There are plenty of ways to go camping, from easily pitching a tent in your backyard, “glamping”, to the more extreme “backcountry camping”. But one of the most convenient options is car camping, where you camp close to your vehicle, anywhere your car can go. It requires a specific set of equipment, including:
You can bring any vehicle for your car camping adventure. You can pack your stuff into your sedan, or rent a camper RV, or van. Car camping generally lets you bring extra stuff, but too much can clutter up the car and campsite.
To free up the space inside, putting the roof to good use is a great step. Get a roof rack to carry the bulkier items, such as tents, sleeping bags, and the stove. You can even fit bikes, skis, kayaks, and surfboards on it for all your camping activities. To stay ready and pack less for your next trip, the rack can serve as a storage space all summer. This way, you will have more space inside for drinks, snacks, and your family of campers.
Keep your camp bright by fitting your car with more lights. You can get add-ons like flood lights, light bars, and back lights to have a light source aside from your campfire. This gets handy in case of emergency or when you need to search for something in the dark. It also adds visibility in heavy rain or fog, and is useful all-year round, especially in winter.
Always keep a sturdy flashlight in your car. To be even safer, each camper needs to have at least one flashlight with them at all times. Bring lamps that are also bug repellents. Do not forget your extra batteries, chargers, and other power sources, as well.
Sleeping pads and tents
Pack everybody’s pajamas, pillows, and sleeping bags and pads into duffel bags you can just toss into the tents immediately upon pitching. Choose tents that has enough space but fit in the trunk or roof rack easily. To save time setting up camp, go for fast-pitch or pop-up tents.
Buy a heavy mallet from the hardware store for the tent stakes. Otherwise, you will be scouring the campsite for a pounding-rock every time. There are also multi-tools you can get in the market, like the ones that combine a hammer, saw, axe, and tent stake-puller.
A simple foam pad might be comfortable enough for children, since they are small and light enough. Adults may need extra cushion, such as air mattresses that are light, easy to pump-up, and fit well in the trunk or roof box.
Food and cooking
Bring a table-top, two-burner stove that fits into your trunk and across one end of a picnic table. New models of camping stoves usually have an ignitor button, but you should still carry a pocket ignitor.
Aside from the pots, pans, knives, and dinnerware, you should also bring stuff for the cleanup. Pack a soap, a pair of plastic wash bins, dish towels, pot scrubbies, and bleach or other disinfectant.
To keep them fresh, shop for food to cook in camp along the way. Bring some dry goods and instant meals, as well. Carry plenty of water and water containers, in case the spigot at the site does not work, or the stream nearby is dry.
Car camping is very convenient, especially if you are well-prepared. It lets you pack a lot more stuff so you can easily feel at home and comfortable in nature.