a backpack, your car can fit a whole lot of supplies that you just couldn’t carry yourself. You’ll have room for more food, luxury bedding, cooking supplies, and any other form of entertainment you might want to bring along.

Increased Safety

Having your car with you acts as a great backup in emergencies. Whether there’s a problem with the weather, a dangerous animal in your surroundings or you’re feeling unwell, the car is there as added shelter and also a means to leave urgently should you have the need.

Although some people believe that car camping takes away from the fun of the whole experience, there are no hard and fast rules that state camping has to be hard work.

Car camping can be just as, and even more so, enjoyable than hiking so there’s no need to feel guilty about wanting convenience and comfort.

Tips For Car Camping

a group of campers removing items from the car

Because this style of camping is a little unique, there are some tips that might help you plan your next trip.

Don’t assume that just because you have your car there’s no need to plan carefully, as this still takes a lot of thought and preparation.

  • Be sure to pack a lot of water, as many of the destinations popular with car campers don’t have adequate supplies as they usually do with hiking spots.
  • Stay away from the fuel when you’ve set up camp, don’t light any matches, lighters, or fires anywhere near the car or there could be serious consequences.
  • ​Leave the electronics at home, including screens and music. Take this opportunity to make your own entertainment and enjoy the company of friends and the beauty of nature.
  • Plan for all types of weather including the wet. Just because you have a car it doesn’t mean you have to be holed up inside it when the rain starts to come down.

Top Destinations For Car Camping

a forest with a family setting a tent up behind a parked truck

When you’re ready to head off on your first car camping adventure, there are some must-have destinations that you can target for your next glorified road trip.

The Crags – Colorado State Forest

Although most people hiking will head to the Rocky Mountains, this unique spot is ideal for car camping. Be sure that your car is up to the task though as the roads can be a bit uneasy in spots.

Granite Tent Campground – Gunnison National Park

This amazing spot is best accessed by car, situated amongst rolling rivers and high mountains this is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Cold Springs Campground – Routt National Forest

Another amazing spot in Colorado, the Cold Springs Campground is a little far to trek even in your car but the scenery will be worth it. If you’re there in summer you can even swim in the cold springs and enjoy the privacy of this amazing place.

With more people interested in car camping these days, the list of places you can venture too continues to grow.

Check around your local area for great spots if you want to start small, or make a road trip of it and drive for days to your destination.

The Comfortable Camping Style

There are so many places in this amazing country that suit car camping adventurists perfectly, and because you can bring along all of your comfort items and the best ingredients and cooking gear, you’ll really enjoy yourself in the great outdoors.

There’s no need to trek for days just to enjoy a good camping session, and with the addition of your vehicle, you’ll be able to get more privacy, safety, comfort, and versatility than you could when you take the adventure on foot.

Car camping provides the best of the outdoors with the comforts and convenience of home, so there’s no reason not to give it a try today.

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