No matter what you might have heard, camping does not have to be a gritty adventure designed only for mountain men and the truly rugged! In fact, you can have an enjoyable camping trip even when you are sleeping in your car.
Consider these reasons as to why car camping is totally awesome and remember - you don’t have to pitch a tent in order to have an out-of-this-world fantastic camping experience.
1. It’s more accessible
Backcountry camping is great, but hiking with a heavy backpack full of gear on your back can put quite a damper on the fun. Plus, if you have any medical problems or disabilities, this might not be possible for you at all. And if you’re camping with small children, forget about it. A backwoods adventure might be best suited for another time. Car camping is more inclusive and allows anybody to go camping - no matter what their situation looks like.
2. It is more comfortable
When you’re camping in your car, you can bring along virtually anything you want. You can fill up the entire interior of your car with gear, if you want. Air mattress? Sure. Pillows? Why not. Cooler? Well, how else are we going to keep the beer cold?
When you’re camping out of your car, you have the luxury of packing along anything you want, without having to worry about toting any extra weight. I would always choose to take one of my bigger tents (minimum a 3-person tent) because the extra space is awesome!
3. You’ll have access to more amenities
This doesn’t always hold true, but in general, if you’re camping in your car you are going to be frequenting a larger, more populated campground. These have more amenities, such as picnic tables, fire pits, wash areas, park stores, playgrounds - even restaurants! While these aren’t necessities for enjoyable camping trips, they can take a lot of stress out of the planning as you won’t have to account for every wilderness incidental that may arise.
4. You may have electricity and cell phone reception
Depending on where you camp, you may even have access to mobile service or even wireless. This is obviously not a necessity for camping, but if you have a situation back home that you need to stay apprised on (or simply are too nervous about leaving the cell phone at home), this can be a good alternative to staying at home altogether.
5. It’s a great introduction to camping for the less-than wilderness-inclined
If you have friends that aren’t so sure how they feel about going camping, car camping is a great segue into tent camping. It will allow your friends to begin to experience the great outdoors - without having to worry about sleeping on a rock or securing their trash so a bear can’t get to it.
It's also a really cheap way to start camping as this article by Josette over at Tour Guide Canada shows.
Even if you are an adamant tent camping purist and can’t imagine camping any other way, consider giving car camping a try to appease your city-loving pals. You’ll win them over to the dark side eventually!
Tent camping not the right choice for you? Don’t think you have to eschew the wilderness altogether. Consider these awesome reasons to go car camping, and start packing for your next trip!