Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Camping is not only the hobby of the Americans, it is one of the best ways to test your survival skills while enjoying the outdoors. There are several skills you can put to the test, even on a typical family camping trip. You can sharpen your understanding of the needs of sleeping under the stars, while perfecting the skills that will help you survive in the desert.

For the areas that can be accessed by a typical legal vehicle on a road, the car park is an option that many do not consider. With just a few adjustments in practice and equipment, you can turn your vehicle into a safe haven that travels with you.

Why car camp?

With so many high-tech tents and campers nowadays, the car park has earned a reputation as a bum practice. However, this is a form of camping that has some serious benefits, both in tents, and in towing a 30-foot caravan.


On the one hand, the camping for cars offers much more security than a standard tent. While a nylon shelter can keep wind and rain out, it will not do much to keep a bear or puma at bay. A car, with steel doors and unbreakable windshield, offers much better protection against predators.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

It is also a factor to consider if you are camping in popular areas or if you are simply spending the night in a rest stop. Unfortunately, people are some of the most notorious predators that exist, and campers make easy targets for crimes such as robbery and assault. Camping in a car will offer opportunities for greater security than even a typical camping trailer, such as closing doors and a burglary alarm, can offer.


Here is an obvious one. If you are camping anywhere that can be accessed with a standard motorized vehicle, spending the night in your car offers you the option of transporting much more equipment to your site. Not having to grab it with load frames means you can bring lawn chairs, umbrellas and barbecues, and then install beds in the cargo area when all that is out of the way. Then, when you have finished, it is as simple as putting everything back in the trunk and driving away, without pulling the stakes, without folding tents.

Temperature control

One of my favorite things to camp in my car is the option to control the temperature. Sure, we love the outdoors, but I love it a little less when it’s 20 below zero. Even if you do not plan on sleeping in your backseat, having the option when unpredictable weather increases your ugly head is always good. Just make sure you have enough gas to keep the heat on and go home.

Saving money

For some people, camping is not about recreation as much as avoiding spending money at a hotel. If you are on a long road trip and just need a place to sleep, it does not make much sense to spend more than a hundred dollars just to sign up at a hotel at night. If you go out on the road properly prepared, you can prepare to sleep comfortably and save a large accommodation expense.

However, one thing you should keep in mind is that you plan to sleep in your car while on the road, choose a safe place where it is legal to spend the night. Rest stops are usually your best option, as they are well lit and have bathroom facilities. However, keep in mind that places like this can be magnets for crime. Make sure to close your doors and park under a light.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

If there is not a rest stop nearby, often the big big stores will not care if you stay in their parking lot overnight. In fact, it is not uncommon to see a line of camper trailers with concrete blocks Behind your tires in a Wal Mart parking lot. If these long-term agreements are legal, however, it’s another story.

There is definitely something to be said for camping cars. Depending on your vehicle, it may not be the most spacious arrangement, but there is no doubt that it is one of the most convenient.

The best vehicles for camping.

So it goes without saying that not all cars are optimal for the night, especially for more than one person. If you are driving a Porsche or a Rav 4, you might consider simply launching a tent. However, some cars were made for the trip and the destination. They may not be the best, they may not be the easiest with the gas and they may be a bit difficult to park in parallel, but it’s too much fun to have a vehicle out of control to worry about that. These are some of the most spacious and practical vehicles to spend the night in.

Chevrolet Suburban

Do you want to know why it is listed first? Because it’s my absolute favorite vehicle. No questions asked. Sure, it has a legendary reputation for the cost of $ 80 that fills up (if gas is cheap), and it may come close to 10 miles per gallon, but what this beast lacks in gas mileage makes up for it in space and general genius.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

First of all, these vehicles have capacity for 9 people, with an option of the third row installed. Then, if you decide you do not need all of those seats, you can remove them, revealing a massive cargo area that will definitely fit a full-size air cushion comfortably. Depending on the year it was made, it will either have a hatch door in the tailgate with a window that goes down, or my favorite barn doors.

These things make loading and unloading your equipment as easy as a cake, and prevent you from worrying about bursting your head in a hatch. All this, along with its high clearance, its powerful engine and its extreme adaptability make it tough enough to camp in nature and wide enough for the whole family.

Subaru Forester

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a much more fuel efficient vehicle. These cars reach a range of 25 to 30 miles per gallon, and even have standard all-wheel drive.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

They may not see it, but they have plenty of free space to cross rough terrain. This, together with its ample cargo space, makes them a great candidate to spend a night in.

Land Rover Range Rover

This is a car that earned the reputation of being a rugged and rugged off-road, perfect for adventure seekers and weekend explorers alike. It has all the standard drill bits that make an SUV rugged enough for camping, including four-wheel drive, high-clearance axles and high shock absorption. However, where it really shines are its advanced scroll systems that automatically adjust specifically for the type of terrain you are covering. And, of course, once the rear seats are folded down, there is plenty of cargo space to stretch out in the back.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

No matter what you are driving, just make sure you can sleep in it without sticking your head in an armrest. An absolute necessity is that you can place three quarters of your height on your back without hitting any obstacle. The smaller and more compact vehicles simply do not fit perfectly.

Camping equipment: the essentials.

So now that you (hopefully) have discovered which car you are going to camp on, you want to make sure you are well stocked with the supplies needed for this type of camping. Of course, you will need your usual equipment, such as fire lighters and sleeping bags, but there are some other elements, some optional, others not, that will make it a safer and more pleasant experience. Here are some things you can pick up before your dream on the road.

Air mattress

If you have a large enough cargo area, you can use this option for a more comfortable sleep. While air mattresses are not always practical for standard camping trips, in a car, it is protected against bumps and moisture, so there is no risk of the vinyl or pump being held back by condensation.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Also, there are even air cushion pumps these days that you can plug into an adapter and turn on your cigarette lighter. Do not spend more than $ 30 on a D battery case!

Sleeping bag for two people.

Upload the romance! While these massive sleeping bags may not be the easiest thing to pack in the woods, they are excellent for keeping you warm with someone special in the back of your car. Not only can you turn a camp on the road into a romantic evening, but you also get the added benefit of being wrapped in the bottom while sharing body heat, if you do not want to run the heat all night.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Some like this one from Teton Sports, they even have good extra comfort, and they come in queen sizes so the whole family can snuggle in the great outdoors. How is that for a co-sleeping arrangement?


Sure, you can turn on the light of your dome when you need some lighting in your car, but as we all know, this can drain your battery and leave you stranded in the morning. Naturally, you do not want to use any flammable light source inside the vehicle, so the butane and kerosene lamps are totally out of the question.

However, do not despair, there are many portable and clean light sources that you can use to light up your night.

LED flashlights are an excellent way to produce a ton of light, without burning a lot of batteries. I have this from Coleman, and I can honestly say that the batteries have lasted a couple of years through power outages and camping trips alike. It’s super bright and very light. To increase your energy efficiency, use some rechargeable batteries.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

But let’s face it, camping a car is like putting together a tent in the backyard when you’re a kid. There is a certain novelty and extravagance, so try not to take it so seriously. Have fun with the lighting and create a little atmosphere while you’re at it. Get some LED lights that work with batteries and place them along those hooks to hang hangers inside your car.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Again, rechargeable batteries make them last much longer, and cash in your pocket too.

Make it a movie night

Further increase the amazing projection of a movie in your car. You’re in an airtight shelter, so take advantage of high-tech gizmos to put a movie. Glue some paper over the back window and turn it into a movie screen with a portable, battery-powered projector.

This Asus gives you an hour and a half of battery life with its rechargeable battery, and is compatible with all kinds of different devices.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

However, if you want to watch a long movie, read the next topic for energy in your car.

Energy investor

This is one of the unknown heroes of the car camps, and even more so of the long road trips. The power inverters are connected to the cigarette lighter and give a traditional plug to plug the electronic components (although, of course, there is usually an energy limit). They are excellent for camping and road trips, but in fact they are an excellent component of your vehicle’s fault output kit.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

This BesTek even offers two outputs. Use it to turn on a laptop and charge your projector while playing a movie in the window of your SUV. How cool is that?

Portable speakers

Well, I know that this seems less and less like an article about camping, and more like a party car conversion, but, as I said before, camping by car offers certain luxuries you can not get with tent camps.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

If you are going to set up a movie screen, or if you simply want to play some music without draining your car’s battery, consider getting some portable bluetooth speakers from DKnight.

Truck bed truck

If you are driving a truck, do not despair. You can still use your trip as your home away from home if you install a tent for a van. Yes, they exist, and they are amazing. They come in different sizes, so measure the platform of your truck before ordering one.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Although you will not have a waterproof and weatherproof camping experience, you can stay away from swampy or rugged terrain, and drive directly in and out of your camp.

Electric blankets

Again, take advantage of the fact that your car is a power source (just be careful not to deplete the battery). If it’s very cold and the queen-size sleeping bag is not cutting it yet, invest in an electric blanket that latches on the cigarette lighter.

They use very little energy and, generally, they are available for less than $ 50, depending on what you get. These are also just a big emergency measure to have in your car, in case you get stranded in the middle of a very cold weather.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

These are just some of the things you can learn to make spending the night in your car more than simple, but really great. Whether you do not feel like taking it to a camping place, the weather is terrible, or you’re just looking to create a romantic and cozy getaway for yourself and for someone special, the camp has some important advantages that should not be overlooked. for high.

Make the most of some special gadgets and turn it into an experience.

Safety precautions

While camping in your car can be amazing, it can also be a bit risky. Since you are going to spend the night in a place that will be accessible, that means that you are not the only one who can get there. As I said before, people can be your most astute predators, and they are practically the only ones that you should worry about when camping in a car. You will want to take some special precautions so that you and your family are safe.

First, if you are on a road trip and camping out of necessity to save money, the last thing you want to do is camp on the side of a road, especially on a highway or interstate. Not only are you asking to be hit, but in many places this is really illegal because of the security risk that it represents for you and other drivers.

Secondly, you should always make sure to lock your doors. You never know who can go when you’re asleep, and the last thing you want to do is present a possible thief or criminal with an easy goal. Close all the doors and, if you have to leave the windows open, just add them enough to ventilate the space, not enough for someone to enter.

If you are camping in a place frequented by bears, be sure to seal your food. Although you’re certainly more certain of these curious predators in a car, they can still be attracted to your location by the smell of spicy or open food.

They may not be able to enter, but they can cause serious damage to your car in an attempt to reach a bag of chips. I have spoken with many people who have had bears that break the windows on the passenger side trying to get to the fast food they left in the car. Do not risk: take an airtight container or refrigerator, and store your food when you’re finished.

This may be obvious, but never cook in your car. It is obvious that he does not want to use anything that produces an open flame, but even electric burners in such a confined space are extremely dangerous.

The cars are covered and filled with polyester and chemicals that often accelerate fires, and it would be very easy to start one with just a simple glide. Play safely, even if you are only using a portable hot plate, do all your cooking outside.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

You’ll also want to make sure that wherever you go, you can go out in the morning. While waterfront sites may seem optimal and scenic, a spontaneous rain shower can cause water levels to rise rapidly, putting you at risk of being washed away by water.

Try to avoid leaving the road if the ground is wet or soft, or covered with snow. As the sun rises, frosts during the night often give way to the morning dew, saturating the ground. Do not stay in the mud in the morning when you leave to leave.

Finally, make sure you come armed with some personal protection. Even if you take all the necessary precautions and select a well-lit and safe place, if someone tries to enter or if a bear decides that he needs to share his dinner, he needs to have a way to defend himself.

Have a practical weapon on hand that you can use indoors (that means there are no rifles – there is not exactly room to turn that gun in your compact SUV). For the defense of the bear, generally the best bet is the bear’s club. However, if you are trying to defend yourself from a hungry creature with a mace can, it is likely to become so bad when you untie it in the confines of your vehicle.

In general, the best bet to defend against bears and people in the small space of your car will be a small firearm, such as a gun or a revolver, that is easy to aim and has little recoil. Do not wait until a threat appears to prepare. When you arrive at your camp, keep it charged and ready for use, at your fingertips. Just remember to keep it correctly before returning to the road the next day.

Follow these basic safety principles, and you can protect yourself from the threat of everything from wildlife to criminals.

Camping checklist

So let’s recap on the basic elements of car camping.

Car Camping: Basic Essentials of Bugging Out on the Go

Here are some things you can do to stay safe and have an amazing time when camping in a car:

  • select a well-lit place
  • never camp on busy roads
  • Always select a dry and sturdy terrain for parking
  • Lighting package, bedding and some entertainment to keep the confinement entertained
  • Arm yourself
  • seal the food to deter the bears

Whether you spend the night in your car on a road trip across the country, or take the kids to see Yellowstone in the back of your Suburban, you can turn the closed quarters of a vehicle into a safe, capricious camp and laptop.


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