How to Make Your Car Camping Trips the Best Ever

Many find camping dreadful because of the thought of being uncomfortable or carrying so much load to reach a campsite. Car camping eliminates this problem since it allows you to drive up to and park at the campsite.

It’s ideal for anyone who wants to go camping without worrying so much about weight or size of things.

However, there are still some things you need to plan and prepare for everything to go smoothly. Here are 10 tips for car camping to help you start on the right foot.

1. Think Comfort But Pack Wisely​

Think Comfort But Pack Wisely​

​One of the best things about car camping is that you don’t have to skimp on weight or space when you pack. As long as you have room in your vehicle, you can bring anything your mind can think of.

This allows for a much comfortable camping experience. However, this is only true if you invest in comfortable camping gear. Choose a tent that’s more spacious, get an air mattress, pillows, and so on.

Comfort isn’t just about your sleeping conditions, but everything else about the camp.

​You can also bring things like folding chairs and tables. Take advantage of the fact that you can bring more things to make your camping experience more comfortable. However, you should still try to limit what you bring. Don’t let it get out of hand.

2. Step Up Your Food Game​

With the right things, you can step up your food game outdoors. Here are some things you’ll need to do so:

A cooler​

You can step up your camping game is by getting a cooler that will keep your food fresh and your drinks cold. If you are serious about camping and making it a regular thing, then consider it as an investment.

A cooler and everything in it is some of the things that make camping a memorable experience.

A camp stove

A camp stove

​Though there may be lots of restaurants and diners around the campground, it can get pretty expensive if you do it often. With a camp stove (and canisters of propane), you can enjoy good food and hot coffee/chocolate, without paying so much.

You can store fresh ingredients in the cooler; then you can have restaurant quality food at camp.


You don’t have to buy new pots and pans for camping. You can always just use what you have at home. Just expect it to get some beating too.

But if you want, you can also buy cookware that’s primarily meant for camping. They’re smaller and more compact than the regular kitchenware.

Ice and Firewood​

If there’s a town nearby, then you can always just drive to restock on ice or wood. However, if you’re camping somewhere more remote, then you should stock up on these when you can.

Wood is easy to carry since you can just leave it in your car, but ice requires planning. Maybe you can schedule when you’ll drive out to get more ice and other supplies.

3. Bin Your Stuff​

Having more things packed also means having more things to keep. Your car can quickly turn into a huge mess with all the things you bring.

Having more things packed also means having more things to keep. Your car can quickly turn into a huge mess with all the things you bring.

4. Check Your Car​

Check Your Car​

Another advantage of car camping is that you can go for multiple days of camping. Drive up to one place one day, then another place the next. So, it’s only wise for you to have your car checked before you hit the road.

Check your engine oil, your brakes, tires, and everything else so that you can avoid disaster. This is especially important if you’re going to a remote campsite, where car shops or gas stations are far.

Even if you’re car is good to go, you should still be ready for the unfortunate event that it breaks down. Check your spare tires, your tool box, and everything you need in case you might need to fix it yourself.

5. Book Your Campsite​

Book Your Campsite​

If you are new to camping, then you should know that you can't always be spontaneous. Booking a campsite assures you a spot, especially during peak seasons.

Most campgrounds are under the control of national, state, or provincial parks, while there are some that are private.

Some campgrounds are also on a first-come, first served basis, so make sure you do your research beforehand. In these cases, you may want to go early to assure a spot.

6. Increase Your Water Supply​

Water is one of the most important things you need when camping is water. When you're up in the mountains or somewhere a bit more distant, you might not have a reliable water source.

So, you should increase your water supply. Fortunately, with car camping, you can do so easily. And remember, it's not just for drinking, but also for cooking, cleaning, and maybe even bathing.

7. Take Measures to Keep Bears and Other Creatures Away​

Take Measures to Keep Bears and Other Creatures Away​

Many areas in the US have bears and other creatures roaming around. When they smell or see food, they will come for them. With that in mind, make sure you keep you store your food properly.

And no, I don't mean in the car. There are many stories of bears breaking down windows of cars to get food. Leaving food in your car is an invitation to disaster and damage.

Fortunately, many campsites, especially in bear country, have bear boxes which you can use freely. If not, consider getting a bear proof cooler and food containers.

Your last resort should be to hang your food on a tree (at least ten feet from the ground and 10 feet from the tree trunk). Even then, try to seal the food smell first.

The last tip to keep the bears away - don’t bring food in your tent and wash your dishes. Don’t go to bed without cleaning up after meals or you might just have some unwanted guests.

8. Plan for Rainy Days/Downtime​

Plan for Rainy Days Downtime​

When you camp for multiple days, you might want to plan some activities in case of rain or for downtime. As much as you want to explore and enjoy nature, there will be times when you just want to chill.

Adults can easily kill time with conversations or by dozing off.

But with kids, you have to plan activities to keep them happy, or they’ll just have negative feelings about camping. A board game, a deck of cards, an instrument - whatever you think will work.


Car camping gives everyone a chance to experience camping without having to rough it entirely. It allows you to bring more items that you think you might need to have a comfortable time outdoors.

If you are new to car camping, use these tips to help you out. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section below.​

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