How to Camp in Your Car Successfully
Tent camping is amazing, and it definitely has its time and place. It’s all about a refreshing evening with friends, a whiskey around the campfire, barbecues, bacon, and a slow morning of fishing. However, arriving at the trail at night with plans to wake up at dawn and start hiking is not the time or place for camping tents. So, you may camp inside your car. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a Honda Fit, Subaru Outback, Mini Cooper, or a Toyota Tacoma; if you’re on your adventure, your car will have a night of luxury, a morning of productivity, and a weekend of stealth camping.
Tips for Camping in Your Car
Increase your sleeping space.
There are chances that an individual might be tall and the car is short, making it less than perfect for stretching out. However, if you slide your front seats as far forward as you can and then fill the space behind them, your head and feet will have more than enough room, even with the trunk closed. Bins and backpacks stack perfectly in these empty spaces behind the front seats, and when they are covered with a foam mat, a sleeping pad, and a cushion, the set-up is seamless.
Invest in bug nets.
If you spend the weekends of hot summer nights camping in your car in the wilderness, investing in bug nets for your windows is a smart idea. If you’re on a budget, mosquito nets can be conveniently purchased in large swaths, cut to fit your windows, and installed and removed with magnets. Pre-made car window bug nets are also available from several stores.
Prepare a comfortable bed.
Perhaps one of the essential things when you camp, is to get a decent night’s rest in your car with a nice mattress and a cushion. If you’re in this for a long time, it’s recommended that you buy a piece of foam to lay down as a base and put one of the Therm-a-Rest mats made for pure relaxation, like the MondoKing or the DreamTime, on top. If you are improvising for a couple of hours, your regular mattress will work, but make sure you don’t forget a good, luxuriant pillow.
Carry portable storage.
You may carry bins along with you for storage. Not only that, but they also make it easy to shift gear away from the trunk at night. Place them on the front seats or in the gap between the front seats and the collapsed back seats, unfold your bed, and that’s it! It might take you just three to four minutes to set up your camp, and you never need to get out of your car.
Light up your camp.
Headlamps are fairly standard on most backpacking gear lists. However, many campers are still using flashlights for camping in a tent. Lanterns can work well when camping in the car. Although we have nothing against a good old fashioned lantern, headlamps are far more efficient for camping purposes. When it is about lighting up your tent, a headlamp is a perfect option, so you can keep two hands free at all times.
You may also carry string lights, which are known as fairy lights or Christmas lights. You can easily hang these lights inside your tent as they are lightweight and are also battery-powered. While string lights can’t replace your headlamp for general use, they’re amazing when it comes to illuminating much of your tent. Also, string lights offer a great, cozy atmosphere for curling up in your sleeping bag at night. They are bright enough to be used as reading lamps, so you don’t have to burn the headlamp batteries.
Find a flat spot for parking.
The area where you park your car must be dim and silent; the car’s headlights illuminate just the narrow road ahead. You’re tired from driving, expecting a wake-up call, and you want to sleep. However, a flat bed is necessary for a restful night in your car. It’s easier to choose the flat space while you’re parking, not at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep properly.
Carry sufficient food with you.
It just takes a little time in the open air to make you feel like you’re camping in a car. Camp Kitchen Checklist will help you decide which utensils and food you need to bring on your adventure. When camping in a car, plan on keeping an entire food supply to eat.
Prepare your shower.
A warm shower after a long walk or a bike ride feels great. Take the feeling of the road off by creating your own camp shower.
Keep a window open for ventilation.
Breathing in a car all night will fog up the glass and accumulate moisture where you don’t want it. Ventilation is essential to prevent this. Open the sunroof or window just wide enough to make it difficult for an animal or a human to come in. Get some cheap mesh and cut it 2-3 inches wider than the window. Stuff the edges to keep the bugs out.
Put DampRid under the seats and gather a small amount of moisture-absorbing packets to stash with your gear. Try to dry any damp laundry before you turn in for the night. Have a squeegee in your car to clean the windows down in the morning.
Carry emergency items.
The ten necessities list was compiled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based group for climbers and outdoor explorers, to help people prepare for outdoor emergency circumstances. Back then, the list included a map, compass, sunglasses, sunscreen, spare clothes, headlamp/flashlight, first aid supplies, fire starter, matches, knife, and extra food.
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