15 Borderline Genius Ideas For Anyone Who Camps With Their Car

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Car camping! Like camping, but easier.

“Car camping” just means there are roads that let you drive your car directly up to your campsite — instead of, say, parking further away and hiking to it. Some car campers sleep in their cars, some prefer to set up tents. Some sites even have communal bathrooms with showers campers can use. Because your car’s with you, it can be really easy to go to several different campsites over the course of a week or two — or try a longer, intense camping road trip. camping, camping ideas, camping tips

Where should I go?

Backpacker and Blue Ridge Outdoors both have lists of great places to camp that let you drive to your site instead of hike; and Free Campsites is a map of the whole US that lets you find free campsites near you. And before you head out, remember to read the CDC’s safety and health tips, and the US Forest Service’s safety tips.

Want to give it a try? These tips make it easier to ~get on the road~:

1. Hang battery- or solar-powered string lights to light up your cozy car-sleeping evenings.

No campfire, no problem: As long as the weather’s nice and you have something to eat, this is all the light you need. camping, camping ideas, camping tips

2. Store strike-anywhere matches in a mason jar topped with sandpaper.

Read more about how to put this together at Craftaholics Anonymouscamping, camping ideas, camping tips

3. Build a simple platform for your air mattress to stash storage underneath if you car camp frequently.

See more pictures of this traveling Australian surfer’s van on Instagram; find a tutorial for building one at home using wood here, one using PVC pipe here, and one for a compact car here.

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