Car camping for dummies: just because you are bringing a car, doesn’t mean you have to fill it to the brim! Car camping definitely has its perks….but here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of car camping.
When we say car camping, we mean packing everything you want to bring in a car, pulling up to your site and unloading/setting up. If you want to go camping with the kitchen sink, you can bring it!
1) You can have a few more creature comforts like air mattresses and loaded coolers with cold beer!
2) Established sites (offering water and electric hookup) are made for car camping. So with that comes even more creature comforts
3) Peace of mind – you can bug out literally at any time.
4) Mealtime! – you can plan more complex meals that require a bit more cook wear or camp stoves
As you can see, we use camping stoves no matter what kind of camping trip we’re taking on. They work well (and fast!)
We found these MSR Pocket Rocket stoves on Amazon but I will say this; when it comes to fuel canisters you have two options- MSR brand canisters and Coleman. It just so happens that the Coleman canisters are compatible with MSR stoves and cost less (and can be found at Walmart).
5) Feeling like your camping skills are rusty? Car camping is a good way to dabble in the art of camping, sharpen your survival skills, or simply introduce the little ones to the great outdoors.
6) For many, BATHROOMS are the deal beaker. Most car camping/established sites have bathroom and shower facilities to get you back to ol’ clean self again. Most likely not the Taj Mahal of lavatories, but they tend to serve their purpose!
1) If you’re looking for a more extreme experience, car camping will most likely limit you to more traditional electric/water hookup sites. Try pack-in camping to get out and away from the camping norms.
Depending on your location, try jumping in a kayak to get out for a few nights on some spoil islands, or maybe raft along a flowing river for a few nights. While these all sound wild and adventurous, they require a knowledge of the environment and a bit of planning, and they are totally worth giving up the kitchen sink for.
2) Wanting to experience nature or test your survival skills? Cart camping may not be the challenge you desire.
Try minimalist backpack camping to let your legs take you as far as your heart desires for a real sense of accomplishment.
3) The “bail” option is easy. Maybe too easy…
4) The car can be a jumbled mess, but if you plan properly, you can make some camping gear storage options really work well for any situation. Here’s an excellent car camping organizer.
5) Scenery – although some state parks and car camping areas do have good nearby scenery, the sites themselves that often a concrete loop trail with only a view of nearby RVs and other tents.
Getting into the back country and away from it all tends to provide the best scenery…but you will most likely have to don the backpack and hike your way in for that experience.