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The Complete Guide To Car Camping – Beyond The Tent

Car car rental in hanoi
ing is any type of camping where you can drive your vehicle into your campsite .
Car camping is by far the most popular type of camping in the US. It is perfect for mới ra campers và longtime campers alike. Actually, most campgrounds in state & national parks have vehicle access right up lớn your campsite .
Car camping allows you lớn pack in more gear & heavier gear than you would if you were backpacking or canoe camping. Both of which require you mập carry all your gear end many miles of terrain .

Since you don’t have phệ carry your gear, car camping allows you lớn bring luxuries camping that you wouldn’t otherwise consider bringing such as generators, glamping gear, grills, large tents, coolers & more .
Below, we’ve put together one of our most comprehensive guides lớn help you get started car camping & have the most enjoyable experience possible .


The Pros and Cons of Car Camping

car camping on a beach on the lake with mountains in the backgroundcar camping on a beach on the lake with mountains in the background
Like I said earlier, car camping is really any type of camping where you are able béo drive your car right up Khủng the campsite, park your car và phối up camp .
This makes camping easier because you don’t have phệ consider the weight of each nhà cửa you’re packing. You only have phệ consider how much you can fit in your car .
When my family of 7 ( now 9 after our twin boys were born ! ) went car camping lớn the black Hills in năm nay, we pulled a 6 × tám aluminum hé mở đầy đủ of our gear. And we used every inc of space ! !

The Pros of Car Camping

You Can Bring Luxuries

When I’m backpacking, xe đạp camping, or canoe camping I have phệ think carefully about every piece of gear I bring .
However, when we’re car camping, I can bring items that I would normally not ever consider. Camping chairs, grills, rugs, & large coolers are all regulars when I go car camping .

You Don’t Have To Unload Your Gear

When you’re car camping, you don’t necessarily have phệ unload all of your gear from your can into your tent either. You can keep your camping gear organized in your car & get Khủng it when you need it .

You’re Always Close To Your Car

Having your car close by can be incredibly convenient. We’ve cut camping trips short due Khủng weather. We were able Khủng pack the car right up & head out rather than khuyến mãi with a storm .
I’ve jumped in the car & driven phệ Walmart for supplies. When kids forget a jacket, you can drive off & get a cheap one .
I’ve even left the campground phệ go và buy pizza !

You Don’t Have To Be In Great Shape

If you’re looking for a relaxing lazy phút giây enjoying nature, then you don’t want lớn hike trăng tròn miles carrying 50 lbs. You want bự drive in, phối up & chill out .

The Cons of Car Camping

While I am mostly in complete favor of car camping, it does have a few drawbacks .

You Will Usually Have Visible Neighbors (you’re not very secluded)

This can be considered a pro or nhỏ depending on your personality. Some campgrounds can tend mập feel lượt thích a parking lot. They give you a small strip bự phối up camp right in between other campers .
Many state và national parks vì a bit better & carve out relatively private spots for car campers .
The Real Gems Require Tavel By Foot Or Water
Ok, maybe not 100 % true, but many of those truly quality campsites are not accessible by car but rather by hiking ( backpacking ), canoe or boat. Of course, there are still many amazing campgrounds that you can drive right up mập .
Check out our lists of favorite campgrounds in each state here for amazing campgrounds for car camping in each state .

What To Pack For Car Camping

camping with the sun shinning in the woods. camping with the sun shinning in the woods.
The beauty of car camping vs other types of camping is that you can be quite generous with your camping gear .
If you want mập pack a grill, pack a grill ( although I recommend a good camping grill ). If you want mập pack a big heavy tent, vì it. You can also throw in a screened tent, cooking gear, bikes, và anything you can fit in .
We’ve put together a complete car camping packing danh sách ( arguably the most thorough on the mạng internet ! ). Check it out & use it when packing for your trip .

Buying The Right Gear For Car Camping

Family out car camping hanging by the campfire. Family out car camping hanging by the campfire.
When you’re looking mập purchase gear for car camping, what you buy entirely depends on a couple of factors. Thankfully, for this type of camping, you don’t need Khủng worry about going ultra-light, thus saving you a lot of money !

How Often Do You Go Camping?

This is really the main deciding factor when people ask me about what gear they should buy ( especially tents ) .
If you take your family out camping once a year, you don’t need mập worry about buying extra durable gear. A shopping trip Khủng Walmart or buying cheap gear on Amazon is really all you need lớn bởi .
Technically, you don’t even need lớn buy any gear if you’re not a serious camper, you can rent your gear from places lượt thích Outdoors Geek. At Outdoors geek you can rent every piece of camping gear you’ll need, have it delivered bự your destination và even send it back from your destination .
Check out Outdoors Geek’s Camping Rental Gear Here .
If you vì go camping 2 + times a year, then it makes sense mập start investing in some chất lượng gear. The problem is that there are so sánh many options out there và a huge range of prices .
We’ve actually put together buying guides for almost every piece of gear that you’ll need when car camping. Check them out below :

What Weather Will You Be Camping In?

If you kế hoạch on camping in different climates, then you are going béo need a wider range of gear .
Thankfully when you are car camping, if surprise weather strikes, you always have the option mập pack up or wait it out in your car if you are unprepared .
Standard summer camping ( 60 + degrees ) doesn’t require any special gear. But if you kế hoạch on camping in the cold weather, you’ll need mập vì your research .
Here are some helpful guides for cold weather camping gear :
Also, make sure Khủng kiểm tra out our Complete Guide To Camping in the Winter .

Where To Go On Your Car Camping Trip

Car camping under the stars. Car camping under the stars.
Picking a camping destination can be a challenge, the right campground can literally make or break your camping trip .
Do you lượt thích camping at resorts with pools, nice bathrooms, & other amenities ? Or, bởi you lượt thích camping in the woods & in nature ?
My personal advice is béo kiểm tra out some of the most popular state và national parks in your area Khủng begin with. Thes kiêng dè are usually a great intro into camping, are well kept, have beautiful nature & still have nice bathrooms ( typically ) .
It’s also a good idea Khủng stay close Khủng trang chính on your first trip or two. You chưa bao giờ know how things will go on your first car camping trip. Will you love it or hate it. It’s best not phệ drive 6 hours away before you know what you’re getting yourself into .
We’ve actually put together our picks for the best places mập go camping in every state as well as reviewed hundreds of different campgrounds. You can kiểm tra out our picks below :
Other Types of Camping phệ Try
It is my opinion that car camping is the perfect starting point for hot nhất campers & a great way for people mập enjoy camping và the outdoors for years .
But once you have the camping bug, there are lots of different và adventurous ways béo enjoy the outdoors, many of which you can read about here on Beyond The Tent .

Wrapping It Up

Car camping on a lake at sunset.Car camping on a lake at sunset.
Hopefully, I’ve helped spark your interest in car camping và given you some useful info .

If you’re planning a car camping trip or just wrapped one up, let us know how it went. We’d love lớn hear from you !

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