Car Camping Tips

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Tips for Camping

In order to enjoy your car camping trip, meticulous packing is a must. The packing and planning is a tad more involved than if you were flying to a city for a long weekend. It’s all worth it, though! Once you get the hang of packing for a camping, it will become easier and you’ll be more efficient. With each car camping trip, your back of tricks and tips to make the trip run smooth will grow. Spilling lemonade in your car or forgoing the camping chairs are lesson learned. In the meantime, check out our tips that will surly contribute to a fun, low stress and memorable car camping experience.

  • Bring Enough Water – For whatever reason, many car campers assume ample water will be available. Particularly in the mountains or arid Southwest, reliable water sources are not available. Remember that you’ll need to bring enough water for drinking, cooking, washing dishes and sometimes for bathing. Since you won’t have to carry your water to your campsite, there’s no need to hold back.
  • Pack Plenty of Food With Variety – Most campers will agree that food can be the highlight of the trip. While a dinner of peanut butter and jelly is perfect for a rainy night when busting out the camp kitchen is out of the question, it will get old every night. Don’t hold back with food either. Get creative. Bring some spices. Throw in a hot pepper. Whatever you do, bring enough food! Most people eat more than normal when camping. It’s like being on vacation!
  • Check Your First Aid Kit – This often gets overlooked since First Aid Kits aren’t used every trip. You may have used some pain killers, bandaids or ointment on the last trip and neglected to replenish it. It won’t take long to check your First Aid Kit before departing and it will be well worth the effort should an emergency arise!
  • Ditch the Tunes – The whole point of camping is to “get away from it all,” right? Having your car a few feet away from your campsite can make it quite tempting to stay plugged in with music, internet, phones, etc. Blasting some tunes is the most tempting and it will cancel out the sound of loons across the lake. Sound also travels much farther in open space like plains, lakes and land without buildings or concrete. Be mindful of your neighbors who might be camping half a mile away!
  • Plan for Rainy Days – A little rain doesn’t have to be a drag if you plan accordingly. If you’re camping in the spring or summer for more than a few days, you’re likely to encounter a little rain. A deck of cards, books, board games and instruments will occupy campers of all ages for hours while hunkering down in a tent during rain.
  • Bring Multiple Fire Starters – Stash your fire starters in various places – a butane lighter in your backpack, matches in a baggie with the food and lighter fluid in the car. It’s also not a bad idea to bring dry kindling in case it’s wet at your destination.
  • Make Use of Large Plastic Bins – Especially if you have a truck or SUV, put your sleeping bags, pillows and blankets in one bin, tent, bike helments, devil sticks, frisbee and slack line in another. Staying organized will alleviate a lot of frustration whether your setting up camp or getting a whiffle ball game together. It also makes it easy to store all of your camping gear together at home.
  • Set Up Your Tent Prior to the Trip – Tents can accumulate mildew if they sit, packed up tight for months. They can also stick together due to the waterproofing agents applied to the materials. It’s a wise idea to pitch your tent once a month or so to air it out. Check for holes, too!
  • Keep Your Food Safe – There are many parts of the United States where bears, raccoons and fox roam. They’re just waiting for naive campers to leave their food within reach. Many people assume that cars are a safe place to store food, but bears have been know to paw at windows, even breaking them. Yikes! Some campsites have bear proof cages to store your food. You can also purchase bear proof containers or hang your food from a tree. Whatever you do, don’t overlook your food storage!
  • A Duffel for Each Camper – Separate clothing and personal belongings for each camper, especially children. Sorting through one bag will crate a massive mess every time someone reaches for a hoodie.
  • Print out our Car Camping Checklist!



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