Getting Started with Car Camping 101 Well+Good

Car camping is a fun and worthwhile alternative to backpacking that lets you get in touch with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Backpacking never gets old, but there is a new way to camp that is also fun and worth exploring — car camping.

Camping by car basically means packing all your gear inside your trunk and driving up to a campsite. Mike Miller, editor-in-chief of Wilderness Times, says you can bring a lot more stuff when you’re camping than you can when you’re backpacking. My family and I played a mini tournament when we were car camping last time. We brought our portable table tennis set.

Car camping offers many benefits but does not involve lugging your equipment around. What about the other? By sleeping in your vehicle, you will have the option of exploring and staying in places where pitching a tent will not be possible. Plus, it’s an easy way to sleep outside for beginners. John Holdmeier, outdoor enthusiast and brand manager of Ust, says everyone can car camp. He says all it takes is finding the right spot and having the right supplies.

Take a look at these tips before you head out on your next road trip and create some lasting memories with your family and friends.

A good night’s sleep

Miller always advises first-time campers to bring their pillow from home. If the weather is chilly, he recommends using sleeping pads rather than air mattresses. As a result, when it’s cold outside, you’ll freeze inside your mattress.

Fire up the burners (or two)

An open flame makes cooking over it feel like a traditional camping experience. The reality is that you can save a lot of time and effort if you bring your own portable stove. “Even if you have access to a campfire, I strongly recommend having a stove, since it wastes less energy and can be used in a variety of weather conditions,” says Miller. Inspiration on camping meals is provided here.

Tool kit and tools are needed

The Boy Scouts’ motto, “Be prepared,” applies to all walks of life. The last thing you want is to be left stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to find a phone signal in case your car breaks down,” Miller says. “We always recommend keeping a first-aid kit in our car and a set of tools in it,” he says.

Prepare and pack in advance

Holdmeier advises, “Make sure you have a place for everything and that you know where everything is at all times.” Being organized will make things go more smoothly while camping.

Get to know your equipment in advance of your camping trip. You can’t learn to set up your tent and cook dinner while you’re late to camp. Give yourself the luxury of practicing at home before your big day, Holdmeier suggests.

Look for a good location

Research and don’t leave anything behind before you go anywhere, Holdmeier says.

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