As you head out in The Great Outdoors, there are plenty of ways to ensure you have a great time; and a multitude of ways to create disaster. That’s why we’ve put together our best car camping hacks you might not have thought about. With these in place, you are sure to have the time of your life.
If you do a regular amount of camping, this is something you’ll want to do year-round to make your life easier. Anytime you go somewhere that gives out small toiletry bottles, save them. Put them in a bin and keep them for your future camping trip.
Then, when it comes time to pack, you take out this bin and grab what you need. No more big bottles of soap taking up room on your car camping trip.
Pro Tip: You can also purchase reusable travel-sized bottles and simply fill them up with your favorite products.
In the day and age when most people don’t have cash in their pockets, you don’t want to go cash-less while car camping. Now, we aren’t suggesting carrying hundreds of dollars, but inevitably, you might end up somewhere that only takes cash. This is especially true if you will be off the beaten path for a while.
It’s also helpful if you want to make a quick stop to grab something small. Some campsites only accept cash as payment, so you need to bring at least enough for that with you.
Pro Tip: Don’t keep the cash in your wallet, but hide it somewhere instead. This way if you were to get robbed in the middle of nowhere, you would still have some money on hand.
With a little, carefully planned out research, it’s possible to stay clean, even while traveling in a car. Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to getting clean.
Pro Tip: If you belong to a nationwide gym, look for locations along your route. Then, you can grab a shower in a familiar setting.
No one wants to wake up entirely sweaty and gross in the morning, but that’s what happens when you leave the windows closed during the night. We aren’t suggesting putting the windows all the way down, but consider cracking them to let some air flow happen.
Try to open two windows directly across from one another to maximize the cross breeze.
Pro Tip: If you have a sunroof, crack it open. Not only will you receive plenty of airflow, but you can fall asleep looking at the stars.
Water is your best friend during any camping trip. You need it to remain hydrated, but it’s also valuable to cool you off, clean and cook with. It’s vital that we save the environment in the process, so you don’t want to buy cases of bottled water.
Instead, take a reusable bottle with you and carry jugs instead. Then, you can simply refill your bottle as needed without all of the waste.
Pro Tip: Just by banning water bottles, you save water. Did you know it takes 1.85 gallons of water just to manufacture one plastic water bottle? (source: https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/15-how-to-tips-to-conserving-water/)
You aren’t going to want to sit in the car all the time. That’s why you must pack some comfortable camp chairs for the journey. Whether it is sitting at the beach or around a campfire, you want to enjoy some of the outdoors during your trip.
Pro Tip: Look for mini camp chairs that take up less room in your car, but offer plenty of space to sit when opened.
If you can’t go without coffee, you need to plan ahead. There won’t always be a Starbucks nearby to grab your favorite drink. It’s also difficult for most people to pack all their coffee brewing equipment for the road.
Pack some instant coffee for those mornings when anything is better than nothing. It might not taste like what you are used to, but it gets the job done.
Pro Tip: With a little effort, you can easily use a backpacking drip cone or French press while on the road. Just make sure you pack pre-ground coffee in a reusable glass jar to retain freshness.
When you install a cargo box on the roof, you add tons of opportunities to your trip. During the day, all of your sleeping bags and gear can be placed in the box to create a clutter-free environment. Just make sure you have locks on the box to keep your equipment secured.
Pro Tip: At night, stash your food or other smelly goods in the box so you don’t have to smell it while you sleep.
After spending time in the car driving to that next beautiful location, you will want to relax and unwind. Pack a hammock so you can enjoy the scenery in the various national parks you stop at. There’s no better way to experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature than while laying back in a hammock.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to take a nap. The gentle rocking of a hammock and the fresh air offer the perfect combination to lull you off to sleep.
Above all, it’s crucial that you remain safe. Before you head out on your car camping trip, make sure a loved one knows where you are going to be. Be specific so that if they don’t hear from you, they can start searching.
Pro Tip: Write down any important phone numbers on a piece of paper and store it somewhere safe. You never know if you will lose your phone or the battery will die when you need this vital information.
Stay safe, be smart and enjoy all this world has to offer. The experiences that you will have and the things you will see are unparalleled to anything out there.