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If you want to spend some time alone in a wild, solo car camping trip is what you want. Camping with the car isn’t much different than usual camping in a tent.
But, you’ve to consider a few things, especially when you’re on a road.
In this post, you’re going to learn how to pick a campsite even if you’ve never been car camping before. Then you’re going to learn how you can set up your car for camping and things you must pack. At last, you’re going to see how you can be safe while you’re camping alone in a car.
How To Pick A Campsite
The place you pick for camping influences a lot of things. And when you’re camping in a car, you can go anywhere and it’ll feel like a weekend getaway.
With that said, this is how you’re going to pick a campsite.
It’s basically a spot to park the car when you’re choosing a campsite. Go for campgrounds if you haven’t been on a car camping before. This way you’ll get a camping edge to adapt. You can work your way up for places like truck stops, parking lots, and more.
Now, you’re going to plan for your camping logistics, especially when you’re going to camp for many days.
You’ve to book a campground some days before you’re going out. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and don’t find a place to camp. It’ll give you another peace of mind when you know where you’re going to park each night.
Make sure that the place is safe as well as convenient.
For an instance, You’d want to look for a spot that is close to the bathroom. It should be a place where you feel comfortable camping. You can push your comfort zones once you’re getting used to camping in a car.
The Camping Setup You Need
Once you’re done with choosing a place to camp. It’s time to set up what you need for camping. This is where you’re going to convert your 4 seater car into a camping car.
Now keep in mind, You’re going to put a full bed across the back. It may not give you much space to keep your camping gear. You’ve to adjust things in a way that’s comfortable for you.
You can go for a more sophisticated setup once you’ve got used to camping by car.
For me, a 60/40 folding arrangement works pretty well. I get even more space to stretch my leg if I remove the front passenger seat. You can put the camping gear right next to the bed. I can even pack a mini-fridge if it’s an SUV.
Just remember, it doesn’t have to be too complex. Everything must be easy to access while you’re enjoying the view from your bed.
After all, It won’t be a happy getaway if you lost something important. Make sure that you’ve got a place to store all your camping gear if you don’t want to risk losing them forever.
Things You Must Pack
Once you’ve set up your car for your camping tour. It’s time to check on the things you’re going to carry when you go camping.
Now depending on the way you’ve planned your camping setup. You may want to go for only things that are important or you can pack all the fun things like a camping table and chairs.
This is what you’re going to pack before you’re going on car camping.
You’re gonna have prepared as sleeping in a car is a lot different than sleeping in a tent. You can fold the back seat down to make a bed just like I mentioned earlier. You can take them out if they’re not foldable.
Now once you’ve done it, here is what you’re going to pack:
- Sleeping Bag: Pick one that is warm, comfortable, and suits your travel preference.
- Window Shades: To give you privacy and safety while you’re sleeping.
- Eye Mask: In case if there is an extra light around the place you’re camping.
- Blanket: To keep yourself warm.
- Pillows: 🙂
I’d suggest you check on the place you’re going to camp. You’d want your clothes to be warm if it’s a cold place. Also, you’d want to keep light clothes. Try to pack the least clothes as they take up space for your camping gear.
With that in mind, this is what you’re going to need:
- Moisture Wicking Layer Clothing: To prevent you from the moisture when you’re out hiking or exploring the place.
- Socks: Just like under layers, you’re going to need it to prevent your feet from moisture. Keeping extra pairs never hurts.
- Shoes: Make sure it’s suitable for hiking trips. One with google ankle support could be really helpful.
- Jacket: You’ve got to choose this one. It’s going to be a hardshell jacket if the place you visit has a chance of rain or wind. You’re going to pack a well-insulated puffy jacket if you’re visiting a place where it snows.
- Backpack: You may not need it if you’re just out camping. But it’s important if you’re going on a hike to carry food, water, and a camera to shoot your hiking journey.
Unless you’re not camping in a city, cooking isn’t a big deal. You can easily take out a stove and cook a meal.
You’ve to plan how you’re going to cook, store, and clean up the meal. Just to let you know, there will be a lot of snacking when you’re camping in a car. You’re gonna need to be cautious about balancing your diet and eating plenty of veggies.
This is what you’re going to pack:
- Cooking Supplies: This includes a camp stove and utensils.
- Quick Meal: Protein bars, Chips, Dorito, Popcorn, and any other quick meal that you like.
- Coffee: Better to keep a coffee maker and necessary supplies.
- Waterproof Food Containers: You’d really want to seal your food when you’re in a wild (especially where bears live). Also, You wouldn’t want to find pieces of food on your sleeping bag.
- Water: Several gallons.
If you’re someone who works while traveling, you’d be carrying powered devices. It’s always a good idea to have several ways to charge your electronic devices when you’re out camping.
This is how you can keep your devices powered up:
- Adapters For Charging Devices: Keep one that can charge your laptop and one with many USB ports. This way you can charge other devices simultaneously.
- Powerbank: To charge small devices like phones and cameras, especially when you’re hiking.
- Rechargeable Batteries: Keep several if you carry devices like a camera for hiking.
How to Stay Safe
It’s never enough especially when you’re camping solo. You can’t be too careful when it comes to your safety.
Here are some tips to make sure to make a safer car camping:
- Always inform a friend of a family member about ‘when and where you’re going.
- Post on social media a few days later or after you’ve returned from your trip. And Never ever tag your current location on social media.
- Double-check and be aware of your surroundings. It’s on to go somewhere else if you’re feeling uncomfortable. You’ll enjoy the trip if you feel safe.
- Never leave electronics in the open even if you have window shades. Keep them hidden as much as possible.
- Carry some self-defense equipment such as a taser, paper spray, and more. By the way, your car alarm is also a good defense.
- Always Cover your windows while you sleep. I can never put enough weight on this one. Regardless of how safe campgrounds are, always cover your window.
Wrapping it all up
That’s it, a guide to solo camp with a car.
Now, before you go out on a trip. Make sure you’re packing the food and other essentials that last the days you’re about to camp.
And always make sure that it’s safe camping.
*Farhan Sheikh is a content strategist and one of the co-founders of Vloguide. In his free time, he writes about travel and videography tips.